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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.

3,639 replies on “The Bistro”

Julie, page 3, 7th down, Linda’s post starts a discussion about Massey keeping one painting of Norman’s in his studio.
Yes, fine with me to continue here.

Ah – yes – thank you, Cathryne. I didn’t give this much thought as I read it (either time), but now, you are making me think, Linda! I halfway imagine that he hoped that people would think it was his, but of course, it HAD to be eating him up inside to see it every day. I would think it would fester and drive him even further into madness. You’d think it would be so painful that he would get rid of it. Someone said, but I can’t remember who – or even if it was part of a discussion here, or in the book – that maybe he couldn’t because he had to acknowledge that it was great art. He might have wanted to throw it away, but just couldn’t bring himself to. I don’t know if I think that. I do think he recognized how great it was, but whether he had enough sensitivity to not be able to destroy something beautiful, I somehow don’t think so…

Cathryne – thanks for the “review” on the coffee mugs – I often wonder about such things. I just watched “Still Life” on Acorn TV – and I see why Louise was not as pleased as she’d hoped. She has never come out and said she didn’t like what they did, but she has hinted at it by saying she finally felt that she had to “distance herself” from the production. I would think it would be very, very hard to see your creation taken up by others and dressed up a little differently. I’ve been watching “Outlander”, and I know that Diana Gabaldon had a lot of input into the series, and it shows – while it’s not the book, word for word, the feel is just right, and the casting is sublime!

I know a lot of people thought Nathanial Hawthorne would be their ideal choice for Gamache, and he was great, but pretty much the whole rest of the movie was mis-cast. I know a movie can’t possibly match what I have in my minds’ eye, but I feel like the producers just completely ignored the descriptions of people, and subsequently, the “feel” was all wrong. Of course, there were things that had to be toned down (Ruth’s language, and a lot of Gabri and Olivier’s dialog), all together – it was kind of unsettling. Like the story had been usurped and put someplace other than three pines…. such a shame. I really wanted to like it.

I very seldom see a movie before I read a book because I feel like the movie is never as good as the book, and so can act just as a “spoiler”, but even so – lots of times, I’ve enjoyed both the book and the movie. I wish this was one of those times, but it’s not.

I’m so often disappointed in the movies made from books I like that I’m not sure I’d even want to view this. For instance, why tone down Ruth’s language? I guess they could “bleep” it out as they do on The Daily Show, but that’s Ruth, that’s the character. Sigh …

Karen, I had made up my mind early on that I would probably not watch the movies. This series is so full of characters I’ve come to know and love. Louise Penny’s descriptive language could not begin to be captured on the screen without scrambling my own perceptions and ideas. Ruth’s language is part of who she is. Gamache’s strength is as much a part of what defines him as is his gentle tenderness, not only to his loved ones but to people he comes to know throughout each book.
There is so much “feeling” and mystery I’d like to just keep it on the printed page and in my mind.

Barbara, I agree so completely. Plus, I was very disappointed that Amazon Prime is the venue for the films. I feel like that’s a slap in the face of Independent book stores that helped spread the love of Gamache and Three Pines.

I did see the movie and I think it was a mistake. I would rather it would be a series, like Midsomer Murders which I have enjoyed for years.

Nathaniel Hawthorne? You mean Parker! He is a lovely actor and probably just about OK for Gamache but, as you say, the rest were horribly miscast. At least the story was almost correct. I’ve watched adaptions of books by P D James and Rosamund Pilcher where the only connection with the original was the name of the characters. The adaptors had the sauce to tell me that they had improved on the story! Why, then, buy it in the first place? Never mind, we can now look forward to “The Beast”. Here, in England, my copy is already on order.

Funny, I just stumbled onto Still Life on Netflix the other night, and thought Parker was the WORST casting mistake of all. The others — well, I could live with the choices even if they weren’t the people I’d have ‘seen.’ Gamache to my mind looks a bit like pictures of Einstein when he was in his 40s–mustached, a little rumpled, but absolutely a gentleman and a scholar with a kindly, wise, and thoughtful face. Jean-Guy, a younger Kevin Spacey. Others? They look like neighbors and friends I know. The Gabri of this production was only a tiny bit plump, while his partner looked cadaverous. Of course turning the books into a movie 90 minutes long means a lot of plot pruning, and that doesn’t work well either.

