Friday, 12 January 2018

The Murder Stone

Author: Louise Penny
Genre: Mystery, Canadian
Series: #4 in the Inspector Gamache series
Also known as: The Rule Against Murder
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 424
Source: Personal Copy from a second-hand bookstore
Publisher: Sphere
First Published: 2011
First Line: "More than a century ago the Robber Barrons discovered Lac Massawippi."

Book Description from GoodReadsBeneath the scorched summer sky, the wealthy Finney family have gathered at a lakeside manor to honour their late father. But when the heat wave boils over into a mighty storm, a dead body is left in its wake - and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache finds himself with a building full of suspects.

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: The Murder Stone is the fourth book in the popular Inspector Gamache mystery series by Canadian author Louise Penny. It sets itself apart from the earlier books in the series because it isn't set in the quaint village of Three Pines. Instead, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation at Manoir Bellechasse, a small, posh inn on the shores of a secluded lake in eastern Quebec where he and his wife Reine-Marie are spending their 35th anniversary weekend.

The different setting is quite a departure from the usual small Quebecois village, but readers are still given un petit goût (small taste) of Three Pines. I admit to missing the colourful small-town characters but it was nice to spice things up with a different venue. It also had a very Agatha Christie-esque feel, since the suspects are isolated at the grand inn and its grounds.

As always, Penny gives her readers several red herrings and Armand is a wonderful main character who you will easily root for. He's a family man, has a great relationship with his wife, kids and grandkids and is well respected for his murder solving skills. On the opposite end of the character spectrum is the Morrow/Finney family, a truly dysfunctional group who are also staying at the inn. While their issues made for an interesting read and multiple culprits, the amount of dysfunction in one family was a little hard to believe.

I highly recommend this series (read them in order!). You know you're reading one of your favourite authors/series when, after only the first couple of paragraphs, you let out a big sigh and hunker down for a story you know you'll enjoy with characters you've found yourself missing since the last book. That is what it's like to read Louise Penny.

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