Gamache Goes Abroad: A Rule Against Murder

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? 

Discussion on “Gamache Goes Abroad: A Rule Against Murder”

I am just picking up the book to read tonight. At first glance I like the US version – again the stark white and red coloring doesn’t make me think “mystery book” let’s go read. I like the old step, going or coming from somewhere with history, suspense – it makes me think that this should be interesting. Will write again once done with books in a day or so about my further thoughts and idea about the leaves.

I just finished the book and agree with my first thoughts – American cover. Each step represents closer to the murderer.

Thank you, Christina Ortmann, for explaining how all of the books in the series are published with the red border and maple leaves That would make me prefer the German version in this case

I agree with everything set up the US cover somewhat ominous. The Manoir is old and elegant, and you can imagine these steps somewhere up to a side garden, and showing us that things are not always as they seem.

The Murder Stone is how I know the book, I am a Québécoise living in London UK, I believe both titles are apt. Sure made me understand Peter Morrow a bit better, what a ghastly family, especially his poisonous mother.♥️

I like the English-language cover, not because the German book’s mountains don’t look like the Appalachian chain but because it looks more mysterious. The book I bought from Amazon in France was different, with a person vaguely outlined farther along the path. The title was different, too: “The Murder Stone,” which is also quite mysterious. I like the German idea of “Long Shadows,” which is a recurrent theme in the Gamache books.

PS, by the word “it” in “because it looks more mysterious,” I meant the picture on the English-language cover

I Love the American photography. I always do. (And that was why I bought my first book at Powell’s Books in Portland) and your Excellent Writing kept me reading All the previous books. But I have to say, sometimes the American covers have to go around a bend and then a corner in order to reveal the novel.

Just curious why books get re-named. “A Murder Stone” became “A Rule Against Murder” became “Long Shadows”? (German cover art is a nod to the Canadian Maple Leaf.) (And I as a southwestern US person have really enjoyed learning about northeastern Canada through this series.)

I agree with many that the maple leaves are a symbol of Canadian identity (and beautiful, too). But the US cover is more in tune with the mystery and and suspense genre.

I like the American version, as it gives a foreshadowing of what is to occur, and after all, it is a mystery.

I certainly feel that the US cover says “mystery”, the steps almost inviting you into the book.

I prefer the US cover. The steps lead up and into darkness, just as I hope the story will take me into the mystery. I don’t want the cover to indicate location to draw me into the book. I want anticipation.

I’m drawn in and filled with curiosity by the American title with ‘Murder’ in it as well as the air of mystery and intrigue posed by the cracked, worn steps leading to…..?? where exactly?! Someplace dark you dare not go….

The German cover is attractive and may draw a new reader. Thanks to the person that explained the German covers all depict maple leaves and a reddish stripe. I think the American cover is true to the story. I prefer true over pretty. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to chat with other Three Pines fans.

My first read , the title was The Murder Stone. I like the US cover as those steps do lead to something ominous. At La Bellechase there are stairs and stone steps but no statue. I highly recommend a visit to North Hatley and perhaps La Bellechasse, a Chateau et Relais 5 ⭐️ Inn. Lovely people lovely food. Great atmosphere.

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