A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

rule against murderA Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

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.

9 thoughts on “A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

  1. I’ve tried this writer before and it just didn’t work out. Are all her books tightly connected or can I start anywhere? Namely, the second book. The first book didn’t grab me at all.

    OT: I hope you are enjoying Johan Theorin!

    • Book 2 is fine because the Gamache backstory comes out in bits and pieces (there wasn’t much in book 1). I hear every book gets better too, so I’m hopeful.

      And the Theorin was so, so good. I stayed up too late last night finishing it. I think I read on EuroCrime that the last book is coming out this year.

      • Good to know, thanks! So glad you enjoyed his first book! His second one was my favorite but honestly they both are very good.

  2. Rebecca – This is absolutely one of my top crime fiction series. I agree with you that the Three Pines locale is beautifully done, and I prefer the books set there myself. But overall, I think this series is one of the picks of the crime fiction litter-ature…

  3. I am at book 3, The Cruelest Month, and plan to read it in the next few months. I am working on a Canadian Challenge, so it would be nice to read this one also. I was not thrilled with book one but liked book two much more.

    • I read book 3 quite a while ago so I can’t quite remember what I thought, Tracy. Good luck with the Canadian challenge! Are you reading any more Gail Bowen? I’ve only read the first one in that series.

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