But he's drawn back to the hunt after Laurent Lepage, a nine-year-old boy with a penchant for crying wolf, is found dead under circumstances that Gamache finds suspicious…. Series fans will delight in Penny's continued complex fleshing out of characters they have come to love.. Booklist '…a compelling mystery that leads to an exciting but tantalizingly open-ended finale. Sometimes the stakes are personal…Sometimes the threat is to the village…This time Penny manages to create a threat that could truly be worldwide, and to place its future in the hands of our friends in Three Pines.
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Attention, fans who have been waiting for poet Ruth Zardo's backstory: Here's at least part of your wish granted. People Magazine 'In this, the 11th title in the series, Penny sustains her high-wire act, creating characters of remarkable depth in an exhilarating whodunit.
Wall Street Journal '…. When a little boy who constantly tells tall tales disappears from his Quebec village, the community is forced to reexamine his supposed stories. As they embark on their quest for the truth, they quickly down the rabbit hole, beginning a sequence of events that leads to answers they never dreamed were possible.
Chicago Tribune "A world of dark truth lies under the surface. One of the wonders of 'The Nature of the Beast' is how subtly and relentlessly the author mines that darkness, and how surely her detective steps through it, without once losing his cool. Cleveland Plain Dealer "It's always a delight to spend time with the village denizens, whose levels of compassion, sarcasm and loyalty never waver. Grade: A-. Arrive Magazine "A writer with wit and style who stands out from the crime fiction crowd. San Francisco Chronicle "The author of 10 best-selling books featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache infuses her mysteries with the beauty, culture and mouthwatering cuisine of Quebec.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette "A fascinating and complex plot… The plot and its implications are indeed serious, but Ms. Penny tells her story with a light-handed deftness that allows events to move swiftly. Washington Times "Louise Penny is back at full strength Three Pines in her skillful hands becomes a literary pageant and the secret of its charm is its simplicity. Columbus Dispatch "Evil, from both outside and inside the village, is always a presence, and the struggle to resist it gives the novels gravity and a sense of suspense… Penny crafts her mystery carefully She knows how to shape a novel for both readers new to the series and regulars… Penny has shaped a world in which the characters are constantly evolving, reacting to violence but also to love and connection.
Elements of that world might be predictable, even comfortable, but enough remains outside its control to make it worth entering again and again, for both its stability and its surprises. Congratulations Robert!! As Gamache journeys further into Quebec, he is drawn deeper into the tortured mind of Peter Morrow, a man so desperate to recapture his fame as an artist that he would sell his soul.
As Gamache gets closer to the truth, he uncovers a deadly trail of jealousy and deceit. Can Gamache bring Peter, and himself, home safely? Or in searching for answers, has he placed himself, and those closest to him, in terrible danger. From number one New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny, comes an evocative, immersive novel brimming with atmosphere and heart-stopping suspense — her most ingenious novel to date. Ralph has also been interviewed by The Washington Post click here to read that article.
You can download The Long Way Home from the audible website. New York Times 'Splendid Penny's books mix some classic elements of the police procedural with a deep-delving psychology, as well as a sorrowful sense of the precarious nature of human goodness, and the persistence of its opposite, even in rural Edens like Three Pines. Another gem from the endlessly astonishing Penny…. Penny appears to have reserved a lifetime seat atop best-seller lists everywhere, and, with the appearance of her latest, she will take her place once again.
Publishers Weekly 'Perceptive… perfectly paced…The prose is remarkably fresh, filled with illuminating and delightful turns of phrase. By this point in the series, each inhabitant of Three Pines is a distinct individual, and the humor that lights the dark places of the investigation is firmly rooted in their long friendships, or, in some cases, frenemyships. The heartbreaking conclusion will leave series readers blinking back tears. Charlotte Observer ' This series dominates best-seller lists and award lists for a reason. Penny tells powerful stories of damage and healing in the human heart, leavened with affection, humor and — thank goodness — redemption.
But shadows are falling on the usually festive season for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. When Gamache receives a message from Myrna Landers that a longtime friend has failed to arrive for Christmas in the village of Three Pines, he welcomes the chance to get away from the city.
