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A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
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A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #4)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  13,085 ratings  ·  1,101 reviews
It is the height of summer, and Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache are celebrating their wedding anniversary at Manoir Bellechasse, an isolated, luxurious inn not far from the village of Three Pines. But they're not alone. The Finney family -- rich, cultured, and respectable -- has also arrived for a celebration of their own.
The beautiful Manoir Bellechasse might be surrounded
Hardcover, 322 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2008)
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Dec 26, 2014 Anirudh rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Anirudh by: Neena
I began reading this book with high expectations. It had received a lot of praise and high ratings. So naturally I was eager to unravel its mysteries. But unfortunately, it was a letdown. I am not sure whether the author was trying to write a crime thriller or a family drama. I would not call this a thriller, as there is no thrill. None what so ever. There were a few good points and a lot of bad points which made me give this book 2 stars. SPOILER ALERTS!


1. Setting. The protagoni
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
I'm mad at Louise Penny because of book #5 in the Three Pines/Chief Inspector Gamache mysteries, and I want to take it out on her now, but in fairness I just can't. I loved this book as much as I expected to. I thought that moving the action out of Three Pines would make me grumpy, but instead it made me feel, more than ever, that I want to live in Three Pines because Manoir Bellechasse is close for those times I need to get away from the hectic hustle and bustle of Three Pines (snort).

The Gamac
Nov 26, 2011 Patti rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Patti by: Robin Agnew gave me an ARC--thank you!
I just want to hang out with Armand Gamache. He is such a calm, practical person to be around, and you just know that he'll figure out who did what and why. In this entry into the series, Armand and his wife, Reine-Marie, are spending their anniversary at their favorite lodge, not far from Three Pines. While they there, a family reunion is going on also, with a family that seems such in name only--they are related to each other, but there is no affection displayed or even seemingly felt among th ...more
I have listened to this series and Inspector Gamache is the perfect companion for my commute. This one took the reader away from Three Pines and I enjoyed the many glimpses into Gamaches life and even his demons. Each one is getting just a bit better as these characters have become more familiar to me, almost like good, comfortable old friends.

The murder in this one left me guessing right up until the reveal....and no guess was correct. Not the who or how. I love when the light bulb comes on a
Ivonne Rovira
I've been hooked on Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series since I read her debut novel, Still Life. Yet, as great as the novels have been, A Rule Against Murder still somehow manages to top all of the previous ones.

As ever, Penny plots out an interesting murder mystery that keeps you guessing until the end. However, what truly will delight the reader are the secrets revealed about Peter Morrow's well-to-do family and one about Armand Gamache himself. The theme of when to remember
Claire H
Brilliant. I have finally found a replacement for P.D. James - someone who writes mysteries that are as rich and deep and literate, as gifted at viewing human character, and as high-calibre with building the whodunit, but without the thread of haunting despair that runs through all James novels, particularly her Dalgliesh mysteries. Both writers plunge the reader immediately into a richly layered world, and both explore the surprises, the dusty and ugly corners, the twisty labyrinth of the human ...more
Moira Fogarty
See, the problem with setting this mystery at Manoir Bellechasse, a vacation resort in the wilderness, is that I go to Three Pines for a mental vacation already. Taking me on vacation from my vacation spot just annoys the heck out of me. I don't want a big house with a fancy chef and bugs full of annoying guests! I want a cozy village with a B&B and regular townfolk. I wished I was at the Clogging Competition instead of hanging out with the totally irredeemably godawful Finney clan. I did no ...more
Patricia Fraser
The second of Louise Penny's Gamache series I've read...each is a stand alone, but there may be merit in reading them in order as the character development is wonderful. Her writing is intelligent and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. I find her descriptions of small events make me appreciate simple things.

Not all her sentences are lengthy, but the following quote is one I wish I'd been thoughtful enough to write. She's speaking of someone escaping from an argumentative, caustic crowd of relation
- THE MURDER STONE (aka A Rule Against Murder) (Pol Proc-Ins. Gramache-Canada-Cont) – VG+
Penny, Louise – 4th in series
Headline, 2008, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780755341009

First Sentence: More than a century ago the Robber Barons discovered Lac Massawippi.

