LOUISE PENNY’S

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Gamache Goes Abroad: A Trick of the Light

Today, we find Gamache in Spain, with the Spanish edition of A Trick of the Light, or El juego de la luz. Both covers play off the novel’s use of shadow and light to illustrate the suspense of the story. In both covers, the light filters through a tree’s dark branches, suggesting the juxtaposition between good and evil. 

Note that in the Spanish edition, only half of the cottage’s windows are illuminated. This again might fortify the notion that there are two sides to every story. While the Spanish edition features a landscape of the cottage and its surroundings, our version zeroes in on a tree with very few leaves. Only when the branches are exposed can the light truly shine through. 

The juxtaposition between darkness and light is a recurring theme in the Louise Penny canon. Which other books in the series come to mind when you consider this theme? 

The plot of this book heavily features Clara’s artwork. If you were to design a cover for this book featuring her artwork, what would it look like to you?

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Gamache Goes Abroad: Bury Your Dead

This week, Gamache heads to the Far East with the Chinese edition of Bury Your Dead. At first glance, the covers look wildly different: the Chinese version features a wreath of flowers on a black background, while the original US edition shows leaves falling onto white snow. But a closer inspection reveals similar symbolism. Both covers employ the use of a blurred effect, which could allude to the blurred lines between fact and fiction as Gamache investigates his latest case. 

And both covers portray foliage, in various states of decay. Perhaps a nod to the title of the book itself?

Just as foreign publishers will design new jackets for a book in their market, sometimes we’ll create an alternate look for different US editions as well. Take a look at our mass market edition of Bury Your Dead. Of the three, which do you prefer? What similarities do you see between the two US editions? What differences? 

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Gamache Goes Abroad: The Brutal Telling

Off to Greece this week, with the cover of The Brutal Telling as envisioned by our Greek colleagues. There’s clearly a stark difference between the two cover treatments: while we chose to emphasize the fall season in our jacket approach, they focus on traditional mystery elements. 

With the silhouette of a raven, their cover puts the reader in the mind of Edgar Allen Poe, and immediately suggests something sinister is afoot. In contrast, the US jacket focuses on the vibrant fall foliage of Canada, with only the darkness at the edges to symbolize danger.

Both jackets, however, speak to the untamed landscape that Chief Inspector Gamache must navigate to solve the crime. 

Which cover do you think best fits the story?

If you were designing a new cover, which elements of the book would you choose to highlight?

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Gamache Goes Abroad: A Rule Against Murder

In this week’s installment of “Gamache Goes Abroad”, we visit the German edition of A Rule Against Murder. Titled Lange Schatten, the German title directly translates to Long Shadows. It’s interesting to note that while the fourth book in Louise’s series takes place in the summer, the German edition clearly highlights the red maple leaves commonly associated with the fall. 

In this book, Armand and Reine-Marie celebrate their wedding anniversary at Manoir Bellechasse (for more about the real place that inspired the manor, click here), and both the US and German covers reference this idyllic setting. While the German edition clearly shows a picturesque manor in the countryside, the US cover’s depiction of a set of cracked stone stairs might suggest a darker side of the estate. 

Which title do you think best represents the story? 

Why do you think the Germans chose to overlay fall-colored maple leaves when the book is set in the summer? 

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Gamache Goes Abroad: The Cruelest Month

Today, in “Gamache Goes Abroad,” we visit the Norwegian edition of The Cruelest Month. As you might remember from the Cultural Inspirations we did about this book, the title directly references the T.S. Eliot poem “The Wasteland.” In the book, Gamache reflects on the nature of the poet’s idea that April is the cruelest month. The American cover clearly represents April with its Easter egg imagery, but the one cracked Easter egg in the corner suggests something sinister as well. 

In contrast, the Norwegian publisher chose to focus on an image suggesting the inside of the Old Hadley House, where some villagers celebrated Easter with a séance in this book. While the American cover uses pastel colors commonly associated with spring, the Norwegian jacket is done entirely in a muted, dark, and mysterious color palette.

What do you think about the two different covers? 

Which cover better encapsulates your feelings about Louise’s third book?

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