Mystified by Myrna's reluctance to reveal her friend's name, Gamache soon discovers the missing woman was once one of the most famous people not just in North America, but in the world, and now goes unrecognized by virtually everyone except the mad, brilliant poet Ruth Zardo. As events come to a head, Gamache is drawn ever deeper into the world of Three Pines. Is there peace to be found even in Three Pines, and at what cost to Gamache and the people he holds dear?
The winner will be announced at a formal gala in London on Oct 24th The American Library Association made it a top ten pick for best book published in the entire nation in September. Kirkus Review '. Another bravura performance from an author who has reinvented the village mystery as profoundly as Dashiell Hammett transformed the detective novel. Once again, Penny impressively balances personal courage and faith with heartbreaking choices and monstrous evil" Library Journal "Penny's mysteries are really character studies.
There is police procedure being followed, but the forensics take second place to Gamache's absolutely fascinating probe into the characters of every single person involved in the investigation: the police, the witnesses, and especially the suspects. He cares passionately about each person and makes the reader care. Highly recommended " The Washington Post " In How the Light Gets In, Penny has written a magnificent mystery novel that appeals not only to the head, but also to the heart and soul.
Penny immerses the reader in a high-suspense cyber-hacking drama emanating from the off-the-grid Three Pines that proves not only pivotal but memorable At the center of everything is Gamache — a modest, smart, kind-hearted man whose empathy and warmth may be his fatal flaw and certainly defy that of stereotypic crime-thriller detectives You buy into it…because, if it were true, this would somehow be a better world.
And you want it to be true, even if only in fiction. Sometimes that's how the light gets in. She excels with the characterisation of Armand Gamache. Creating through him a story of human perseverance in the face of personal turmoil. He is a deeply complex character Unrelentingly fast-paced, it powers through its narrative with the force of a high-speed train.
Suffused with brilliance on all levels, "How the Light Gets In" displays Penny at her beautiful and bountiful best. How the Light Gets In is a story about crime against nature and against the rules of society , corruption personal and political , and murder both actual and metaphysical. Hope and fear, good and evil, friendship and betrayal, love and hate, innocence and corruption: Penny explores the battling dualities that exist in all of us, and the necessity of battle and even failure to create resilience.
Her novel about death and decay becomes a book about how to live: everything broken has a crack, but that is how the light gets in. No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder.
As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between. Library Journal " The title, like Penny's fiction, has multiple layers. First is the crime: the murder of the choir director of a monastery in the deep woods of Quebec. Then there's the joyous but inexplicable emotions the monks' glorious liturgical singing invokes.
And there's the disconnect between the monks' vows of silence and their renowned singing. And then, of course, there's the mystery of religion itself For the reader, meanwhile, there's a final beautiful mystery to contemplate: How does Penny consistently write such luminous and compassionate books?. Illawarra Mercury "A tense plot with a finite group of suspects will keep the reader involved until the last clue". Country News "The Beautiful Mystery is an ingenious, sinister new novel". Ballarat Courier "Here is a good old-fashioned detective yarn with a believable plot, charming characters, a fascinating location and enough red herrings to keep the reader alert".
Herald Sun "One of the joys of detective fiction". Where nothing is as it seems. Behind every smile there lurks a sneer. Inside every sweet relationship there hides a broken heart. And even when facts are slowly exposed, it is no longer clear to Gamache and his team if what they've found is the truth, or simply a trick of the light. Kirkus Review 'Penny, elevating herself to the pantheon that houses P. James, Ruth Rendell and Minette Walters, demonstrates an exquisite touch with characterization, plotting and artistic sensitivity.
Publishers Weekly 'Outstanding Penny effectively employs James, Penny shows how the tight structure of the classical mystery story can accommodate a wealth of deeply felt emotions and interpersonal drama. Top of the genre. With her smart plot and fascinating, nuanced characters, Penny proves again that she is one of our finest writers.
For connoisseurs of mysteries, success is judged by the genre's holy trinity: plot, people and prose. When all three attain excellence, a fourth quality shines through: power.. Penny continues to amaze with each novel. Wrapped in exciting plots and domestic details, her characters are people we want to follow through their very real joys and sorrows. Wonderful, complex characters and sophisticated plotting makes this a perfect book.