Inspector Armund Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie have come to Manoir Bellechasse where they’ve come for more than 30 years to celebrate their wedding anniversary. They find the rest of the rooms in the small hotel reserved by members of the Finney
Mary Ellen
I'd really like to give this book 2 1/2 stars. I ended up giving it 3 because I enjoyed the main character, Armand Gamache, very much, and his wife, Reine-Marie, almost as much. (I think I'd like her better if her name weren't Queen Mary...) Gamache reminds me of a French-Canadian Guido Brunetti (for those who don't know him, check out Donna Leon). Or maybe Guido is a Venetian Armand Gamache. Anyway, they are both dedicated, experienced, prudent, happy at home, and eaters and lovers of lots of g ...more
Kathy Davie
Fourth in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache cozy mystery series set outside Montreal, Canada, and revolving around the inspector.

A Rule Against Murder won the Arthur Ellis Award Finalist for Best Novel in 2009.

My Take
A very intense story about Peter's family. And all those wasted years. The things family does to you that you carry with you all your life. The events that affect how you see the world. What's truly terrifying in this is how unloving they are as they participate in the metaphorical
Feb 26, 2014 Ms.pegasus rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers already familiar with the series
Recommended to Ms.pegasus by: browing at my local bookstore
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The Manoir Bellechasse was carved out of the Quebec forest in a past Canadian Gilded Age. Yet it retains its earthy roots. Nearby is tranquil Lac Massawippi, ringed by ancient forests. Chef Véronique harvests honey and beeswax from hives surrounded by blooms of honeysuckle, lilies, and roses. Artisanal cheeses and spirits from a nearby Benedictine abbey stock the larder. At night the stone terrasse embraces a brilliant star-studded sky. This idyllic lodge was cut from logs by coureur de bois ('m ...more
Another wonderfully inventive and humane mystery from Louise Penny! Policeman Armand Gamache and his wife are once again at the luxurious auberge Manoir Bellechasse to celebrate their anniversary. The only other guests are the Finney family, a dysfunctional brood having a family reunion. Armand is astonished when his friends from Three Pines, a lovely village not far from the manor, appear as part of the family. Artists Peter and Clara are at odds with his family, but Peter cannot resist seeing ...more
This "Three Pines Mystery" is the first in the series in which the murder happens somewhere other than the village of Three Pines. A vacation lodge at which Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife are celebrating their anniversary is the setting. Peter and Clara Morrow, from Three Pines, and Peter's family are among the suspects as are all the members of the staff of the lodge. Penny's superb writing and strong characterizations keep the pages turning. We learn about Peter's past and Inspector Gam ...more
Imagine you and a loved one are spending time in one of the most beautiful places, deep in the Quebec wilderness. Full of wild beauty, and breathtaking views....And then imagine being there with the most dysfunctional family you can ever meet. Oh yes, they have a perfect exterior but once you start peeling the layers they are pitifully broken.

And that's how I truly saw them. Each one of the (adult) children believed that they were unloved as children and they took out their hurt on each other.
After a few years of hearing nothing but wonderful things about Louise Penny, I started--yes, I know, uncharacteristically--with this, the fourth book in the series...only because it's the one that presented itself to me. I now want to begin at the beginning and read through to the end; happily, I loved it every bit as much as I expected.

Not only are the main characters well drawn, but Penny's spare descriptions bring to life the minor ones amazingly well. This particular story deals with a remo
this was a bit disappointing to me. first i find out that beauvoir is married!!! it was not mentioned in the first 3 books that i recall and i did send a note to the author. his wife is enid. i missed nichols terribly. i love that character. she is barbara havers! i need her sarcasm and humor. beauvoir also needs that competition for gamache's favor. the sex of the child named bean was never revealed. i wanted to know. this book took me a very long time to read from start to finish. i loved the ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline Taggart
A vaguely unsatisfactory whodunit in terms of plot and character, redeemed by some glorious writing. The action takes place at an out-of-the-way hotel in wildest Quebec, where the province’s head of homicide, Chief Inspector Gamache, is holidaying with his wife. Their fellow guests are a singularly unpleasant family of dysfunctional misfits called the Morrows. (Their utter unpleasantness was, for me, one of the least convincing parts of the book.) One of them is in due course murdered –you can o ...more
This is the third Gamache mystery I've read, with increasing ambivalence. Once again I was intrigued all the way through, wondering how Louise Penny could possibly resolve the crime's seemingly impossible contradictions & complications; & once again -- she didn't! I came away feeling cheated: some of her solutions are just preposterous, so implausible that in the end the whole plot more or less collapsed. Her characters are diverse, mostly realistic, quirky, often fascinating; her settin ...more
Jennifer D
louise penny books are little gems of comfort - which always seems so weird, since she's writing murder-mystery stories. but there you go. she has managed to create such charming and endearing character and settings that it doesn't matter if you figure out 'who done it?' early on. you just want to go along on the ride and enjoy each moment. and i really enjoyed this book - the 4th in penny's 'chief inspector gamache' series. it takes place away from the village of 'three pines', so not all of th ...more
Toni Osborne
Published in the USA under the title “A Rule against Murder”

This is an intricate mystery that gives us a new spin in the life and character of Inspector Gamache. Here we see a more personal side of him and his relationship with his wife Reine-Marie.

