The Bistro

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

3,656 replies on “The Bistro”

What a plan Lizzy. Stay safe and enjoy the book!

Interesting thought Kim, Ruth’s story?? That is one we are keen to hear.

It looks like Paul beat a lot of us in our wish to spread the news. I love the title…is it Ruth’s story? Somehow, I think that would be too easy. Let the countdown begin!

Hi everyone. Home from Whistler….sadly. We had a great time.

I haven’t seen Louise’s interview yet. Not sure if I can watch it just at the moment. It cuts a little close to home.

I hope everyone one the East Coast is ok as we see the blizzard reports. It is even going down as far as Washington. Take care everyone.it is cool and wet here which has eased our transition back to summer.

Great news from Paul about the next book title. The Nature of The Beast? Another exploration of the heart of evil or something gentler? We often use the phrase to say “it’s just the way things are.”

Thought I posted this already but now I can’t find it.

Louise announced the title of the new Gamache — THE NATURE OF THE BEAST.

While some retailers sill have it listed as “Untitled Gamache #11” it is available for pre-order now.


That is very exciting Paul. I don’t remember seeing the title before. Thank you for letting us know. Now we can speculate on the meaning. Happy New Year Paul!

Popping in again! Blizzard Juno is beginning to hit. I’m hunkering down with a good book. Paul beat me to the grand announcement!! Stay safe, and warm everyone. I’ve been drowning at work and with family matters. What year already!

The interview was touching. I cried but thought what an amazing woman. I am so glad they found each other.

Exactly. Thanks for saying it. Must have been soooo difficult to be interviewed like this. Lots of hugs to Louise.

I have just watched Louise’s interview for the Alzheimer Society. Heartbreaking, but also very uplifting! She is a one in a million!

We have all heard I am sure:

“If you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all”

It is a very different thing talking about what we do or don’t like about something, than making awful unnecessary comments. Let’s hope the poster was thoughtless and having a bad day and will come to their senses. Or perhaps they were a troll looking to provoke an opinion.

I worry about such horrible things happening if and when my book finally gets seen. My skin isn’t very thick but mainly because it’s a silly thing to say. If you don’t like the books no one is tying you down forcing you to read them. I’ve read lots of books I don’t like. It’s very easy to put them aside and move on.

Wonder what Ruth would say to that poster, if she deigned to respond at all.

Where is my vase?

Saw a posting by a reader on LP’s facebook. She thought the last book was sub-standard when compared to the others and thought LP should stop writing if she could do no better. I realize people post unbelievable opinions and ideas, but really. Manners, please. We all know TLWH wasn’t my favorite but the idea of no more Gamache is too dreadful to contemplate. Sorry, but I just had to sound off. Writers must develope thick skin, of course, but I just don’t like anyone saying such a mean thing to LP. I wonder what the Critic has written/accomplished. I need a strong cup of tea. A little early for Bourbon and Branch.

Oh! I can’t believe someone would say something TO Louise like that! How bizarre. Of course, there are some hateful things I’ve seen on facebook pages, but that page has always been such a place of uplifting emotion. I expect there will be a general outcry against the poster, but nothing will be able to unring that bell, and we know that Louise reads the comments…

Sharon – so happy to have you join us in the Bistro. As others have mentioned, we’re kind of quiet now, waiting, waiting, waiting for the next book. If you follow Louise on Facebook, you know pretty much precisely where she is in the writing/polishing of the next book, which is due out in August, I think. It’s kind of exciting to follow the process.

Several of our residents here in the Bistro are writers taking perhaps their first steps toward their destinies! We know, for instance, that Anna has finished at least a first draft of her novel and is now re-writing/editing, which is very exciting.

Pretty soon, I’m thinking of doing another pass-through – maybe one book per month where I will re-read and go back and read the discussion we had here of that book, as well. I learned so much from the other readers, and can’t wait to delve into the depths again, as there is so much more to the books than seems evident at first glance. I’ve re-read everything once, and when I do a third pass through, I know I’ll find much more.

I read other mysteries, and love them, and of course, other types of books, and love some of them, but Louise Penny stands head and shoulders above the others for me. There is something about her characters, and her finely crafted stories that keeps me spellbound! I hope to be able to read new books for years to come!

I know this will seem an unfair comparison, but the only other author I feel this way about is Jane Austen. She was able to write only 6 complete books in her short lifetime, and died at the very pinnacle of her powers as a writer. I re-read her books, too, each year, and feel as though I know the characters very well. I also love being drawn into the world they live in, which is quite different from our own, though her characters are universal, and immediately recognizable as they are finely drawn from life.