Do not miss it. I keep using the word "stunning" for Ms. Penny's work time and time again. And I keep saying "this one is the best one yet. HOW does she keep doing this? And continually top her own work? Some things many of us have been waiting for, a few things that will make you laugh out loud, some things that will break your heart and move you to tears along with a few surprise twists. You know - all those things that Louise Penny just keeps doing with such apparent ease. As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the most unusual case of his celebrated career.
A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's oldest buildings - a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries We've been working with a top walking tour company in the venerable old city, Tours Voir Quebec, and are very happy to endorse this. It's available in either English or French. Here's the link. Bon voyage et Vive Gamache! Meanwhile, Gamache dispatches his longtime colleague, Insp. Jean Guy Beauvoir, to the quiet town of Three Pines to revisit the case supposedly resolved at the end of the previous book.
Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope in the same scene. Increasingly ambitious in her plotting, she continues to create characters readers would want to meet in real life. People Magazine 4 out of 4 stars 'editor's pick'! Her beautifully elegiac sixth book interweaves three story lines while plumbing the depths of Gamache's grief. The result is sophisticated and moving - her best yet.
Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed and remarkably moving mysteries in years. Bring on the awards. Library Journal Superb And then some! Toronto Globe and Mail. The book, obviously, is a must-read for her fans, and demonstrates once again that she is in the first rank of crime-fiction writers in Canada, or indeed, in the world. Chaos is coming, old son. With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store.
Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? Globe and Mail , Margaret Cannon Penny isn't Christie.
For one thing she's a far more accomplished craftsman, relying more on depth of character than formula. She also likes a complex plot that owes more to human emotion and psychology than to clockwork timing. This puts her closer to PD James The best Gamache novel so far. Daily Mirror 4 stars out of five , Henry Sutton The Canadian village of Three Pines is given a shocking awakening when a stranger is found dead in the local bistro.
But soon Chief Inspector Gamache discovers the bistro owner had a shady past. The Bookbag 4. It's not just the skill of the plot, but the way that words are never wasted and that so few of them can produce a vivid picture. Dialogue is perfect and there's a real talent for capturing the one-liners which make you laugh out loud. Shots Mag , Mike Stotter I have always been dismissive of the expression "I couldn't put it down", but after reading Louise Penny's latest story of the idyllic French Canadian village of Three Pines I acknowledge that there is some truth in it.
I read this book in one session, anxious to reach the unravelling of a complex plot dealing with mystery, artistic integrity, murder, of course, and relationships. Her courtly, poetry-loving Inspector Gamache, who peers into suspects' souls over meals so mouthwatering you'll want to book a flight, contributes a humane and sophisticated perspective on human foibles. Her fifth in the series is the finest of all. Fortunately, sagacious Gamache possesses the acumen to peel away the layers of deceit and to expose the truth.
Her characters are too rich, her grasp of nuance and human psychology too firm for the formula-bound Christie. No, Penny belongs in the hands of those who read not only P. Armand Gamache investigates. At a cabin in the woods apparently belonging to the dead man, Gamache and his team are shocked to discover the remote building is full of priceless antiquities, from first edition books to European treasures thought to have disappeared during WWII. Readers keen for another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be well rewarded. Joseph Beth bookstores , Cincinnati, Ohio, Micheal Fraser I was prepared to be vastly entertained by a witty, sometimes funny and intricately plotted mystery whose solution always lies in the hearts of men and the ability of Gamache to suss out what lies within.
I was not prepared for this compelling and unflinching look into the heart of darkness that resides within us all. It is a universal truth that we can never fully know another human being and many times, not even ourselves. In a brutal telling itself, Penny connects us with our own humanity as well as others. She shows us the fragility of our existence and that even living within the pale doesn't exempt us and we can have everything taken away in a very short time. Plus an astonishing ending!
Who could ask for anything more? With almost every word, she gives you something to hope for I'm shouting about it all over the place, and I'm already quite sure it will be in my Top Five Favorite Books of Add this to your "Gotta Read" list. Wealthy, cultured and respectable, the Finney family is the epitome of gentility. When Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer, the hotel's staff spring into action. For the children have come to this idyllic lakeside retreat for a special occasion - a memorial has been organised to pay tribute to their late father.
