Postcards from Three Pines: A Fatal Grace

A Fatal Grace Postcard
“Nice and warm in the house, but bitter cold outside, Merde! Now I have to write a second one. Setting it at Christmas. Pond freezing over- love to go out and skate but typing away by the fire. Actually really nice.”

As people arrived food was taken to the familiar kitchen and too many casseroles and pies were stuffed into the oven. Bowls overflowing with candied ginger and chocolate-covered cherries and sugar-encrusted fruit sat on the sideboard beside puddings and cakes and cookies. Little Rose Lévesque stared up at the bûche de Noël, the traditional Christmas log, made of rich cake and coated with the thickest of icing, her tiny, chubby fingers curling over the tablecloth embroidered with Santa Claus and reindeer and Christmas trees. In the living room Ruth and Peter made drinks, Ruth pouring her Scotch into what Peter knew to be a vase.

The lights on the tree glowed and the Vachon children sat beside it reading the tags on the mountain of brightly wrapped presents, looking for theirs. The fire was lit, as were a few of the guests. In the dining room the gate-legged table was open full and groaning with casseroles and tortières, homemade molasses-baked beans and maple-cured ham. A turkey sat at the head of the table like a Victorian gentleman. The center of the table was saved every year for one of Myrna’s rich and vibrant flower arrangements. This year splays of Scotch pine surrounded a magnificent red amaryllis. Nestled into the pine forest was a music box softly
playing the Huron Christmas Carol and resting on a bed of mandarin oranges, cranberries and chocolates.

Olivier carried the whole poached salmon to the table. A punchwas made for the children, who, unsupervised, stuffed themselves with candy. Thus did Émilie Longpré hold her réveillon, the party that spanned Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, an old Québecois tradition, just as her mother and grandmère had done in this very same home on this very same night. Spotting Em turning in circles Clara wound her arm round the tiny waist.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: A Fatal Grace

  1. Nancy Kirby Kurjakovic says:

    A Fatal Grace was my first introduction to Three Pines. Found it in paperback at our local Wegman’s of all places. Went out to find Still Life the next day. After I read it, I thought, I would sure love to meet the author. Feel that way even more strongly after all the delights from reading these books.

  2. Lois Weissberg says:

    Your books are the best! I look forward to them always and have reread several. Thanks for giv8ng me so many hours of pleasure.

  3. Cea says:

    Merci beaucoup

  4. just love the comments. Love your books and have read them all to date. . . don’t know which I liked the most as they are all wonderful. Keeps one in suspense all the way to the end. Love all the different characters and I feel I know them personally. Hard to put down and go to bed.

  5. LEAH DANIELS says:

    I must agree with everyone else, because I’ve wanted to live in Three Pines ever since I started reading this series – even with all the murders! It’s been awhile since I read the last one, and reading this excerpt makes me want to start all over again. All my reading comes from the library, but now I’m thinking I should start investing in purchasing Louise’s books, because her writing is so wonderful. And, I just found out a new one will come out soon, which is a treat to anticipate.

  6. Susan says:

    I was just wondering what I might bring to the feast! Such a lovely, warm scene. Thank you Louise!

  7. Toni says:

    Loved all your books ! Waiting for a new one. Reading was like visiting loved ones.

  8. Ann Ragsdale says:

    Merci! Life inThree Pines provides respite from everyday life. Postcards provides another window into the village we all want to be a part of. Godspeed on your journey as you continue to recover from losing your beloved Michael. Hugs from the heart of Texas.

  9. Laurie N. Lee says:

    Meals and holidays in Three Pines with my longtime friends are so special. And the mysteries and frightening parts are always unique and incredible. My life is richer because of you, Louise Penny.

  10. Judith Ashley says:

    Love these postcards.

  11. Patricia Godkin says:

    I love your sense of humor sprinkled among the tableau of Friends gathering and displaying the buffet. Ruth filling the vase and the guests a little lit are perfect notes!

  12. Carmen Fraenkel says:

    Thanks for the joy of your books. Re-reading them is still a delight. Looking forward to the next one.

  13. Carole Butler says:

    So love to see this beautiful scenery. Reminds me of my home back in Gaspe.

  14. Stephanie Saxon Levine says:

    The postcards are wonderful, and so is the author. I have read and reread each book in this splendid series and am enjoying the postcards as a reminder of the great joy these books bring me. Cannot wait for Kingdom of the Blind!

  15. Diane says:

    My mouth is watering for a Christmas table like this. I’m going to try that centerpiece this year.

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