Louise Penny’s “Closer Than They Appear” Throwaway Line

I’ve previously argued that the humor in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels is underappreciated (see The Tragedy Of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Novels Quotations: No Funny Stuff). So, when I came upon this small but perfect throwaway line, I felt compelled to share it.

In “The Cruelest Month,” the author describes Beauvoir, Gamache’s somewhat vain second-in-command, walking from their car to a house that, keep in mind, is not only a crime scene but the embodiment of evil.


Beauvoir put his Italian leather jacket over his merino wool turtleneck and, scanning the results in the mirror, noticed he was closer than he appeared. After a moment’s happy reflection he walked up beside Gamache…

Ah, Louise, you crack me up.

Credit Due Department: Photo by Carlos Adampol Galindo from DF, México – People are closer than they appear, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

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