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

  1. Linda Rose says:

    I like the German picture and the Canadian title.

    The leaves represent Vanada

  2. Most likely because the publisher assumed that most German readers would more quickly associate the coloured maple leaves with Canada.

  3. Hetty Ford says:

    I like the German cover best. I think they put the maple leaves in to make it clear the action takes place in Canada.

  4. Michele H. says:

    I had to google it, and it appears that in Europe tree leaves turn yellow.
    I agree, I think the red maple leaves are a nod to the Canadian setting.

  5. Darlene Mantione says:

    I’ve the German cover as i live in Canada I would find it very appealing and draws us to the setting which is integral to this book

  6. Patti says:

    I do appreciate the “nod” to Canada with the German cover. However, I think the US cover let’s us know that the path is leading to something ominous!

    • Linda Anger says:

      I totally agree – the US cover gives the “ominous” sense that is underpinned in the story. The German cover is to “nice” for me, and the Maple Leaves – despite everyone saying they are a nod to Canada, make no sense to me at all – they don’t fit with the photo, or the “Long Shadows” title.

    • Carla Barrett says:

      I live in the US and I definitely like US cover; reminds me of the type of setting you would see in Canada; also so much more mysterious. The mountains on the German cover don’t look Canadian at all; art work does not look at all like what one would expect on a mystery. We cruised the Danube in October and there are no red leaves, only yellow so it appears to be a nod to Canada. Hoping they find the perfect actors to play the characters in the upcoming videos and that they remain true to the books not the way the butchered Elizabeth George’s books in every way.

  7. Sharon Hayden says:

    The German cover makes me think this is a travel book. The Canadian cover draws me into a mystery. Since I’m a fan of mysteries I’m going with the Canadian cover.

    • Cyndi says:

      The red band at the spine is what gives it that feeling, even more so than image. Pulling back to reveal the whole image gives the lodge in the lower right a feeling of loneliness and isolation. But, still, the combination seems less ominous than the U.S. cover.

  8. Carole Carraro says:

    I like both covers. I also think the red maple leaves are there to signal the Canadian affiliation.

  9. Kathryn Houston says:

    I like the German cover as I am drawn to read the book not only because it is a Louise Penny/ Gamache series but also the idyllic settting and the title are at odds and have piqued my curiosity. Whereas the US cover doesn’t seem to think that the title of the book is enough of a draw to read it and so must show something ominous.
    Yes the maple leaves say “Canada”!

  10. Leone Svrcek says:

    Manoir Bellechasse in my imagination does not look anything like the German cover, which is a picture of the Prince of Wales Hotel, high on the hilltop, overlooking the lake in Waterton National Park in Southern Alberta.

  11. Christina Ortmann says:

    Hello,
    I am German and a HUGE FAN but read all of your books in English.
    However, the German publisher Kampa set the whole Gamache Series in „Canadian Red“. Red border on the left and the red Maple leafs somewhere on the cover! (I just checked this as I don’t have any German editions).
    I agree with many of you that this is just done to indicate its Canadian origin.
    I like the German cover(s).

    • Marie-Claude Belzil says:

      Hello Christina. I’m from Canada and I am learning German. I have ordered the first book of the series in German “Das Dorf in den roten Wäldern”. I confirm that all the covers are the same with red maple leaves. I’m looking forward to reading my first book in German even though I know my level is not good enough. Tschüss

  12. Deana Martin says:

    I love the US cover, the colors and the steps. But I think the German cover more accurately shows the setting of the book. The leaves say Canada.

  13. Jo Zapatka says:

    Even though I’m American I like the German cover best. To me it does express the setting best.

  14. Mary Glor Gregory says:

    Having visited the Eastern Townships and the setting that inspired the story, the stone steps and flagstones are perfect.

  15. Mildred S Greene says:

    I also think the leaves depict Canada. But the picture is so serene, there is no mysteriousness ( is that a word) ? About it. US cover for me.

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