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Here are whodunit master Louise Penny's favorite mystery reads

Louise Penny on "Glass Houses"
Louise Penny on her new Inspector Gamache novel, "Glass Houses" 05:15
"Glass Houses" by Louise Penny

Louise Penny's mystery novels are beloved far and wide — as told by the four million copies her books have sold around the world. 

The New York Times bestselling author's new book, "Glass Houses," marks the 13th installment in her Chief Inspector Armando Gamache series. Penny told "CBS This Morning" the main character was inspired by her own husband. 

"Glass Houses" takes readers to the fictional Canadian village of Three Pines, where a mysterious figure appears on the village green — and trouble follows. Penny said she constructed the world in which her novels take place to reflect the kind she'd want to live in: filled with characters she'd choose as friends, and at its center, a man she'd marry. 

While her series is technically about murder, she says that's just her way into exploring human nature. The whodunit master shared what some of her personal favorite mystery novels are and why: 


"Raven Black" by Ann Cleeves

This was the first of Ann's books I read - and I was there the evening it deservedly won the CWA Gold Dagger in the UK. Wonderful book, wonderful writer.


"The Franchise Affair" by Josephine Tey

Now, most people list Tey's "The Daughter of Time" as her best and their favourite, and it is brilliant, but I love this one. Not a murder mystery, but a mystery. Has a crime even been committed? It is ingenious.


"Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Süskind

Terrifying, gripping, totally absorbing. I read "Perfume" before I started to write my first book, "Still Life," and Süskind's work showed me the power of engaging all the senses of the reader. Not just intellect, but our more primal senses. Astonishing.


"Strangers on a Train" by Patricia Highsmith

OK, now this is the book I wish I'd written. So annoyed that she did it, and did it so memorably, I can't even steal the premise! I'm also a huge Hitchcock fan and he adapted the book brilliantly.

"Jade Dragon Mountain: A Mystery" by Elsa Hart

I LOVE this book. A debut that came out a couple of years ago. It is set in the early 1700s in China and follows a canny imperial librarian as he solves a murder. So atmospheric. A wonderful debut by a gifted writer. Someone who deserves a great career. 

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