Unlike many authors Penny has created strong books in which she placed some of her mysteries outside Three Pines
The series has not been perfect. There have been issues for me in some of the books.
In A Beautiful Mystery I was unhappy with, what I perceived as an unfair attitude about the Catholic Church and monastic life. While that is a matter of personal reaction I was dismayed that Penny, for the second time, created a situation of implausible "invisibility". A secret monastery in Quebec was not credible.
I found the plot line in later books with regard to the conflict between Gamache and Superintendent Sylvain Francoeur distracting from the mysteries.
In particular, in How the Light Gets In, I thought the contest between Gamache and Francoeur detracted from a wonderful mystery involving the death of a quintuplet who was the last of a famous Quebec set of quints.
I thought Penny has made a brilliant decision to have Gamache retire and move to Three Pines with Reine Marie. She has opened up a new set of mystery opportunities. I hope Reine Marie will play a greater role in the series.
Penny has also in The Long Way Home ventured into a non-conventional format with the book about the search for a missing character, Peter Morrow.
The Armand Gamache (I leave out Chief Inspector now that he has retired) mysteries are an excellent series. After 10 books I remain excited to read the next book. I hope to keep returning to Three Pines for years to come.