I prefer to read the books, I can visualize the people and the videos just lead to disappointment. We probably see the backgrounds and personalities differently, so it is nice not to have to accept another’s view.

I also do not watch a movie before reading a book that I really like. In my case, it’s not like….but love….I really love the Three Pines Mysteries. I was very curious about how the movie “Still Life” might be carried out…..so-o-o I actually bought the DVD (and still own it) and my husband & I watched it together. It was indeed a disappointment because it was definitely not done the way I would have liked….especially the ending. 🙁 I wish I could have been the casting director because most of the characters do not match the visualizations in my mind. I’m sorry my husband was introduced to a Louise Penny story in this manner (he is not an avid reader like myself). I can see how it must have been so hard for Louise to see what they were doing to her story and I am so sorry for her. However, this is what happens when you sell rights to your story. I certainly hope there will never be another movie made from any of her other books. — Finally, when I’m really into a book I can visualize every character just the way I want them to be. It’s so disappointing when they do not match my images. This happened many years ago when the first “Godfather” movie was made. Al Pacino was wonderful in these movies but he was not at all how I had pictured Michael Corleone while I was reading the book. — I cherish all my Armand Gamache/Three Pines mysteries….keep them coming, Louise. 🙂

If you’re also a fan of Michael Connelly, I hope you have seen the excellent job of bringing his Bosch series to TV. It’s on Amazon, so nothing had to be toned down, and Connelly was actively involved. I’ve never seen such perfect casting. They have really brought the books to life.

Eugenia, I completely agree about ‘Bosch’! It’s a winner of a screen adaptation. I have read a number of Connoly’s books only after discovering the character through the TV series. The author is an executive producer of the show, so he’s done a great job of maintaining creative control and realizing his vision. He was recently a guest host on TCM, picking crime story films all day and discussing his choices between films with the lovely and talented Ben Mankiewicz. MC has a real knack for connecting character and story and performer. The series has a great visual sensibility and wonderful soundtrack as well. Not many authors get this much say in bringing their work to the screen; he’s made the most of the opportunity.

I didn’t know about this series being produced for film! I would be afraid to watch it and have all my wonderful personal images and knowledge, and VOICES, of the beloved Three Pines characters and residents “tampered with”. I say, “voices” because I’ve only ever listened to the series! The narrator, Ralph Cosham, hits a homerun on each and every Book and character. I highly recommend listening to this series–once, twice, etc., now and in the years to come. Im so happy I have all my friends with me. I purchased them all through http://www.audible.com. They are mine forever.

I was excited to see the “Still Life” movie, and then so disappointed when I did. The characters were not at all as they “should” have been. Maybe someone will redo it and do it “right”.

LP has said publicly she hated Still Life and that’s why she insisted on some control over the new one – as far as actors, story etc Time will tell

L P hated still life . This new one she was wise enough to retain creative control over the story line and the actors. Hopefully we will all be happy.

Hi Cathryne, just posted a note on thoughts regarding Jean Guy on the previous thread when I saw Paul’s comment that the Bistro was open. Love the photo – a chair by the fireplace. How perfect. Big hug of thank you, Paul!

OK, I’ll have to order some mugs. One, I love mugs and two I want to know what a licorice pipe is! 😉

Cathryne, should we continue the discussion here? I found your and Linda’s lasts comments thought provoking and would like to follow them through a bit more.

I’m loving it! Thank you, Paul – this is perfect! Linda, and Cathryne – I’d like to continue whatever conversations here – I’ve somehow gotten lost on the last threads – I see there are more comments by the number listed, but I can’t seem to find the new ones. Must be that “high state of confusion”!

It had gotten hard to find the new comments. I found myself searching for one I had read but didn’t have time to comment on till later. Took several searches to find it. This site is great.

Licorise pipes. Black licorice pipe with red candy beads, ones used to decorate cookies, glued into the bowl of the pipe.

I just want to say that I ordered 2 Vive Gamache mugs a couple of months ago and I love them, the quality, the size, shape, and especially the three pine trees. They came right away and, enclosed, was a licorice pipe! It was such a nice surprise that I shared half with my husband. We agreed, delicious!