But as the heat wave gathers strength, it is not just the statue of an old man that is unveiled. Old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface, and the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family has another member to mourn. A guest at the hotel, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache suddenly finds himself in the middle of a murder enquiry. The hotel is full of possible suspects - even the Manoir's staff have something to hide, and it's clear that the victim had many enemies. With its remote location, the lodge is a place where visitors come to escape their pasts.
Until the past catches up with them Not only does the auberge offer grand views and the order and calm of old-world service, but it also observes a no-kill policy, with the proprietors feeding wild animals in winter and forbidding guests to hunt or fish. Someone obviously failed to explain that rule to the cultured but quarrelsome family holding a reunion to unveil a statue of their late patriarch, who makes his feelings felt by toppling down on one of his own.
As Gamache observes, things were not as they seemed, not even in a paradise like Bellechasse. And never in a Louise Penny mystery. Blackstone, unabridged, nine CDs, 11 hrs. Celebrated British narrator and actor Ralph Cosham brings this wonderful murder mystery to life and draws in listeners with his charisma. Penny's taut, darkly comedic tale features the Finney family, which has gathered for the installation of a statue of their long-dead patriarch. When the statue falls and kills one of his daughters, Insp.
Armand Gamache Cosham at his very best must unravel the plot before it's too late. Cosham's characters are refreshingly original and never overplayed, and the Old World quality of his voice invokes radio murder mysteries from decades past, creating an endlessly entertaining listening experience. Australian Women's Weekly Beautiful imagery, deft characterisation and deliciously dense plots Weekend Australian Louise Penny's village whodunits make perfect beach reading for this summer.
Notebook Magazine To say this book has an old-fashioned feel is not to denigrate it. There is nothing hard-boiled about Armand: he's a man who loves his family, is loyal and decent Richmond Times-Dispatch Once again, Penny concocts an intricate and intriguing plot and peoples it with credible characters and the continually fascinating Gamache No murder would be complete, of course, without death. Denver Post An ingenious, impossible crime puzzle for the reader.
An IndieNext pick formerly BookSense for February 09 Mystery Reader five out of five stars Louise Penny has created in her Inspector Gamache series a clever combination of a police procedural and cozy mystery novel. The setting itself is reminiscent of the golden age of mysteries. Indeed this novel is a classic locked room mystery.
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Penny has a superb command of the English language. As a mystery author, Ms. Penny plays fair with her readers. The Charlotte Observer 4 out of 4 stars At least two people are waiting very impatiently for this review to be done so I can pass the new Louise Penny along to them.
With just her fourth book, she already has that kind of well-deserved following Starred Library Journal Canadian author Penny has garnered numerous awards for her elegant literary mysteries featuring the urbane Armand Gamache, chief police inspector from Quebec. Gamache is intelligent, observant, and implacable, indispensible attributes for the sophisticated detection that characterizes this series Her psychological acumen, excellent prose, and ingenious plotting make this essential reading for mystery lovers and admirers of superb literary fiction.
Fans of Dorothy L. Sayers, P. James, and Elizabeth George will also be delighted. One of the best traditional mystery series currently being published. Publishers Weekly Murder interrupts Chief Insp. It's a serious novel that bridges the gap between the mystery genre and mainstream fiction Louise Penny's fourth novel is an enduring mystery that begins and ends with the qualities that make great fiction writing -- compelling storytelling, evocative descriptions that are the heart of the story -- and characters the novel's soul who are rich in qualities and foibles that make them unforgettable -- and capable of murder.
Time Out London. Montreal Review of Books The plotting is flawless and when the murderer is finally revealed in a thrilling climactic scene Penny has found her perfect formula with the carefully constructed puzzle plot in the perfect village with the classic cast of characters. The fact that it's modern Quebec is the icing on the petit four Once the puzzle is set up, it's impossible to put this book down until it's solved. Devotees of Christie will be delighted by Penny's clever plots and deft characters. The Irish News In a traditional who-dunnit crime thriller that rivals Agatha Christie's Poirot, Gamache is a refreshing alternative to the hard-nosed stereotypical detective.
Penny builds the lives and imperfections of the characters effectively, exposing the complexity of human nature, challenging the reader's opinion and creating a constant sense of suspicion. This is a classic tale that proves that revenge is a dish best served ice cold.
