About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny

(43. - 1068.) All the Devils Are Here by Louise Penny - Paris in the fall. Sitting in the sculpture garden of the Musée Rodin, his favourite place in Paris, Armand Gamache reflects back 50 years. His godfather, the industrialist Stephen Horowitz, raised him after the deaths of his parents when he was 9. Horowitz gradually earned the boy’s trust:

And slowly young Armand realized he was safe, would always be safe, with this man. And that he would get to the other side.

As a young man Armand brought Reine-Marie to Paris where he proposed to her. Now they are back in France for the birth of a grandchild. Their daughter, Annie, and her husband, Jean Guy (Armand’s long time second in command) have moved to Paris where Jean Guy has an executive position with a major company.

For the first time readers learn about the Gamache’s son, Daniel. Through the series he has been a far away figure in France. Daniel has been distant from Armand since he was 8 years old. Distance became an emotional “chasm” that became a physical ocean when Daniel moved to Paris. Despite Armand reaching out Daniel has refused to say why. 

Armand knows that Daniel resents the depth of his relationship with Jean Guy. Daniel can see a father-son connection between them.

Horowitz, a billionaire, has spent his career between Paris and Montreal. He has a large apartment in the Marais. In addition to being a very successful investor he is well known for calling out corporate frauds such as Enron and Bernie Madoff. (It was interesting the examples used were from America rather than Canada.)

Was it an accident or deliberate when Horowitz is struck by a van in a hit-and-run incident? Armand is certain it was deliberate. His belief is supported by finding there has been a hurried search of Horowitz’s apartment and the discovery of a body professionally slain.

Yet Armand does his best not to tunnel in on his opinion repeating to himself what he warns every young police cadet:

Don’t believe everything you think.

More tendrils with the past are added as Horowitz was born in Germany and spent at least part of the war in Paris. Armand describes him as a “humanist”.

Armand consults the head of the Préfecture of Police, Claude Dussault, a long time friend. Dussault’s second-in- command, Irena Fontaine, greets Armand with the touch of condescension common among Parisians hearing the Québécois accent. Taking over the investigation she grudgingly accepts the presence of the colonials.

I was completely caught up in the story when the lingering scent of a distinctive cologne provides a startling twist in the plot. Even more remarkably the question of the scent undergoes a further, even more clever, twist.

There is a remarkable scene where the Gamache family is interviewed, more accurately interogated,  by Comamander Fontaine. It becomes a personal word duel between Fontaine and Armand.

The plot delves into family history to a depth unlike any other in the series. For those readers who have found Armand too perfect there is a scene about the long lasting pain of secrets overheard.

A conspiracy needs to be unraveled in the plot. Penny handles that delicate task well. There is an inexorable building of tension for all of the Gamaches.

We are back to the best of the Gamache series featuring history, relationships and intelligence rather though there are more violent confrontations than needed.


Penny, Louise – (2005) - Still Life; (2006) - Dead Cold (Tied for 3rd Best fiction of 2006); (2007) - The Cruelest Month; (2009) - The Murder Stone (Tied for 4th Best fiction of 2009); (2010) - The Brutal Telling; (2011) - Bury Your Dead (Best Fiction of 2011); (2011) - A Trick of the Light; (2012) - The Beautiful Mystery (Part I) and The Beautiful Mystery (Part II); (2013) - "P" is for Louise Penny - Movie Producer and Review of the Movie of Still Life; (2013) - How the Light Gets In; (2014) - The Long Way Home; (2014) - The Armand Gamache Series after 10 Mysteries - Part I and Part II; (2015) - The Nature of the Beast (Part I) and The Nature of the Beast (Part II); (2016) - A Great Reckoning - The Academy and Comparisons and The Map; (2017) - Glass Houses - Happiness and Unhappiness and Getting the Law Wrong; (2019) - Kingdom of the Blind and Irreconcilable Dispositions; (2019) - A Better Man; (2020) - All the Devils are Here and Relationship Restaurants in Fiction and Real Life; Hardcover


  1. I've always wondered about Daniel, Bill. It's good to know that he is explored as a character here. And it sounds as though the murder plot is up to Penny's standard, which is good to hear. I think it's interesting that the cultural and language differences between Paris and Québec are brought up here. It's very real, and I like it that Penny makes reference to that.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. Unlike her earliest books the murder is mundane but the plot is pleasantly complex. French pretentions unabashedly on display.

  2. Ah, sounds like we are exploring some plotholes from the past! Yes, a new Gamache is always a delight, even more so when it explores the difference between Canada and France.

    1. Marina Sofia: Thanks for the comment. Every family has its issues. Those of the Gamache family were convincing.

  3. Bill, I am glad you enjoyed this book. I haven't yet gotten to The Beautiful Mystery, so I am eight books behind, but hoping to catch up over the next year.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. Much good reading awaits you. I can see the next book setting up for Three Pines.

  4. Another author I need to try one day!

    1. Col: There are enough references to previous books that I recommend reading in order. As well relationships progress through the books.