Postcards from Three Pines: A Rule Against Murder

A Rule Against Murder
“Wow. The Gamache books are beginning to catch. Doing interviews and photo shoots. Michael, as you can see, is incredibly supportive. We both send love.”

Honoré Gamache. Somehow the void had coughed him up as well. And his son.

“It was just before the war. We all knew Hitler had to be stopped. Canada would join with Britain, that was a given. But then this Gamache started giving speeches against the war. He said Canada should stay out of it. Said no good ever came of violence. He was very articulate. Educated.”

She sounded surprised, as though a beluga had graduated from Laval University.

“Dangerous.” She appealed to her husband. “Am I wrong?”

“He believed what he was saying,” said Mr. Finney.

“That only makes him more dangerous. He convinced a lot of others. Soon there were protests in the streets against going to war.”

“What happened?” asked Sandra. She looked up. The ceiling was smooth. Swept clean by the Manoir staff without comment. Not a cookie left. Sandra couldn’t help but feel sad for Bean and all that work. But Bean didn’t seem bothered. In fact, Bean was riveted to the story.

“Canada delayed entering the war.”

“Only by a week,” said Finney.

“Long enough. It was humiliating. Britain in there, Germany brutalizing Europe. It was wrong.”

“It was wrong,” agreed Finney sadly.

“It was that Gamache’s fault. And even when war was declared he convinced a lot of Quebecers to be conscientious objectors. Conscientious.”

She loaded the word with loathing. “There was no conscience involved, only cowardice.”

Her voice lifted, turning the sentence into a weapon and the last word a bayonet. And across the room, the human target.

“He went to Europe himself,” said Finney.

“With the Red Cross. Never in the front lines. He never risked his own life.”

“There were a lot of heroes in the ambulance corps,” said Finney.

“Brave men.”
“But not Honoré Gamache,” said Irene Finney.

Clara waited for Finney to contradict her. She looked over at Peter, some jam on his ill- shaven cheek, eyes down. Thomas and Sandra and Marianna, eyes aglow. Like hyenas falling on prey. And Bean? The child sat on the tiny chair, feet planted firmly, gripping Myths Every Child Should Know.

Clara stood up, taking the tablecloth with her. Peter looked embarrassed. Causing a scene was so much worse than causing pain. Her hands trembled as she grabbed at the cloth and jerked it free. Her eyes were watering, with rage. But she could see the satisfaction in Mrs. Morrow’s

As Clara stumbled from the room, past Gamache himself, and out of the squeaking screen doors, the words followed her into the wilderness.

“Honoré Gamache was a coward.”

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: A Rule Against Murder

  1. Adele Lott says:

    “causing a scene was so much worse than causing pain.” Perfectly said.

  2. Teri Bologna says:

    Of course, as always, the book was astounding…but how about that pic of Louise and Michael! Totally hilarious

    Love you!

  3. Marcia Adams says:

    Do looking forward to the next book will be read with sweet sorrow as my husband passes away July 13. He was blind and I read the books to him he loved your books and we often talked about taking a trip to find the village that is most like Three Pines. We never missed a book!

    • Jacqui Bradshaw says:

      What a sweet remembrance.

    • Lynne says:

      These were my Mom’s favorites as well (she got me hooked) and we both looked forward to reading and sharing every new book. When she died a few years ago, I was reluctant to read the new Gamache books – but I did. I have read every book and will continue to do so. Somehow it makes me feel connected even though I lost the other person who I could share them with. I do so love Louise Penny books. The newest book will be bittersweet (quiet but enjoyable) but you will feel a part of the community of Three Pines and Louise Penny fans. I’m sorry for your loss.

      • Bona E Peacock says:

        My Mum introduced this series to me. I, too, feel connected to her when I read one. And that makes me happy.
        Plus, the books never disappoint!

  4. Nora M Bruemmer says:

    Gamache will always be a hero in my mind and the best kind of hero. And, Bean. Lovely, wonderful Bean. Such good memories….Thank you, Louise.

  5. Denise says:

    I had a bit of an Isadora Duncan fright when I first glanced at this! Then I realized you were safe…and funny.

  6. Michele Harris says:

    Claire always feels things so deeply and Peter, rather than be supportive…is embarrassed.
    This lays the pattern for future events.

  7. Corinne says:

    I would buy every postcard.

  8. Lane Reedy says:

    I was taken with the very first Gamache book and relished in the prose. I saw a lot of the poet in your insights and descriptions. To combine mystery with such depth of character, and plot, is a gift that comes with each new book. Thank you for this gem of a series.

    • Jeanne Condren says:

      You said this so well, Lane! Your response to Louise’s books echos my own. I “discovered” Still Life long ago in a San Jose, CA, bookstore, and I have kept coming back to the characters and the insights about people and life in each book ever since. Closing the last page of each has been bitter sweet. I have joy in that I have been reunited with all these friends, yet I’m saddened that their voices are silent again until the next book. I now gladly share a Louise following with many of my good friends.

    • Nancy Wagner says:

      Yes, I agree Lane…an amazing series from an amazing writer. With these postcards I feel like Louise Penny and I are close friends….

  9. Lynda says:

    When I was lucky enough o join a tour to EP and saw and had lunch at the Manoir, it soon became one of my favourite places!! I love this post card, such fun. This very beautiful time of year in your area has sad reminders for you, I am sure, but as you have shown, life goes on and the season changes continue to refresh and renew.

  10. Lilah Weber says:

    I can only echo all the lovely compliments and tell you how much your books mean to me. I was at your book signing in New Orleans last year and must say that you were exactly what I expected: warm, unpretentious, caring…thank you.

  11. marilyn sanders says:

    Since the 2017 book, my own husband has died. We read aloud together all the others. This will be different. Your notes about living with dying husband have helped me.

  12. I have read all the books, can’t wait for the next one; it is good to read a good mystery that does not have s lot of blood and gore. These are still thrillers! You know the town people, it as if they are your friends and it is so good to get back to them in each book. Thank you for yours of enjoyable reading.

  13. Elina says:

    No one understands the power of words as well as Louise Penny!

  14. Stephanie Luce says:

    Each book is sheer poetry. Thank you for the many hours of reading pleasure.

    Cute pic!

  15. Verna Macdonald says:

    My husband died this past July. He introduced me to the Gamache series with “The Beautiful Mystery” . He had read all of the others, and was looking forward each year to the latest book. I was never into reading mystery novels until that book, and now I’m hooked. I am looking forward to the new one, but now, sadly won’t have my husband here to discuss it with me. Thank you for your writing.

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