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A Rule against Murder: A Three Pines Mystery | [Louise Penny]

A Rule against Murder: A Three Pines Mystery

When wealthy, cultured Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer for a memorial for her late husband, the staff springs into action. But as a heat wave gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. And the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family now has another member to mourn.
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Publisher's Summary

When wealthy, cultured Irene Finney and her four grown-up children arrive at the Manoir Bellechasse in the heat of summer for a memorial for her late husband, the staff springs into action. But as a heat wave gathers strength, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. And the morning after the ceremony, a body is found. The family now has another member to mourn.

A guest at the hotel, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, suddenly finds himself in the middle of a murder enquiry, and the hotel is full of possible suspects.

Listen to another Three Pines mystery.

©2008 Louise Penny; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"[I]ntriguing, well-crafted....Seamless, often lyrical prose artfully reveals the characters' flaws, dreams and blessings." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1213 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Sara USA 07-16-14
    Sara USA 07-16-14

    No plot spoilers please!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Summer Mystery"

    I really enjoyed this installment in Louise Penny's Three Pines series. It was a complex and carefully thought out mystery with all the depth I have come to expect from this author. Each book builds on the last and deepens the listener's understanding of the characters gradually. Her writing transports the reader effortlessly and perfectly to the Canadian countryside for a summer vacation. Poetry, art and music are woven neatly into the experience. The careful explanation of delicious food prepared and eaten by all sends this reader into the kitchen to whip up something that is hopefully as good as all the food sounds. Definitely an added plus! I am looking forward to the next book--can't wait to see what will happen. A recommended series that holds the interest--not your average "mystery" fluff.

    15 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Humble, TX, USA 02-18-09
    Victoria Humble, TX, USA 02-18-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "You will be glad you selected this book"

    I loved "A Rule Against Murder" because Louise Penny's writing is simply music to my ears. Her ability to develop characters, describe scenery, and create an ingenious plot are unparalleled. I am not extremely familiar with Canada or with French Canadians. Therefore, learning more about this particular culture through the characters was also of interest to me. I found myself looking forward to the evening hours so that I could sit down, dim the lights, sip a glass of cabernet and listen to this book. My only regret is that I have now finished the book!

    22 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Experimentrix 04-28-14 Member Since 2009
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    "I need to go to Three Pines."
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Rule against Murder to be better than the print version?

    The only thing better than a Louise Penny/Gamache book is one that is read by Ralph Cosham. The people are so individual and so well portrayed that you feel as if they were dear old friends...well, except for Ruth, who would reject the " dear".


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The plots are intricate enough to be interesting, but never a cheat. This is my second time through, and I am noticing plot details now that I missed the first time.


    Any additional comments?

    Now if only I had a licorice pipe to go with my scotch.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Shannon San Mateo, CA USA 09-22-09
    Susan Shannon San Mateo, CA USA 09-22-09 Member Since 2002
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    "More than a mystery."

    I love this entire series. Without giving the actual mystery short shrift, the author provides some heartbreakingly beautiful passages. Rarely does writing achieve such poignancy.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alesia 12-05-12
    Alesia 12-05-12

    Al

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very slow start"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book to a friend. It was SO slow starting. I kept looking up the title to see if I had started the right book. There was an overabundance of background information given that really had nothing to do with the plot. I wondered if I would make it past that part, but because I was laying tile and had thinset on my hands, I just let it run.

    After it got past the beginning, it was okay, not outstanding, and unfortunately doesn't make up for the boredom at the beginning.

    The Chief Inspector is a likeable character who is unassuming and bright. He does his job well. His wife is also a good character. The Finney family is not at all likeable as characters and their interactions and behavior is ridiculous. I know families behave badly towards each other, but their reasons for their behavior are far too unbelievable. The motive behind the crime is hard to believe which weakens the entire story.

    The author does a great job describing the setting, but doesn't do as well with the story. She drops little tiny bits of information with follow up quite a long time later creating confusion more than interest.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 05-22-10
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 05-22-10 Member Since 2007

    I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good mystery"

    This is the 4th book of a fun listen. Best listen in order as the characters are developed as the series goes along.

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Elkins Park, PA, United States 03-12-11
    Mary Elkins Park, PA, United States 03-12-11 Member Since 2007

    An avid listener of Audible whether I'm driving, cleaning or cooking. My children are frequently telling me to remove my earbuds!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love the Characters!"

