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A Rule Against Murder: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Paperback – March 15, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Murder interrupts Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his wife's annual summer holiday at Quebec's isolated, lake-front Manoir Bellechasse in Agatha-winner Penny's intriguing, well-crafted fourth mystery (after 2008's The Cruelest Month). Irene Finney, the matriarch of a large eccentric family having a reunion at the Manoir, marks the event by having installed in the lodge's garden a statue of the long-dead father of her middle-aged children. When the massive statue falls and crushes one of the daughters, Gamache investigates and discovers no love lost among the surviving offspring. Also in the suspect pool are Bellechasse's owner, chef and maître d'. Despite the scorn the snobbish Finneys heap on Gamache's sleuthing efforts as well as his own infamous family tree, the inspector treats them all respectfully as he seeks to bring a killer to justice. Seamless, often lyrical prose artfully reveals the characters' flaws, dreams and blessings. Author tour. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Readers who haven’t discovered Louise Penny and her Armand Gamache series yet are in for a treat. In the latest entry, Chief Inspector Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec has traveled to the luxurious and remote Manoir Bellechasse with his wife, Reine-Marie. Each year they return to the manor to celebrate their wedding anniversary on July 1, Canada Day. This year they are fellow guests with the Finney family. Two of the members of that family are old friends Peter and Clara Morrow from the village of Three Pines on the Rivière Bella Bella, where the first three books in this series took place. Not only are we treated to Penny’s usual rich characterizations, but the atmospheric and beautiful language will make you want to take your next vacation at the manoir. Of course, a crime does occur, and Gamache ends up on a busman’s holiday. One of the eccentric Finney family members dies in a very grotesque manner, and Gamache calls in his team to help solve the mystery. First, Armand has to figure out why the victim was killed, and, in fact, it wouldn’t hurt to determine how the deed was done. Suspects abound, naturally, and Gamache sorts through them with aplomb. One of the best traditional mystery series currently being published. --Judy Coon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312614160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312614164
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (588 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

84 of 87 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on July 12, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Armand Gamache and his wife arrive at Manoir Bellechasse, for their thirty-fifth wedding anniversary, expecting a quiet, romantic vacation.

They are the ideal guests, not complaining and happy with the room they are given. They are greeted by their old friend, innkeeper Clementine Dubois, at the reception desk.

Clementine tells them that the Finneys have taken the other five rooms for a reunion, all coming in their expensive cars and asking for free upgrades.

The highlight of the Finney's vacation is the unveiling of the statue of Mrs. Finney's former husband, Charles Morrow.

We learn some of the family antagonisms which come to a point when the statue of Morrow is overturned and beneath the statue is the body of one of the Finneys.

As the family is interviewed, we learn more of the petty jealousies and dislikes that members of the family had toward each other.

The author has a way of describing the action as if the reader was a guest at the inn, observing the character's actions and listening to their complaints.

A well done mystery with excellent characters and a well described setting. I kept trying to guess who the killer might be, only to be surprised.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on December 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
First Sentence: More than a century ago the Robber Barons discovered Lac Massawippi.

Inspector Armund Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie have come to Manoir Bellechasse where they've come for more than 30 years to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They find the rest of the rooms in the small hotel reserved by members of the Finney family. A surprise comes when the Gamache's discover two members of the Finney family are their friends Peter and Clara from Three Pines.

It becomes a busman's holiday when one of the daughters is found dead under a newly installed memorial statue of her father.

There is a much deeper layer to Ms. Penny's books than the normal mystery--one that makes you think and then question those thoughts; to look at things in a new way and see them differently. Ms. Penny employs incredible imagery as well as poetry interspersed through the story, and wonderful humor.

Characters are another great strength of Ms. Perry. Gamache is a man of many layers. We learn much more of his personal history. I love his relationship to his wife and his investigative team. The members of his team each have their own strengths and perspectives with the cumulative result of solving their cases. The Finney family members and hotel employees are just as well drawn. Each character is significant to the story.

Ms. Penny also includes a bit of history of Quebec with an interesting perspective on the success of the Quebecois in the 1960 and that many of the young people left Quebec as they didn't speak French and found it difficult to get work. "They lost their children for the sake of a language." None of this overshadows the quality of the mystery itself.

It is tightly plotted, intricate and clever with some excellent suspense.
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51 of 58 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It is summertime in Louise Penny's "A Rule Against Murder." Armand Gamache and his wife, Reine-Marie, are celebrating their wedding anniversary as they do every year, in the luxurious Manoir Bellechasse, "one of the finest auberges in Quebec." Its isolated location, beautiful lakeside view, and well-tended gardens make the Manoir the perfect retreat for weary guests. Visitors to the lodge know that they will be pampered by solicitous employees who anticipate their every need, and that they will enjoy delicious meals expertly prepared by a master chef. What the Gamaches do not know is that they will be thrown together with a horribly dysfunctional family consisting of seven people: an arrogant matriarch, Irene Finney, her second husband, Bert, Irene's four children, Thomas, Julia, Peter, and Marianna, and Marianna's ten-year-old child, Bean. The Gamaches are disconcerted by the contemptuous manner in which the Finneys and Morrows treat one another.

When one of them is found killed, Armand reveals that he is Chief Inspector Gamache, the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec. He senses that the palpable tension among the Morrows and Finneys stems from long-held secrets and grudges. However, at first, Gamache and his subordinates, Inspector Jean Guy Beauvior and Agent Isabelle Lacoste, have no idea who committed the murder and why. The chief inspector is a civilized and caring person with a keen understanding of how the criminal mind works. He discerns subtle clues and feelings that less talented investigators often overlook. This time, unfortunately, even Gamache is flabbergasted by a strange crime with very little evidence and a group of suspects, all of whom had motive, means, and opportunity to commit murder.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on June 8, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book almost makes it. A famous police detective (of the presently obligatory super sensitive, poetry spouting sort) and his wife are guests at a Quebec ofdge along with a dysfunctional family of rich or would be rich self entitled, somewhat weird Anglos. Along the way one of the family is murdered in a bizarre fashion - a memorial statue of her father falls on her and crushes her. The mystery revolves around who did it and how it was done. As this is worked out, the people involved become characatures and things become increasingly improbable. A couple of attempts to add excitement seem contrived. At the end the guilty party seems picked at random from the cast. The solution to how it was done seems unlikely and really fails to satisfactorily explain what happened. How the victim got his victim to be at the right place at the right time defies explanation.
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