For the past 15 years, Louise Penny and her husband Michael Whitehead have lived just outside of the small town of Sutton, in the Eastern Townships of Quebec.
Tourists travel to Sutton to visit the vineyards or the local ski resort. Mostly, the bucolic town is host to a quiet existence.
Louise is a novelist and Michael is a retired doctor. They spend their days at home together, reading and writing.
“It’s an idyllic life, in many ways,” Louise says.
On a trip to London two years ago, Michael gave Louise an uncharacteristically thrifty gift for her birthday – a £25 trinket purchased from a street vendor. He wanted to buy her something else, he explained, but it was too expensive. Troubled, Louise asked Michael the question that would forever change their lives: “How much do you think £25 is in Canadian dollars?”
“$12,000,” he replied.