This is my email order contact for the mugs.


We have been inundated with orders for mugs since our favourite author posted that we sell them in her newsletter. We have unfortunately run out of stock of the mugs. We are expecting a new shipment of mugs to arrive on December 8th.

The Three Pines cafe au lait mugs sell for $20. Shipping one mug to On adds $11 or $13 for two. You can view the products on our web page bromelakebooks.ca. or by going to the following link:


You can purchase online or give us a call at 450-242-2242.

Thank you and Vive Gamache

Lucy Hoblyn

Livres Lac-Brome Inc.
Brome Lake Books
Tel: 450 242-2242
Fax: 450 242-1368

I have just recently stumbled upon these novels/author. I am anxious to read the first book, still life. I am an avid reader and glad to have found this forum.

Don’t hesitate! Armand Gamache series is second to none. Even better than, or in addition to, reading this series is to LISTEN to the audio books. It will enhance your appreciation of all the characters. And you’ll get to know each of them intimately.

I, too, listen to the audiobooks on my daily commute to school. I really miss Ralph Cosham, but will get used to the new reader. I do, however, cringe every time the new reader pronounces surete. I listened to a French dictionary and the correct pronunciation is like Ralph’s.

I miss Ralph! Why not replace him with a Quebecois actor/voice talent? It seems an elegant solution. I find it extremely jarring to hear the voice of Gamache sound like he just walked out of Downtown Abby… which he did. It’s an insult to 3 Pines, and all of French speaking Canada.

I miss Ralph! Why not replace him with a Quebecois actor/voice talent? It seems an elegant solution. I find it extremely jarring to hear the voice of Gamache sound like he just walked out of Downton Abby… which he did. It’s an insult to 3 Pines, and all of French speaking Canada.

Robert Bathurst valiantly took on the reading of the Inspector Gamache books following Ralph Cosham’s death. I was a great fan of Mr. Cosham, for this series and many other books, and was awfully sad to hear of his passing.

Please open your mind to a different narrator. Mr. Bathurst is excellent, and carries on the legacy with honors. He was a cast member of Downton Abbey and quite an accomplished actor. He brings much to the continuing enjoyment of the Inspector Gamache novels.

Ditto! Once Roger passed, I couldn’t imagine listening to “imposters” living the lives of my beloved Three Pines residents. And Ruth! No one can do Ruth better than Roger Cosham, ma he RIP.
Now, I only read the new books. And I listen to the original narrator, Roger Cosham, religiously over and over. They are all in my audio library from http://www.audible.com. I love these people! Ralph brought them to life beautifully. Each one has his or her own voice and nuances and attitudes. Thank you, Ralph.

Why did they replace Ralph as the reader?? I am not sure I will ever adapt to the new reader. I am now reading THE LONG WAY HOME and thank goodness Ralph is the narrator.

It is so interesting to have Gamache and wife living there. Bravo to Penny for coming up with this book. I never want the series to end.

I may just give up on the audio books with the change of narrator….I just cannot get used to Armand sounding as if he just stepped out of an English novel…hello…he is French! Couldn’t we have found someone who carried on with the French accent?

Where are comments from the last 5 years? Hello? No Armand is NOT French! Where did u get that idea?

When I first happened upon these books by Louise Penny it was the audio version of “How The Light Gets In”. My life has not been the same since.

Somehow, the comments early on here are jumbled up and not in any order, really, at all. Anyone who would like to make a comment and have those of us still in the Bistro see it and talk with you about the books, please just go to the bottom of the page and write in the blank there – it SHOULD then track to the bottom of page 81, where we’ll all see it. There are a few of us who are hanging around in the Bistro every day, amusing ourselves with talk of other books, other things, writing stories, etc. – we’d love to have you drop in and bring up talk of any of the books (or any other thing, really). So, rather than reply to a person or a specific post, just go to the bottom of the page and reply there – and we should see it right at the end. C’mon in… the water’s fine.

Is there a search feature for specific topics?
I’m so thrilled to have found ‘The Nature of the Feast’,
as this gift to readers answered multiple questions at once.
Kind regards,

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