Wednesday, February 25, 2009
A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
Protagonist: Chief Insp. Armand Gamache
Setting: Manoir Bellechasse, Canada
Armand Gamache and his wife, Reine-Marie, are celebrating their wedding anniversary at the isolated Manoir Bellechasse, an old hunting lodge built by the robber barons. Also visiting for a family reunion is the insufferable Finney family, except for two of their members -- Peter and Clara Morrow, the Gamaches' friends from Three Pines. The Finneys are Peter's family, and in this fourth book we finally come to understand Peter's dark side, which we've only peeked at previously. This may be Penny's best novel yet. She strips it down to just the essential characters and gives us a Golden Age murder mystery -- the old country house, a list of suspects and a baffling murder. And Penny doesn't waste a word; even the description of the roofline earlier in the book has a significance. Oh, but one warning. Don't read on an empty stomach. Her descriptions of food will have you salivating!