06/29/2015 04:43 EDT | Updated 06/29/2016 05:59 EDT

Toronto mystery author loses appeal, wins judge's praise for novels

TORONTO - A Canadian mystery author may have lost an appeal around a contract dispute for her books, but at least she has a fan in one of the judges.

Louise Penny, who is from Toronto, wanted to end an agreement with the television company PDM Entertainment Inc. for the made-for-TV rights to her books after an initial two-year term.

She was appealing a judge's earlier decision that sided with the company, after it gave her notice that it was invoking an extension clause to add another year to their contract.

The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal, saying the company is allowed to extend the agreement.

But even though the court rejected her submission, Justice James MacPherson, writing for the three-judge panel, praised Penny's novels — which feature a character named Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and are set in an imaginary Quebec village — calling them delightful.

He wrote in the judgment that he has read them all, "usually by a fireplace on Boxing Day," and pointed out the critical acclaim the books have received.