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. Jeanne says:

    Love the scenic German cover with Maple leaves.

  2. Susan Caton says:

    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.

  3. Linda says:

    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.

    • Linda says:

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

  4. Michelle Douglas-Mann says:

    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.♥️

  5. SUSAN HURD says:

    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.

  6. Didi Irwin says:

    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

  7. Denise says:

    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.

    • Denise says:

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

  8. Barbara says:

    I like the American cover because it leaves the setting to our imagination. The reader can visualize her own manor from the author’s descriptions.

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