You have to read it The temptation is to scarf Penny's books like potato chips but it's ever wise to savor each bite and let the flavors fill your tongue. Easter in Three Pines is a time of church services, egg hunts and seances to raise the dead. A group of friends trudges up to the Old Hadley House, the horror on the hill, to finally rid it of the evil spirits that have so obviously plagued it, and the village, for decades. One of their numbers dies of fright. As they peel back the layers of flilth and artiface that have covered the haunted old home, they discover the evil isn't confined there.
Some evil is guiding the actions of one of the seemingly kindly villagers. A very personal demon is about to strike. A time of rebirth, when nature comes alive. And it become clear - for there to be a rebirth, there first must be a death. The mouthwatering food, the beautiful gardens, the quirky and literate villagers -- Three Pines is a charming oasis for the spirit Move over, Mitford. The Scotsman There's real pleasure here. Kirkus Review Perhaps the deftest talent to arrive since Minette Walters, Penny produces what many have tried but few have mastered: a psychologically acute cozy.
If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give. Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. Highly recommended. As Penny demonstrates with laser-like precision, the book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges - making this the series standout so far.
And this place, this wonderous, fantastical place. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves. The writing is sensual, full of sights and smells and tastes that will resonate with her readers. And although Penny paints an almost Grandma Moses idealized view of village life, it is a view tinged with ominous foreboding, reminiscent of the brooding images of Breughel and Bosch It's a gem.
Penny's writing is rich in imagery and atmosphere and characterised by a very quick and highly verbal intelligence. Winter in Three Pines and the sleepy village is carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill - until a scream pierces the biting air. There's been a murder. Local police are baffled. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses and - apparently - no clues. Called in to head the investigation, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache unravels the dead woman's past and discovers a history of secrets and enemies.
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But Gamache has enemies of his own. Frozen out of decision-making at the highest level of the Surete du Quebec, Gamache finds there are few he can trust. As a bitter wind blows into Three Pines, something even more chilling is sneaking up behind him Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives. Library Journal A highly intelliegent mystery. Penny's new title is sure to creat great reader demand for more stories featuring civilized and articulate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.
Booklist Gamache, a smart and likable investigator - think Columbo with an accent, or perhaps a modern-day Poirot This is a fine mystery in the classic Agatha Christie style and it is sure to leave mainstream fans wanting more. Koch For all the perplexing mechanics of the murder, and the snowed-in village setting, this is not the usual "cosy" or even a traditional puzzle mystery. It's a finely written, intelligent and observant book. Imbued with a constant awareness of the astonishing cold, this perfect blend of police procedural and closed-room mystery finds its solution, as in the best of those traditions, in the slow unlayering of a sorrowful past.
Her characters leap from the page, her plotting is sublime, the atmosphere she builds in a bitter Quebec winter in Dead Cold, completely chilling. The writing is superb. A magnificent read. And like Gamache, you too will be drawn to Three Pines and to this work of magical realism masquerading as a cosy English mystery. We're back in the charming Quebec village of Three Pines The setting is wonderfully done, as are the characters. The solution is perfectly in tune with their psychology and there's plenty of evidence that Gamache will make a third appearance.
Sooner or later the whole world will discover Penny. With a unique sense of timing, patience and subtle wit, Penny is able to create a whodunit that recalls those of Agatha Christie Magically bringing the postcard village of Three Pines to life, she gives it innocence, allows a touch of evil to intrude and then brings in the outsider, the intriguing Gamache, to solve the crime.
The result is an engrossing read that will only add to the ranks of her readers. Shotsmag, UK This is a wonderful novel, full of mystery. It is as deeply layered as snow drifting down upon snow. The cold will seep into your bones so wrap up warm and have a good hot drink at your elbow. As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one. To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray.
Who could want Jane Neal dead? Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets. Kirkus Review Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom. Don't miss this stellar debut. Publishers Weekly Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight.
Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series. Booklist , Emily Melton This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship and tragedy. Miss Jane Neal kept a well-read book on her nightstand, C. Lewis' Surprised by Joy. That title is a fitting phrase for Still Life. Three Pines delivers. Toronto Star, Jack Batten A delightful and clever collection of false leads, red herrings, meditations on human nature, strange behavior and other diverting stuff.