So – here we are, the motley crew in the Bistro, waiting, somewhat patiently, for our order. In the meantime, we share tidbits from our lives and have another vase of scotch!

Hi! Welcome Sharon. So glad to have you join us. As Anna sugguested, it would be good to read our discussions on the novels. Sometimes, they are very lively. I am a life long lover of books but have learned so much from these discussions. I realized that I did not read and consider as deeply as some. I was always in too much of a hurry to solve the mystery. I read many genres enjoy mysteries very much. The English cozy is a favorite of mine—the classics and the new ones. I learn so much from books on the history of Judaism and Christianity…especially with some archaeology thrown in. I also read some of the very light mysteries that are always good for a laugh and are mood lifters. You can understand why my sister said we were grown before she really knew what I looked like as I always had my nose in a book when we were growing up.
I think Louise Penny is just a wonderful writer and her characters are very well developed.
Anna, sounds like FUN. Nancy, it sounds like you had a great time in Vermont.
Julie, I love the comment on Bob Newhart and Vermont. The show was a favorite of mine.

Your day not hour day. Dearie me, autocorrect is the bane of my day lately. Still it sometimes has hysterical outcomes!

Hi and welcome Sharon. We are all waiting for the next book. Louise is on the fourth draft so we are hopeful it is not far away.

Interestingly, my husband loves Louise Penny and he isn’t a demonstrative or emotional guy. Maybe women are more likely to post. We have had a few males drop through the Bistro and I am sure more read but don’t speak as it were.

If you haven’t yet, start reading through the discussions from the previous books. Scroll up to the right side of this page and tap on the book you want to read about. Or ask a question or post a thought. We are happy to chat. Don’t get put off by the non novel banter going on. We are all just staying in contact. Love to hear fresh thoughts and perspectives.

I read Bury Your Dead first. Like you I went back and explored the stories. We love the characters and the locations and the poems and songs. There is a world in the Three Pines books that attracts us all!

Really happy to see a new face in the Bistro. Pull up a comfy chair and have a coffee….or something stronger depending on hour days!

This is my first time on this page. I read the last book first, picked it up by accident, and then went back because the characters interested me and I wanted to hear their back story. I also find, in Ms. Pennys writing, books and music and poetry that I had read as a girl and its been a pleasure to go back to them as I have been doing. I always loved Leonard Cohen, his poetry, his music, etc., but I haven’t thought of him since I was a young woman. Rereading “Anthem” broke my heart, because of all of the hopes and dreams of the young, and how things, in the USA, are going backwards.
I also find it interesting that most of the readers of Gamache are women. Are the characters expressing too much emotion for men-who I assume are the primary readers of mysteries. (Although I may be wrong in that assumption). In any case, I love Ms. Penny, love the characters and with each book, she grows as an author, and her characters grow as human beings. I must say, I find myself laughing out loud at some of Ruths antics. I have a dear friend of over 50 years (that we call the female curmudgeon), that reminds me of Ruth. She is an artist.
Glad to have found this page. Look forward to more.

Hey Nancy, we have Vermont on the wish list. We have friends visiting us in Whistler and they are good fun to be around. It means everyone has a ski partner close to their level. We enjoy dinners out at night too.

Julie, I too am sitting by the fire. No knitting. Thinking about my next novel. Also taking notes on things my friends have been telling me about moving to the States. They have been on posting to Hawaii for two years.

I have to buy all new kitchen appliances (anything with a motor) which I knew because of the difference in voltage between the two countries. Darn. I will have to shop!

Oh, you are all painting such cozy pictures! Anna, so happy you are enjoying Whistler. I’ve never spent any time there – but have driven through, and I think it must be a lovely spot for a winter holiday! The best thing about that, for me, though, would be that when the holiday was over, I could leave the snow behind! 😀 We have been alternating rainy warm days with sunny warm days in Seattle, so that’s not a terrible winter at all! 😀

Vermont sounds wonderful, too, Nancy. That’s another area I have only spent about 15 minutes in! I was once in Deerfield, Mass. for a textile conference, and a car-load of us drove up to Vermont to visit Delectable Mountain Fabrics, which is a legendary store selling the most beautiful silks of all kinds, and many luscious trimmings. That’s my only foray into Vermont at this time, though of course, I feel I lived there with Bob Newhart in his Inn. I love fictional places like that, even when it’s TV. If they’re able to really make a place come alive, I think they’ve done a wonderful job!

Nothing much to do today, so I’ll be sitting by my fire and stitching. Heaven!

Glad you saw the sun Barbara but we are happy because we woke up just now and it is snowing! Been having a ball in the white stuff It really does sparkle in the sun and if there is ice in the air in glistens golden in the sunlight. It’s so magical!

