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Posted 20 hours ago

A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Gamache, 4)

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See, I had that impulse when I read your (missed-the-entire-point-of-the-whole-damn-book) review of The Witch Elm (or, as the original British editions title it: The Wytch Elm) because you completely didn't get it. This is the beginning of a very long narrative poem about three brothers who were imprisoned on this island in a lake. The ONLY plausible way this could have happened is if she made a habit of standing in a particular spot next to the statue (maybe to sneak a smoke), Pierre knew of this habit and snuck up on her one night to push and smush.

Little time is spend in Three Pines, but instead, most of our time is spend at Manoir Bellechasse, the old hotel where Gamache and his wife spend each wedding anniversary. It’s a mystery to me, and I didn’t feel that it was convincingly enough solved in the course of the novel.

Some of my favorite parts of the story are references to Star Trek and the character of Scotty, the mention of a Beatles song, and the incident with little Bean and the cookies. It is one of the finest auberges (inns) in Quebec, a place to rest, unwind, and quietly enjoy each other’s company. I couldn't smell all the delicious food and drink that they consume four or five times a day without gaining weight. The owner, staff and guests of Manoir Bellechasse, including Chief Inspector Gamache, are suddenly confronted with their own secrets and childhood memories. While reading the latest Louis Penny book, All the Devils Are Here, I am remembering the falling out between Gamache and his son Daniel and Gamache’s insistence that Daniel not name a son Honore.

Have family minutes from the recent big Slide Rock fire area around Sedona who were desperate for Mom Nature to dump some of that wet stuff up there in the mountains.

Now it’s up to Chief Inspector Gamache to unearth long-buried secrets and hatreds hidden behind polite smiles. The Morrow offspring have ambiguous feelings about this (paid for) honor, but, as always, they defer to their controlling mother. We don’t get the sense that ANY of the Morrow siblings feel that their parents loved them–that’s probably one main reason they keep coming to these dratted reunions– in a forlorn hope that maybe, at long last, their mother will tell them their father loved them, or she will throw out some crumb of loving kindness. Chief Inspector Gamache is a different type of investigator; he solves more by intuition and feelings rather than logic. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec is celebrating his 35th wedding anniversary.

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