The thrill ride, unusually action packed for a Penny book, begins with sweet reunions ... Most satisfying, though, is the pivotal role played throughout by Reine-Marie Gamache, a retired archivist, who turns out to be not only smart and skilled but also delightfully sneaky ... Despite the growing jeopardy to pretty much everyone, the book’s atmosphere isn’t relentlessly dark, though. Penny excels at creating a sense of place, and she brings Paris to life with scenes small (a favorite garden at the Rodin museum) and big (the top of the Eiffel Tower) ... As satisfying as it is, All the Devils Are Here seems likely to be the most polarizing in the series. Some faithful readers wait eagerly to revisit Three Pines with every new book and could well be disappointed to find themselves spending time in the City of Light instead.
As always, Penny excels at creating a meticulously constructed mystery. In the process, she reveals unvarnished truths about the hidden workings of the world—as well as a nuanced portrait of the Gamache clan—warts and all ... Plus, her evocation of the City of Light is as masterful as the increased role she ever so subtly allots to Reine-Marie. The librarian’s research skills are crucial to untying the intricate knot at the mystery’s core. As ever, Penny’s deft touch with plotting only enhances her in-depth character studies ... Penny is very special and All the Devils Are Here is an exceptional addition to the Gamache series.
Penny excels at character exploration. She delves below the skin, then deeper into the heart, mind, and soul, through the layers from loftiest to basest humanity. Ultimately we know the main characters’ pains and dreams and needs so intimately that some of us feel the need to take a shower afterward ... The author’s evocation of character makes us care about them in spite of ourselves ... The plot progresses in clean, expressive, even masterful writing that draws you along eagerly. But then...the sentences get shorter. And shorter. And start repeating points. To hammer them in. Make sure you get it. Reinforce effect. Emphasize agony. Or suspense ... Then the style reverts back and the story sails on. It includes side trips into culinary and artistic magnificence, French history, Parisian ambiance. These, combined with the character delving, give the thriller plot a literary quality. The writing is rich to the point of succulence sometimes. But if you’re more interested in action than cuisine, then some sections get laborious enough to inspire skimming to the next advancement ... Nevertheless, the combined mystery—tension—stakes—people—place are drawn so well that it’s nigh impossible to put the book down ... a deep dive into human psychology and the eternal battle between good and evil. You might need scuba tanks and an armor-plated wet suit for the plunge into such dangerous, emotional depths!
It’s a breath of fresh air ... While there are some gritty moments along the way, the warm and fuzzy ending may require an insulin shot for hardened crime novel fans. On the other hand, I learned more than I ever expected to know about a rare earth element called neodymium and its potentially sinister uses ... It’s refreshing to see Gamache’s wife, the irresistible Reine-Marie, given a larger role here in solving the crime ... Ms. Penny is back on track here, giving us new and deeper insights into the Gamache family and several backstories. She’s also in form with a plot that despite a few banalities, is multileveled and complex with character and motivation.
The strengths of this latest procedural from the inimitable Penny will attract her longtime fans and also draw in new admirers. A deft touch with plotting, sensitive characterization, and the author’s warmth and humanity make this a must-have mystery, especially for collections owning the rest of series.
Series devotees will revel in both Penny’s evocation of Paris—every bit as sumptuous as her rendering of Three Pines—and in the increased role she allots to librarian Reine-Marie, whose research skills are crucial to untying the Gordian knot at the mystery’s core ... This celebration of the First Family of crime fiction will be treasured by Penny’s ever-growing legion of readers.
...exceptional ... The tension rises as Gamache tries to investigate both crimes in a jurisdiction where he has no authority, and vital secrets about his family come to light, changing relationships forever. Penny’s nuanced exploration of the human spirit continues to distinguish this brilliant series.
Penny has always been a master of pacing on a serieswide level, moving between the overarching corruption story and more local mysteries and also occasionally taking a break from Three Pines, the beloved, unmappable Quebec village that is the main setting ... As always, Penny's mystery is meticulously constructed and reveals hard truths about the hidden workings of the world—as well as the workings of the Gamache family. But there's plenty of local color ... If you're new to Penny's world, this would be a great place to jump in. Then go back and start the series from the beginning.