    So enjoy reading Louise Penny's books. I love her character development, learning more about Gamache, his character flaws and strengths. I like that he recites poetry and is truly in love with his wife of many years, and can admit when he has made a mistake to his child. Beyond that the mysteries are always good, but there is more than that to them, it's the scenery, the relationships the characters have to one another, and the lessons that are taught. I enjoy learning about Quebec, Montreal, and the village of Three Pines. I look forward to more books from Louise Penny.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kang, D. 05-18-11
    Kang, D. 05-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For Fans and Québécois"

    I would like to believe there is a lot of humor in this book. Unfortunately, the author's reading is so drab and bland that none of this translates. The family that is portrayed here is too cruel (not in a physical way), too unloving for my taste. For example, one character contemplates changing the already ridiculous name of their child to something even more ridiculous, just to scorn another character. This was a mountain I could not climb, and the revelation of the actual mystery requires quite leap of faith (a few actually) to go along with. However, the book is well written and the setting is wonderful.

    I would recommend it for fans only.

    7 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evert Burtonsville, MD, United States 03-23-13
    Evert Burtonsville, MD, United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2010
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    "A Must Read, but.."

    I have become a huge Louise Penny fan and this is a "must read" in the on-going and thoroughly enjoyable Gamache story. However, this book is not one of her finest. First I was troubled by the use of the wealthy, dysfunctional family stereotype. Enough already! Wouldn’t it be more interesting for a change to have a murder in a rich family where everyone got along? The family in question is in fact so dysfunctional that other than the stalwart Gamache none of the characters are appealing – even Peter and Mary from Three Pines – leaving no one with which to identify. Also, the red herrings are way too obvious and finally there is the use of the ultimate cliché in mystery stories or at least a version of it. I won’t say more lest I give what little there is to give away.

    That being said, this should be read if you’re interested in the continuing saga of Three Pines and the development of its characters. Plod through it because the next installment is much better!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MysteryLover 03-18-13
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    "Canadian Agatha Christie"
    Would you listen to A Rule against Murder again? Why?

    "A Rule against Murder" is an enjoyable and thought-provoking mystery set in the scenic Quebec townships close to the Vermont border. The characters are rich, full. I dare you not to fall in love Inspector Armand Gamache, his family and team.

    This particular story explores the family dynamic in a highly dysfunctional family. Louise Penny draws a picture of a family who already has difficulty expressing love for one another and places them at odds with one another after a murder has occurred. The plot is intricate, like an Agatha Christie murder mystery, and the prose is often lyrical with a lovely dollop of poetry mixed in. Personally, I love cozy mysteries and I like the truly deep backstories of all the recurring characters. In this mystery, we get to know Inspector Gamache, his wife, his team and the residents of the village of Three Pines even more.

    A big part of listening to books on tape is the narrator. If you don't like the narrator's style or voice, it's difficult to enjoy the book. Ralph Cosham has a wonderful style and voice. He is able to make you believe in the characters. He is a big part of why I have listened to the first four books in this series rather than reading them.

    I will definitely listen to this book again as soon as I get caught up in the series. I can't wait to listen to the next book.


    What other book might you compare A Rule against Murder to and why?

    I would compare "A Rule against Murder" to any Agatha Christie book or to a PD James or Elizabeth George novel if they wrote cozy mysteries instead of police procedurals. The themes are wonderful and Louise Penny provides wonderful bits of Quebec history, art history, and poetry throughout her books.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    It's hard to describe, but Ralph Cosham's characterization of all the characters is wonderful. It seems natural and unforced. It's a joy to listen to. I listened to this book on a road trip from PA to New England and then plugged myself into my iPhone to listen some more. I just couldn't "put it down".


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I definitely wanted to listen to it all in one sitting. I love cozy mysteries. For this series, you have to suspend disbelief that one, quaint village in Quebec can have a such a high murder rate, but it is definitely worth it.

    The descriptions of the food and the scenery, the characters who are lovable, but flawed like real people, and the rich history of the French and English Canadians in Quebec makes the murder mystery even more compelling. I didn't want to stop and was disappointed that I didn't have a credit available to buy the next book immediately.


    Any additional comments?

    If you love cozy mysteries with depth of character and theme, and a healthy dose of literature and history of Canada thrown in, this Audible book is for you, but I suggest you start with "Still Life" first. The story and characters are more serial than episodic. You can listen to them out of order. I started with "A Trick of the Light", but it so much better to start at the beginning.

    Thank you for reading my review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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