This old fashion story opens at the Manoir Bellechase, an isolated lodge by Lake Massawippi where the Inspector and Reine-Marie have enjoyed celebrating their wedding anniversary in the past. This year, they find themselves sharing this luxurious inn
Gypsy Lady
Work will quickly become dated. The author sprinkles the text with pointless vulgarity.

Page 10
Gamache supposed her to be in her late fifties early sixties, though she was clearly trying to pass for considerably less. Funny, he thought, how dyed hair, heavy make-up and young clothes actually made a person look older.

Page 10
But the only sound Gamache could hear came from the bee, whose wings were making a muffled raspberry sound in the rose.

Page 22
To stop noticing the malevolent infections that r
Janelle Fallan
I realize that mystery novels require a certain suspension of disbelief. If I keep thinking, "That could never happen," I'd never make it through Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie. Nevertheless, one plot element in this book was really troublesome. It had to do with vile graffiti about a daughter of the family written in a men's restroom stall when she was 22, years before this story takes place. First, a high-end place would keep its restrooms graffiti-free. Second, men would be more likely to ...more
Oh, these are good! They move slowly, and the frequent point of view shifts-often within a scene--bug me no end, but the characters charm their way into the reader's heart. I was wondering if Three Pines was going to turn into Jessica Fletcher's Cabot Cove (Murder, She Wrote) with the population becoming decimated by a sequence of murders, but this time the murder occurs outside of Three Pines. Not to worry, as Inspector Gamache finds himself on scene for the event. A clever, clever mystery with ...more
M.J. Perry
It's that time of year when I start to read some things totally for fun. I usually call these mysteries my light reading however, once I start one of them I find it almost impossible to put it down and such is the case with "The Murder Stone".

This is the fourth book in the Gamache series. It is the first murder that does not occur in the picturesque village of Three Pines, although it's not far away and the village does assist in the solving of the crime. The book takes the term dysfunctional fa
Michael Carlson
I love these Louise Penny novels! Her characters are wise and clever and yet very human and flawed. Still, they (that is, the two major "good guys") try to maintain their dignity while treating others with the same dignity and respect.
This novel is set in a lovely manor house retreat where Gamache (the lead "good guy") has gone for some rest and relaxation with his wife, the love of his life. But even in paradise evil lurks and Gamache must turn to crime solving.
These are great reads!
When Armand Gamache and his wife go to their favorite secluded spot for their anniversary, they never expect that the only other guests there will be a wealthy family of unpleasant people having a family reunion. They are surprised to find that their friends Peter and Clara Morrow, of the small village of Three Pines, have arrived to attend the reunion. But perhaps the biggest surprise comes when one of the members of the family is murdered, and Gamache and his team begin trying to find out what ...more
Kathleen S
I liked the way Louise Penny, in A Rule Against Murder, set the scene, introduced the characters, and developed the tension. The setting is a vacation lodge south of Montreal rather than Three Pines. A couple from Three Pines are part of a large extended family that are having a family reunion at the lodge as are Gamache and his wife. It is a hoot that some members of the family think that Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surete du Quebec and his librarian wife are a shop keeper and his cleaning l ...more
As a great admirer of Ms Penny's novels, this one has left me with a less than enthusiastic review. While her characters are always fun, I found this particular outing to be a bit long winded and somewhat lacking in the wit and sarcasm we have come to love in her Three Pines characters.

It was an ok novel, but surely not up to the caliber of the rest of her novels sad to say.
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Many of Louise Penny's books are published under different titles by UK/Canada and US publishers.
She lives with her husband, Michael, and a golden retriever named Trudy, in a small village south of Montreal.

Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards.

* Agatha Award: Best Novel
o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
o 2008 –
More about Louise Penny...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6) How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9) The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)

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“But you want murderous feelings? Hang around librarians," confided Gamache. "All that silence. Gives them ideas.” 57 likes
“We're all blessed and we're all blighted, Chief Inspector," said Finney. "Everyday each of us does our sums. The question is, what do we count?” 19 likes
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