The Calgary Herald , Joanne Sasvari, This is a much darker, cleverer, funnier and, finally, more hopeful novel than even the great Dame Agatha could have penned. It's light, witty and poignant, a thrilling debut from a new Canadian crime writer. As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet.
The silence stretched on.
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And on. These were men used to silence, but this seemed extreme, even to them. And still they stood in their long black robes and white tops, motionless. These were men also used to waiting. But this too seemed extreme. The less disciplined among them stole glances at the tall, slim, elderly man who had been the last to file in and would be the first to leave. Dom Philippe kept his eyes closed.
Where once this was a moment of profound peace, a private moment with his private God, when Vigils had ended and before he signaled for the Angelus, now it was simply escape. Besides, he knew what was there. What was always there. What had been there for hundreds of years before he arrived and would, God willing, be there for centuries after he was buried in the cemetery.
Two rows of men across from him, in black robes with white hoods, a simple rope tied at their waists. And beside him to his right, two more rows of men. They were facing each other across the stone floor of the chapel, like ancient battle lines. No, he told his weary mind. Just opposing points of view. Expressed in a healthy community. Then why was he so reluctant to open his eyes? To get the day going? To signal the great bells that would ring the Angelus to the forests and birds and lakes and fish.
And the monks. To the angels and all the saints. And God. In the great silence it sounded like a bomb. With an effort he continued to keep his eyes closed. He remained still, and quiet. But there was no peace anymore. Now there was only turmoil, inside and out. He could feel it, vibrating from and between the two rows of waiting men. He could feel it vibrating within him. Dom Philippe counted to one hundred. Then opening his blue eyes, he stared directly across the chapel, to the short, round man who stood with his eyes open, his hands folded on his stomach, a small smile on his endlessly patient face.
And the bells began. The perfect, round, rich toll left the bell tower and took off into the early morning darkness. It skimmed over the clear lake, the forests, the rolling hills. Carson Beckett disturbs the rest of two Ancients, the consequences are devastating. With the very existence of Lantea at risk, Colonel Sheppard leads his team on a desperate search for the Ancient device that could save Atlantis. Rodney McKay stumble on a recording device that reveals a mysterious new Stargate address.
His clone, created by the rogue Asgard, Loki, has gotten into trouble — and drawn the attention of Homeland Security. Only available in ebook format from Amazon and Crossroad Press. Daniel Jackson discovers that archaeologists in Iceland are excavating a Norse burial site that might have connections to the recently encountered Asgard race. As desperation takes hold, salvation lies in the hands of Dr. Nicholas Rush, a man with an agenda of his own… Click for more details and where to buy.
Book search. Stargate SG-1 Atlantis Novellas, other. In this exciting adventure we discover the mission that led to this fateful choice Together with the team of essay writers who asks students how to write my essay all the team come to wim the battle. But life never stays simple for long…. But their rescue is only the beginning of their problems….
But all is not what it seems, and even Angelus does not know the truth about his identity…. Most book sales curves closely follow a single formula, indicating that the model captures the patterns correctly as given in Eq. If the model fits the sales pattern for all books, we expect the rescaled curves derived for all books to collapse into a single curve. We then rescaled the sales curve of each book accordingly, the rescaled sales curves being shown in Fig. The fact that all curves collapse into a single one indicates that the model correctly captures the sales pattern of most books.
One limitation of the proposed model is that it cannot account for exogenous events like awards, movie adaptations or mentions by prominent venues or celebrities. These events may land an otherwise unnoticed book on the New York Times bestseller list years after its original publication as we have seen in Figs. Yet, these are exceedingly rare cases and most bestsellers follow a more typical sales pattern, one that is well accounted for by our model.
Taken together, we find that by using the fundamental mechanisms of fitness, preferential attachment and aging, we can explain and accurately model the sales curves of all bestsellers, regardless of genre. We can do this by relying on our observation that all books follow a well defined, regular path in selling copies including the timing of the peak sales, exceptions being rare. Predicting sales. Predicted vs measured total sales calculated from Eq. The colors represent the peak sale number for each book.
