Helen's Reviews > A Rule Against Murder

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
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Feb 10, 12

bookshelves: brothers-and-sisters, canada, death, family-life, fathers-and-sons, fathers-daughters, grief, mystery, old-age, stepfathers
Read from February 06 to 09, 2012, read count: once

This is officially at the top of my list for favorite series (obviously I have several). These books are engaging and entertaining. The stories are good, solid. I have yet to read one where the story seems to lag or veer off into the unknown.

The books have been compared to Agatha Christi mysteries. I adore Agatha. I have read and re-read all her books (except for I am sorry to say Tommy and Tuppence; just couldn't quite seem to go there)and they will always have a place in my heart and on my bookshelf. Louise Penny may remind me of Agatha's style but if she is compared in any way it must be said that she is the newer, hip Agatha.

Whatever reminds me of Agatha Christi (and there is plenty)is fresh and modern. So to what I would compare to Agatha Christi? First and foremost Chief Inspector Gamache. As I have stated before in another (short) review is I would be interested in reading just about him. He is as interesting as any of the suspects he is investigating. He is the 2012 Hercule Poirot. He is charming, polite, polished. He has no angst about who he is and he is happily married and a loving father of two. But obviously he has lived a full life with plenty of drama of his own. Louise Penny doesn't just douse you over the head with all his background in the first book. She tantalizes you with glimpses of something off-handedly. In the first book you finish the book with not only the resolution of a murder but also that there is something unresolved in Gamache's career. In the second book it ends with the knowledge that something very sinister is lurking in the wings for Gamache and that he is heading into dangerous territory blinded. The third book gives you what you think is all there is to know about him. And you are quite happy that he has become this intimate friend. Someone you can like and root for.

Then, BOOM. This book opens a whole new chapter on another period of his life. Once again it is woven in amongst a murder investigation but never feels like one chapter murder/one chapter Gamache's past life. To blend these stories so seemingly effortlessy is amazing. You feel like you are part of the person's thoughts from one moment to the next. Just like our own thoughts come and go depending on where we are, what we are doing.

We also get to know Gamache's lovely wife, Reine-Marie who completes him. So perhaps I will keep reading these mysteries not so much for mystery sake as to find out how Gamache's life turns out.

As to the stories themselves: the characters are very finely drawn But because of the fact that they all center around a village called Three Pines I am more in the mind of Midsommer Mysteries. The fact being that while it's a great place to read about I have no desire to live there or know personally any of these people. That would be a deathwish!!

Read these books. Enjoy.
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