I hope the New Year is being kind to everyone. Sorry for those who are trapped in really cold icy conditions. It’s not that cold here in Whistler, just lovely and it’s different being on holidays than living in it.

I am not skiing today so I am going to find a cosy corner with a hot chocolate and dream of the bistro.

By the way, still editing my book but it also still working on letting you guys read it somehow. Was thinking last night about setting one in Whistler!

Hope you have a lovely time in Whistler. I’m sure there are some great places to curl up in front of a fire and dream that you’re at the Bistro. We have just returned from a few days in Vermont. Our friends came here from Ontario and then we went on to Vermont to visit with friends there. The six of us get along well so we had a grand time. One of the guys went skiing at Sugarbush, one went on his own to check out bookstores etc. and the three women did the thrift shops. I think the third man was at his computer but he joined us for supper out and then sitting in front of the woodstove in the evening. What could be better than a gathering of friends? (Like the Bistro, eh?)

Hooray! Saw the sun for the first time in about three weeks. It peeped out three hours ago. I feel like Spring is here. There has been a heavy cloud cover with occasional rain. I like to read LP’s Facebook comments on their weather. Sunlight on ice and snow sparkles beautifully.

Hi Julie, we do share a lot, don’t we! I have a large number of kits – afghan kits to crochet or knit – and several cross-stitch ones. I don’t know whether I’ll get them all done, but I’ve picked up a granny square afghan that I left in the middle, and to my surprise, figured out where I left off and how to make the squares! After several years doing other things, I thought that wasn’t too bad! I also ordered a bunch more books, but these aren’t mysteries. They are books about Christianity by Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury, and Anne Lamott, and a new one by Brian McLaren, who is another favourite author of mine. They will occupy my mind quite well, I know! Some day I’m going to have the dreadful task of clearing out books, craft kits, and tons of other stuff before I make my move in a few years’ time.

The horror of the terrorism in Paris is staying on my mind. We were playing Bingo yesterday and I missed a number because I was so deep in thought. We belong to several Senior groups and I enjoy the people. Meeting and enjoying each other’s company means so much to me. I look around and see all the beautiful shades of skin color and different facial shapes………some good has happened in my lifetime.
Sylvia, I finished The Hanging Garden yesterday. I enjoyed it and have started Innocent Graves. I spend too much time reading and playing computer games I guess. I’m feeling the tug to get into volunteer work again but only as a volunteer. Activities that I am not responsible for planning and implementing. Sort of a behind the scenes volunteer.
Good thoughts to all.

Barbara, I think the trick is to find a happy balance and being able to do something for your community without getting in over your head. Church work can get you in over your head quite easily, especially if you have difficulty saying “no”. Anyway, I have a plan now to gradually back out. But having some involvement is good for me; it makes me feel useful, and that’s important especially when you’re alone.

Enjoy your Peter Robinson’s – they’re all good!

Isn’t it funny how we often have such similar experiences. Every time I have volunteered for things, I find I get swallowed into committees and projects, and before you know it I’m chairing two or three things and wondering why I am so busy and feeling so hectic. I have vowed to never do more than one thing at any one time now where I’m “in charge” of something. So much nicer to participate and not have to run the whole show… So far, so good – I’m there, I’m doing my part, but I am only on one committee, though I am the chair, hahaha.

Julie, I guess if one is a leader-type person, they get called on to lead – to the extent that they get frazzled and hectic! You have a good plan, and I’m glad it’s working for you. One of my main jobs involves chairing two committees, but they don’t have to meet every month, just on an as-needed basis. Most of the time things hum along, but every now and then things all bunch up together, and then you feel stressed! Oh well, it’s better than wondering how you’re going to pass another day! I never have enough hours! I’m starting to get back into crochet and knitting. I have arthritis badly in one of my fingers, so I thought that knitting and crochet, where I’m working with my hands, might help it. So far I’m managing, but it’s quite painful.

Do any of you do needle crafts? I find it quite relaxing.

You’re right, of course, Sylvia. Though I often think that it’s just that I can’t say “no”, hahaha. I, too, have never had to wonder what to do with my time – it’s much more wondering if everything will fit into the time I have! I do wonder about people who get bored. I think that it must take a completely different kind of person, because I don’t ever remember being bored, even when I haven’t been frantic to find time for everything. Of course, because I read, I have a rich inner life, hahahahaha.

I do counted thread embroidery – cross stitch, and other counted thread techniques. Mostly I work on samplers, and study historical samplers. That’s my passion! It IS very relaxing – so often people will look at what seems like tiny, exacting work to them and exclaim that they wouldn’t have the patience, but I know that it doesn’t take patience, it gives it!

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