Louise Penny Biography

(Canadian Author of Mystery Novels Set in the Canadian Province of Quebec)

Birthday: July 1, 1958 (Cancer)

Born In: Toronto, Canada

Louise Penny is a Canadian author known for writing mystery books. With over thirteen books under her belt to date, she had garnered over thirty awards including five each of Anthony and Agatha Christie awards. Born in Toronto to an avid reader, Penny herself grew up reading crime stories by renowned authors, including Dorothy L. Sayers and Agatha Christie. After earning her Bachelor of Applied Arts degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, she embarked on a career as a radio host for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). At the age of 35, Penny met her future husband Michael Whitehead who encouraged her to ditch her journalism career and take up writing to fulfill her childhood dream of becoming a writer. Regarded as one of the best mystery authors in Canada today, she has published novels in about 23 languages. Currently, Penny lives in Knowlton, a small village about 100 km from Montreal. Her husband died in 2016.
Quick Facts

Canadian Celebrities Born In July

Age: 65 Years, 65 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Michael Whitehead

Born Country: Canada

Novelists Canadian Women

Notable Alumni: Ryerson University

City: Toronto, Canada

More Facts

education: Ryerson University

awards: 2007 · Still Life - Dilys Award
2006 · Still Life - CWA New Blood Dagger
2008; 2007 · The Cruelest Month; A Fatal Grace - Agatha Award for Best Novel

2007 · Still Life - Anthony Award for Best First Novel
2007 · Still Life - Barry Award for Best First Novel
2017; 2010 · A Great Reckoning: A Novel; The Brutal Telling - Anthony Award for Best Novel
2011 - Nero Award
2016 · The Nature of the Beast - Anthony Award for Best Crime Fiction Audiobook

Louise Penny started her career as a radio host and journalist. After working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for over 15 years, she entered her first novel ‘Still Life’ in UK’s "Debut Dagger" competition. The novel was placed second and earned several awards, including the Arthur Ellis Award in Canada and the Barry Award in the United States. It was later adapted into a television movie which aired on CBC TV in 2013.
In 2007, Penny wrote ‘A Fatal Grace’. Her work features Armand Gamache, chief inspector and head of a fictional homicide department in Quebec. This was followed by ‘The Cruelest Month’ which earned the 2008 Agatha Award along with nominations for the Barry and Macavity awards. In 2009, she helped to launch a new award called the Unhanged Arthur for Best Unpublished First Novel for aspiring Canadian mystery writers. That year, the talented author also came up a novel titled ‘The Brutal Telling’. Her next release was ‘Bury Your Dead,’ the winner of the 2010 Agatha Award as well as the 2011 Arthur Ellis Award and the 2011 Anthony Award.
Penny continued to write in the ensuing years and published ‘A Trick of the Light’ that earned Anthony and Agatha Award nominations. This was followed by ‘The Beautiful Mystery’ and ‘How the Light Gets In,’ released in 2012 and 2013, respectively. Then in 2014, she wrote ‘The Long Way Home’, the story of inspector Gamache's friend who enlists him to locate her missing husband.
Between 2015 and 2017, Penny published 'The Nature of the Beast', 'A Great Reckoning', and 'Glass Houses'. In 2018, she released ‘Kingdom of the Blind’. Her next release was ‘A Better Man’ which was published in 2019.
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Family & Personal Life
Louise Penny was born on July 1, 1958, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in radio and television from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute in 1979.
At the age of 35, she realized that she had developed alcohol addiction and worked hard to get sober. Shortly afterward, she met Michael Whitehead, head of hematology at the Montreal Children's Hospital. The couple fell in love and got married. They remained together till Whitehead’s death on 18th September 2016.

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