The Murder Stone Paperback – Jun 7 2011
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Acclaim for the Award-Winning Chief Inspector Gamache Mysteries
If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
With its small-town hominess, the Canadian village of Three Pines draws the reader into its quaint traditions.Who wouldn't be charmed by the dramas of a community where Easter egg hunts and socials at the bed and breakfast are the most exciting events? Yet it is Penny's fastidious, cultured, and smart Inspector Gamache who makes [The Cruelest Month] impossible to put down. (People)
The cozy mystery has a graceful practitioner in Louise Penny. (The New York Times Book Review)
Expertly plotted… Arthur Ellis Award--winner Penny paints a vivid picture of the French-Canadian village, its inhabitants, and a determined detective who will strike many Agatha Christie fans as a twenty-first-century version of Hercule Poirot. (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
"Mystery readers who want more than puzzles and thrills look for serious purpose and literary value, and Canadian writer Louise Penny provides both in spades (and hearts." --Richmond Times-Dispatch)
"Penny's plotting has been compared to Agatha Christie's...in these wonderful books full of poetry and weather and a brooding manor house, and people who read and think and laugh and eat a lot of really excellent food. Move over, Mitford." (The Charlotte Observer) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
The outskirts of Three Pines might be surrounded by nature, but there is something unnatural looming. ..
It is the height of summer, and Armand Gamache and his wife are celebrating their wedding anniversary at an isolated, luxurious inn not far from the village of Three Pines. But they’re not alone. The Finney family—rich, cultured, and respectable—has also arrived for a celebration of their own…
A RULE AGAINST MURDER
As the heat rises and the humidity closes in, some surprising guests turn up at the Finney reunion…and a terrible summer storm leaves behind a dead body. Now it’s up to Chief Inspector Gamache to unearth long-buried secrets and hatreds hidden behind polite smiles. The chase takes him to Three Pines—into the dark corners of his own life, and finally to a harrowing climax.
“If you don’t give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A fine read…in true Christie-like fashion.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Penny tweaks the rules of Golden Age Detective Fiction in a way that is thoroughly modern.”—Los Angeles Times
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an intricate mystery that gives us a new spin in the life and character of Inspector Gamache. Here we see a more personal side of him and his relationship with his wife Reine-Marie.
This old fashion story opens at the Manoir Bellechase, an isolated lodge by Lake Massawippi where the Inspector and Reine-Marie have enjoyed celebrating their wedding anniversary in the past. This year, they find themselves sharing this luxurious inn with a highly dysfunctional wealthy English family, who have come to pay tribute to their deceased father. Murder is suspected when a member of the family is found dead, a victim of unusual circumstances. Naturally, the charming Inspector Gamache gets involved, digging beneath the family bitterness to solve the devious crime.
Ms Penny is meticulous in her description of this very unpleasant family, all have secrets to hide and the narrative superbly captures the resulting emotions and tension. Humour is successfully added to portray this greedy, selfish family. True to her tradition she also gives us what we come expect: the usual attention to the domestic details, such as menu and gardening and other day to day activities of the Inn.
Although I enjoyed this novel, I admit it is not my favourite. I found it is slow in action, too centered on the family and a murder lacking plausibility.
Now, I don't give these a 5, just for a few little details: as a Quebecer, I've raised the occasional eyebrow at what I (mistakenly or not) have deemed to be errors in factual information, as well as in some of the French translations. And some of the leaps in logic and rationale seem a bit stretched. And I have occasionally found the books a tad repetitive. Yet, these are insignificant details, as these are novels, not documentaries, and, I've had to admit to myself, for the most part, I can use the repetition, as I would probably get a bit lost without it.
These small negatives are, to me, by far overshadowed by: the familiarity of the Quebec setting, the time we spend with the characters taking in the beauty of their surroundings, eating wonderful meals, and enjoying the company of good people. Who are caught up in a battle against a shadowy evil. Do I cross a line if I say the series has a bit of a Tolkienesque vibe? I adored "The Lord of the Rings" for the beauty of its world, and the depth, kindness, imperfection, and camaraderie of its characters. And so I adore these books. Maybe I should give them a 5.
Following The Cruelest Month, The Murder Stone is followed by The Brutal Telling.
Most recent customer reviews
One on my favourite authors by far. All of her books are so beautifully written, have such wonderful twist and turns. Read morePublished 1 month ago by hooked on books
Did surprise you at the end but through the book some of the characters became a bit tiring.
I do love her work though..so will keep reading as long as she keeps writing. Read more