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. Sandra Sebastian says:

    I like the landscape of the German edition, IF it is illustrative of what’s in the story. The darker, American cover, is more mysterious.

  2. Penny Boyce says:

    The German cover depicts a scene in southern Alberta…a long way from my beloved Eastern Townships where I grew up. The familiar location is one of the many reasons I read Louise Penny’s mysteries and I can’t wait for her next one! I much prefer the American cover.
    Thank you Louise for your creative talents.

  3. Connie Jaworski says:

    The German cover is beautiful, and I like the title, but the U.S. cover is atmospheric. The stairs leading up to darkness is evocative of mystery and ominous. U.S. cover

  4. Kay Sheets says:

    I prefer the Canadian cover. I agree with the person who said the German cover looks like a travel book.

  5. sylvia says:

    I like the German cover and I think the leaves represent the maple leaf on our flag.

  6. Maradel Sager says:

    While I feel the Red Maple leaves are a beautiful nod to Fall and to Canada…the broken, mossy steps lead to a more sinister side of the idyllic nature and setting of the beautiful Manor. Really enjoyed the book

  7. Alice Briggs says:

    I like the German cover picture, as it appears much as I imagined the book’s setting.
    Since the book is set during a hot summer, the only reason for the red maple leaves must refer to Canada; but I think they’re extraneous.

  8. Gail Newman says:

    My vote goes to the US cover. The German cover does give one a sense of isolation, and I think each member of the Finney/Morrow family is isolated in his or her own way. That said, the US cover speaks to dark (hidden, buried) mysteries in a way the German cover does not. Also I don’t envision the Manior Bellechasse being on such a steep slope above the water.It would be hard to see the Manior from the dock and vice versa.

  9. Karen Larmon says:

    The German cover is too idyllic. There is a hint of mystery and darkness as you visually ascend the steps on the U.S. cover. I don’t think that the idea of it being set in Canada should be the focus of the artwork. I think the twists and turns of the mystery should be the focal point and that can only be achieved with a hint of some dark overtones.

  10. Katherine Burgess says:

    I prefer the Canadian (US) cover. The German cover would not entice me at all. And I agree with others who said that the red maple leaves were a nod to Canada, since that appears on our flag.

  11. Millie says:

    At first glace I think the red maple leaf might be representative of Canada. Not relating to the fall at all.
    The American cover is dark to be sure and lends itself to the story. Also having visited Quebec & Montreal 2 years ago I see the stairs very representative of the region.

  12. Paula Mooty says:

    I’d like the steps which seem to lead to something secretive. Does something jump out and get you or do you slip on the slate stone steps?

  13. Freda says:

    I much prefer the US cover.
    The German cover doesn’t even represent the German title!

  14. Randi Day says:

    I love the darker US cover for the sense of mystery and foreboding it conveys. The brighter, pretty photo on the German cover with red maple leaves provides no indication of the intrigue within. The name Louise Penny on the cover would be the compelling feature as always! Irresistible!

  15. Both pictures are appealing. I like the ominous atmosphere of the US one for this plot, however.

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