The first 6 months offers an accurate picture for the full total sales and the prediction accuracy increases as longer times are used to calculate the fit. Additionally, total sales of books with higher peak sales are predicted better than of those with lower peaks. This result is consistent with Fig. The distributions for both fiction and nonfiction are quite narrow, following each other closely except at the very top, indicating very similar longevity and decay rates for all bestsellers. Yet, the distribution is slightly broader for fiction compared to nonfiction, indicating that on average, the longevity and continued success of fiction books vary more than nonfiction books, even among bestsellers.
The dashed lines on all three distributions show where the parameter values for The Appeal fall, indicating an extremely high fitness pointing to very high sales, typical immediacy pointing to average peak sale timing and lower than average decay rate pointing to a relatively slow drop in sales after the peak. We find, overall, that the model 3 correctly describes the sales pattern of a book, accurately predicting the total sales once the book has been out for some time.
However, we have seen in Fig. Consequently, a prediction of the future sales many months after the publication date is of value for inventory management.
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The goal of this paper is to bring a big data perspective on the factors that influence book sales. For this, we developed a systematic, data driven approach to investigate the sales patterns of works and their creators that made it into the New York Times bestseller list. We find that bestsellers have a higher chance of coming from the general fiction and memoir categories and regardless of the sub-genre, nonfiction books sell less copies than fiction books.
In both categories, any book making it to the top of the bestseller list will sustain its sales longer compared to the books that barely make it to the list, indicating that the higher the initial success, the longer it will persist. There were no significant changes in the number of copies a book needs to sell in order to achieve bestseller status over the years since , approximately the same amount of hardcovers being sold today as they were in the past years.
This is a remarkable finding showing that the increasing availability of books in digital format has no influence on hardcover sales. Yet seasonal fluctuations within a year are important, influencing the relative success of a book compared to the rest of the market. Even though the holidays are times where substantially more books are sold, it is harder for any book to stand out because of these elevated sales. Such repeat success is helped by the serialized nature of many fiction bestsellers: When readers enjoy a series, subsequent books will have a higher potential of success.
Interestingly, nonfiction authors writing in a serialized fashion focusing on a theme enjoy similar repeat success. As readers prefer the familiar over unknown, having some sense of what to expect drives more people towards a book or a series. This insight is consistent with the observation that people enjoy reading about celebrities or historic figures and events with whom they already have some degree of familiarity.
While gender disparity is prevalent in both academia and business, its largely absent in fiction: female and male authors are equally represented on the fiction bestseller list. In contrast, in nonfiction most bestsellers are written by male authors, showing that female authors either avoid nonfiction or are less successful if they do so. Yet, the breakdown of genres by gender and the finding that more romance is written by women and more mystery is written by men shows that stereotypical gender roles may be found in the world of authors as well.
We find particularly interesting that a model originally proposed to describe citation patterns [ 26 ] offers an accurate description of book sales as well, albeit at different time scales. This suggests that the fundamental processes driving the attention economy of the phenomena—book selection and citations—are the same. The discovery of the universal nature of sales patterns and its driving mechanisms are important for our understanding of the industry and how individuals buy books.
Combining that with our insights about the characteristics of the bestsellers and their sales numbers, the ground is set for the development of tools to predict the parameters of the model before the book is published. Such a model could accurately foresee the entire sales curve of the given book months before that book is on the shelves, unlocking the full potential predictive power of the book industry. We expect our findings on bestsellers to offer a starting point and inspiration to investigate the success of books and authors further, considering and comparing a variety of books including those that did not sell well, helping us to ultimately understand what it takes to be successful in an industry that is not only large and extremely competitive, but also effects us both as individuals and collectively as a society, by shaping our culture.
All authors designed the research. BY and XW analyzed the data and prepared the figures. BY and A-LB prepared the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Regular article Open Access. Success in books: a big data approach to bestsellers. EPJ Data Science 7 Abstract Reading remains the preferred leisure activity for most individuals, continuing to offer a unique path to knowledge and learning. Success Books Bestsellers Big data. To check if these preferences are reflected in the New York Times bestseller list, in Fig. These are the books frequently discussed by literary critics, featured in prominent venues and taught in schools, factors contributing to their popularity.
