Gamache Goes Abroad – A Fatal Grace

In this installment of “Gamache Goes Abroad”, we find our dear Inspector in Sweden, where our Scandavian publishing colleagues decided to call the book “Nådastöt”, which translates to “Death Blow”. 

One of the first things we noticed is the similarity in color palette between the two covers. Even before reading the plot description, it’s clear that this is a book that takes place in the cold Quebec winter. 

As for differences between the two covers, the US edition focuses on a landscape image (and major plot setting), whereas the Swedish edition depicts a snowy owl, which is said to symbolize sacrifice, family, clarity, and legacy — attributes which surely apply to the Three Pines canon. 

If the two books were side-by-side, which would you be more likely to pick up?

Beyond a frozen lake or a snowy owl, what other images represent winter in Three Pines to you?

Discussion on “Gamache Goes Abroad – A Fatal Grace

  1. Deb Pope says:

    I would be more intrigued to pick up the U.S. cover. Depicting an evening scene with a pond that is covered with ice and snow, which may contain someone who fell into the bone chilling water. It conveys more mystery and congers up questions about what the pages within may contain.

  2. Lorraine says:

    I would pick up the US version because it has the ominous visual quality of a tantalising mystery. The Swedish edition looks like a natural history book to my North American eyes.

  3. Anne Knights says:

    Growing up in northern Maine, for several winters we had a snowy owl come and perch on our barn. What a sight, neighbors and friends came to see him. So I have a very soft spot for those creatures, I’d pick the snowy owl cover. As for reading the book, I’d read the other one. Guess this isn’t a fair assessment.

  4. Gail Newman says:

    I prefer the American cover and title, as they have several references to events in the book. I’m surprised no one has mentioned the three elderly women – whom Clara painted as The Three Graces! At any rate, it’s a Louise Penny book. No more need be said.

    As for other winter images – the kids having a late hockey game on the pond in the middle of the green, with Ruth “coaching,” of course, and the welcoming lights of the bistro shining out into the darkness.

  5. mary helms says:

    Much prefer the U.S. cover. I wouldn’t have known what the owl was supposed to symbolize.

  6. Christine Bunish says:

    Yikes, please take your foot out of you mouth and correct ‘color palate’ to ‘color palette’ in the second graph of the text above. WWGD? Catch the typo!

  7. Kay Kaade Sheets says:

    US version

  8. Jennifer says:

    Snowy owl wins every time for me.

  9. Claudia Porter says:

    This is great fun. So far the US covers (2 of them) are more appealing.

  10. Maureen Kennedy says:

    I too prefer the US title. The title is more descriptive of what’s within the plot. I’m Canadian, so the Quebec scenery appeals to me too.
    I’ve never liked mysteries until a Louise Penny book was on my book club list a few years ago. Since then, I’ve read every one as soon as they came out. My name is on the list for this one and I can hardly wait until Sept 1st.

  11. Sandra Guderyon says:

    I like the US version, but the other one is beautiful also. In the US version, the lights shining on the water suggest warmth and home, and yet the cold blue ice suggest something perhaps a bit more ominous.

  12. Mary Alm says:

    Re: winter in Three Pines
    A shot, from the outside, of the shops, with the Bistro front and center. Snow everywhere, windows aglow (some windows, especially the Bistro) with interior light. The feeling of being outside, in the cold, not inside with the warmth and the people. All bundled up with nowhere to go.

  13. Alice says:

    I agree with everyone, I like the US version, but I also think the owl is beautiful.
    I love the bench idea too.
    Looking forward to September, that’s for sure.
    Thank you for your wonderful writing and humor that you always add.

  14. PRussell says:

    Side by side, I, too would pick up the English version first. The colors and trees are graceful and soothing to me. I think the blue color in the Swedish version is too stark against the white snow. However, these could be the colors of winter in Sweden.

  15. Janice Walcott says:

    I would pick up any cover, even one totally blank that has a Louise Penny Gamache mystery inside. The US cover does indeed indicate the Quebec winters. But it is the writing inside I yearn for come September.

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