4 days ago
Monday, October 26, 2009
103. A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny
I've said it before so I'll say it again. Armand Gamache is one of the best crime solvers in the fiction world. Here's a description from the book that illustrates him and Penny's fine writing. As a segueway, Penny has just described Gamache's two associates: "And Gamache? He knew he was neither the hound nor the hunter. Armand Gamache was the explorer. He went ahead of all the rest, into territoy unknown and uncharted. He was drawn to the edge of things. To the places old mariners knew, and warned, "Beyond here be monsters." That's where Chief Inspector Gamache could be found. He stepped into the beyond, and found the monsters hidden deep inside all the reasonable, gentle, laughing people. He went where even they were afraid to go. Armand Gamache followed slimy trails, deep into a person's psyche, and there, huddled and barely human, he found the murderer." This man is one of fiction's great characters. Penny also develops fantastic supporting characters. In this book, the Morrow family (the chief suspects) are far from likeable, but always interesting. The staff at the Manoir Bellechasse where the murder occurs are also drawn well. One of the things I really liked about Rule was the delving into Gamache's history with his father, coinciding so well with the family dynamics of the Morrows. The mystery was not easy to solve, I didn't have a clue; but at the conclusion, I thought it made sense and small clues had been thrown into the story. Here's another quote from a character counting his blessings that I really want to remember: "We're all blessed and we're all blighted. Every day each of us does our sums. The questions is, what do we count?" This book is a keeper and I am anxiously awaiting the paperback publication of Penny's next one.