Louise Penny: Biography

Louise Penny

01 jul 1958

Louise Penny is currently considered as one of the best mystery writers in Canada. She has won almost every major literary award in the genre for several of her novels. Louise was born in Toronto on July 1, 1958 and while growing up she was an avid reader of crime stories and had always wanted to become a writer. Graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Ryerson University, Louise Penny began her early career as a journalist, documentary producer and radio host with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The opportunity to fulfill her childhood dream came later in life when Louise Penny wrote her first novel published in 2005. It won five awards in Canada, the United States and the UK. This was quite an achievement for a rookie writer and which set the stage for her successful writing career as one of the best-selling, multiple award-winning crime writers in North America. Several times her novels have made the bestseller lists of the New York Times and the Globe and Mail.

Louise Penny has written thirteen books to date for which she has won over thirty awards including five each of both the prestigious Agatha Christie and Anthony awards for mystery fiction. Her books are described as well-crafted, written in compelling prose with an array of rich, complex and memorable characters. The hero of most of her books is the fascinating Chief Inspector Gamache who constantly pits his wits against the dark forces of evil.

Her novels have appeared in 23 languages and two of them have been made into movies for television. For her literary works, Penny was admitted to the membership in the Order of Canada in 2013.

Louise Penny is married to Michael Whitehead, former head of pediatric hematology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. They live in rural Quebec, and being an ardent animal lover, she has a lot of dogs.