Wednesday 31 August 2016

Book Review: The Murder Stone by Louise Penny
The Murder Stone (A Rule Against Murder in the U.S.) is book number four of Louise Penny's Armand Gamache murder mystery books.  It begins with Armand and his wife Reine-Marie taking an anniversary holiday to the Manoir Bellechasse.  Despite stifling heat and irritating, entitled fellow hotel guests, the Gamaches enjoy their time together, away from the demands of Armand's job as Chief Inspector with the Sûreté du Québec.  That is, until murder strikes at the historic and foreboding Manoir.

Once again, Penny creates memorable and complex characters in a picturesque yet dangerous setting.  This book gives faithful readers a deeper look into returning character, Peter Morrow's, family and past.  He has always been a quiet, seething background character overshadowed by his eccentric and energetic wife Clara.  I've often wondered about some of his jarring actions and this book offered answers to some of my questions about him.

The great thing about a murder mystery series is that Penny can leave some mysteries unsolved to be answered in future books.  This keeps her readers reading and offers satisfaction when a mystery is solved several books later.  The Murder Stone also gives readers a peek into Armand Gamache's early history.

I was also pleasantly surprise by Penny's acknowledgements at the end of the book, where she reveals her inspiration for the character of Armand Gamache as well as the real-life basis of the Manoir Bellechasse.  I have now caught up to the other Gamache mysteries I read out of sequence.  My next Penny book will be A Trick of the Light.

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