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The Murder Stone Paperback – Jun 7 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (June 7 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751547530
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751547535
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

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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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Toni Osborne TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 4 2009
Format: Paperback
Published in the USA under the title "A Rule against Murder"

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.
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I am half way through the novel, having read it on my flight to Vancouver. Yes, the book is different from the first three in the series, but I find it just as interesting. The concentration on that miserable family may be long for some readers but I find it just about accurate and right. Perhaps being a long-time resident of Quebec helps me understand it better. I would not hesitate to recommend this book (and any other by Louise Penny) as great entertainment and even therapy when you need a break from the crazy world we all live in.
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I love Louise Penny's books, because they are all about beauty and kindness, with a fair dose of quirkiness and humour. I've read at least 1/2 a dozen of them, and I'll speak about the series in general, as the stories have somewhat converged in my mind.

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.
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I had read some of her previous works that were pretty good, so I was looking forward to this. I actually bought it as a gift for a friend, and when I read it later I was very disappointed and felt like it had been a lame gift. Her previous books had some charm, but not this one, it really fell flat.
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A year later, I still remember how disappointed I was by this book. I love Reichs, Cornwell, Coben, and was hopeful that I had stumbled upon a new author. I kept reading through this book, expecting it to pick up steam and finally become an interesting read, but when i turned the last page, it hadn't happened. This is by far one of the worse books I have ever read, with exaggerated characters, a childish plot, and not much substance. :(
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The family that gathers at Manoir Bellchasse is as disfunctional as they come. Juxtaposed to the serene relationship between Gamache and his wife the situation is delusional at best. The beauty of the location, the descriptive passages that leave you trembling from the storm, and the cast of characters that are disguised by their secrets, makes a classic, yet fresh whodunit to beat all others written before.
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This is my favorite Louise Penny so far. The New York Times Bestseller The Murder Stone (in UK&Canada)/A rule against murder (in USA) is her fourth book. A classic, in that all the suspects are vacationing (stuck?), one hot and sticky summer, in a grand old log hotel in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, lost in the forest, overlooking a private lake, and surrounded by wildlife, especially hungry mosquitoes. Lots of atmosphere, lots of weird suspects, lots of motives. All the clues are there: see if you can figure out the HOW!
Following The Cruelest Month, The Murder Stone is followed by The Brutal Telling.
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Louise Penny is my favorite mystery author. She has a profound knowledge of human relationships and all of our little secrets. Her plot is always very intriguing and you keep trying to figure out how done it. I love, love to read her. I'm afraid I read too fast for her to have time to write another one. You cannot go wrong with Louise Penny if you love mystery novel.
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