Also published as The Murder Stone
Minotaur Books, 2008
I really enjoyed the first three installments in the Gamache/Three Pines series, and since it’s been a significant amount of time since I read the series, I decided to see if my opinion has changed. I haven’t read anything quite this cozy in awhile, and I was a bit resistant to the book because of that.
A Rule Against Murder takes place in a remote vacation lodge on a lake. It used to a be a hunting and fishing lodge, but when the current owners took over, they established “a rule against murder,” to atone for the vast quantity of taxidermied animals in the attic. Inspector Gamache and his wife are visiting the lodge to celebrate their wedding anniversary, and the only other guests are an extended family there for a reunion. One member of the family is murdered by the stone in the alternate title, and Gamache’s vacation is cut short to solve the mystery.
My favorite part of the book was learning more about Gamache’s backstory (his childhood and his parents), but the actual investigation was not the strongest part of the story for me. There’s a lot of psychological conjecturing and summarizing of character’s personalities that feels a tad heavy-handed to me, and that comes down to my bias in favor of more twists in a plot. I hope the next installment gets back to the village of Three Pines!
I borrowed this book from the library.