What are the three story lines, and how do they feed into each other? What are the connections?
What do you think of the structure of the story, with the shifting time frames and points of view? How did the gradual unfolding of what really happened to Agent Morin and Chief Inspector Gamache affect your view of those events?
How do you feel about the resolution of the crime in Three Pines?
Why does the Battle of the Plains of Abraham have such an impact on Gamache?
Both Gamache and Agent Morin greatly valued their relationships with their mentors, Emile Comeau and Gamache himself. Do you think they were right to do so?
Does the relationship between the French and the English in Quebec have any parallels in your community? How do you feel about such relationships—both in the book and in your own experience?
Rene Dallaire calls Quebec “a rowboat society. . . . We move forward, but we’re always looking back.” Does your community have a strong sense of the past? How dangerous is it to remember history, and how dangerous is it not to?
Throughout the book, Gamache is haunted by his own mistakes. How do you view those mistakes, and the way he deals with the aftermath?
Gamache is also haunted by the line from an old song, avec le temps: “with the passage of time.” What do you think about the healing powers of time?
If you have read some or all of Louise Penny’s earlier books, how do you see both the books and the characters evolving?