Recent research and media discussions [ 18 , 22 , 23 ] noted that the popularity of genre fiction has been increasing over the years, thanks to the equal opportunities provided by online venues and rating systems, and the stagnant popularity of the traditional literary venues that remain focused on general fiction. We indeed observe a slight increase in the percentage of genre fiction among the bestsellers during the past decade Fig. Yet, there are major differences between bestsellers: some pop up on the list for a singe week while others retain their bestselling status for months and even years.
To illustrate this, we measured the length of stay on the list for all New York Times bestsellers Figs. The number of copies a hardcover sells in its first year is an important measure of its commercial success. As after one year a cheaper paperback edition of the same title is likely to be released, the hardcover will no longer be the only print option. Therefore, in this section we focus on the first year sales of bestsellers, allowing us to explore their variability and the factors that determine their popularity.
The one year sales distribution of all bestsellers indicates that the majority of bestsellers sell between 10, and , copies in their first year Figs. Since , books on the hardcover NYTBL have sold anywhere between a thousand to a million copies in a single week. We show the distribution of the weekly sales that have gotten these books to the list in Fig. Of course a book ranked first must sell far more copies than a book ranked 20 or Accordingly, the high end outliers in Fig. The low outliers are included on the list either by mistake, or BookScan has a different record of their sales from New York Times.
They are all books with much higher sales on other weeks, but on those particular weeks, their sale numbers recorded by BookScan were much lower than what is typically needed to hit the NYTBL. Aside from the extremes and differences between ranks, there may be several causes for the general high variability, as we discuss next. As indicated by Figs.
The vast majority of them have at least two books, but having close to 10 books is also common. Some authors are significantly more productive than others, with James Patterson being an outlier: he published 94 hardcovers since , often with coauthors and in a variety of genres such as mystery, suspense, romance and even nonfiction.
With stars indicating bestseller status, we see that more than half 51 of his books were bestsellers. Fiction authors who also write graphic novels, like Neil Gaiman 48 books and Warren Ellis 42 , are also productive due to the usual high volume of publications in the graphic novel category. Other exceptionally prolific authors are mystery, thriller and fantasy author Ted Dekker 42 , romance author Danielle Steel 37 and thriller author Clive Cussler In fiction, the author with the most hardcovers is Taylor Anderson, with 10 books in The Destroyermen series Fig.
The first three books in the series sold relatively poorly, yet we observe increasing sales with each new book. It was the 4th book that reached a mass audience, doubling the weekly sales at its release, yet still not enough to land on the bestseller list. The fifth book of the series finally became a bestseller, yet for a single week.
His following 3 books, although selling strongly, did not make the list any longer. Another fiction author achieving success with late books is the author of the young-adult steampunk Finishing School series Gail Carriger Fig.
She already had moderate success in paperback form with her adult oriented Parasol Protectorate series, yet none of her four hard cover format Finishing School novels shown in blue, green, red and orange made the NYTBL. Her hardcover Prudence purple was the book that finally landed her on the list. As we established earlier, repeat authorship is common on the bestseller list, particularly in fiction. To quantify how the sales of a previous hardcover affect the sales of the subsequent book, in Figs. Since we are showing only unique hardcovers from bestselling authors after , it is not surprising that most books are concentrated on the top right of the plot indicating high sales, a pattern present in both fiction and nonfiction.
The fact that most books fall very close to the 45 degree line indicates that books that sell well are likely to be followed by books with comparably strong sales.
Consequently, we find that best selling authors tend to sustain their success. Yet, even bestselling authors can publish books that sell poorly, as indicated by the outliers marked in Figs. In fiction, we find that bestselling books are mostly written by a single author, and the number of bestsellers written by female authors and male authors are indistinguishable Fig.
In nonfiction, however, the bestseller list is dominated by male authors Fig. If we compare one-year-sales of the bestsellers written by different groups, we do not see significant gender differences, as indicated by the median values shown as stars in Figs. In other words, in both fiction and nonfiction, the sales patterns of female and male authors are largely indistinguishable. To systematically explore the dynamics of the sales patterns, we start by showing the weekly sales of all bestselling fiction Fig.
The thick line corresponds to the median sale values. The peak sale values vary significantly from book to book, some books selling over , copies at their peak while others only reaching a few hundreds. We therefore use a logarithmic scale to display all sales curves. Barring exogenous events, once the book reached its target audience, less and less individuals are interested in purchasing it.