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.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

Just watched the Prime Video trailer for Three Pines, and I can’t wait for the series to begin! December 2nd – just a month away. To see all of the quirky, amazing characters I’ve read about for so long on screen – that will be so wonderful. Congratulations Louise!

That full-length trailer that was released today…WOW!! It gave me goosebumps. I can’t wait to watch the series with my family so that they can finally understand my favorite book series of all time!

I can’t believe I’ve listened to so many of these books on CD (longish commute) and just now found this site! I just finished Long Way Home (Ralph Cosham’s last volume, RIP) and Nature of the Beast is on its way through interlibrary loan. Such a fan! I found this site seeking information on Baie-Saint-Paul and couldn’t be happier to be here~

I haven’t read them in order and am catching up but I am afraid I may have to start reading faster to keep a head of the series. So exciting to see Gamache will be on Prime. I can hardly wait. Please do start with Still Life.
Love the books and am reading as fast as I can.

Our local stationary store had a lovely white stone-like square coaster with the words “It’s Fine, I’m Fine, Everything’s Fine” on it! It sits next to my computer now with coffee cup or water bottle on it and makes me smile regularly! Those who have read the Gamache books will relate to this I think!

It is really hard to wait between novels! I wish she could write faster!
Looking for ways to see streaming episodes.
Attracted to the intelligence of Gamach, as well as his empathy.

I wish people would READ faster! I am fairly recently added to Ms. Penny’s fanclub so have several books to read, but they all have long waitlists and/or limited supplies. I wish Central Libraries in large cities (ahem, Phoenix!) had access to available ebooks in their branches! I’d BUY books if I could but have a very limited amount of money (on Medicare) and time (age 81).

May l send my extra copies to you? No need to pay for postage — we older readers need to stick together. Just tell me what books you’re waiting for.

I have some duplicates. Bury yout dead. Trick of the Light. If you want them, send me your address and I’ll mail them to you. MJ

Dee, I just saw your comment. I also have some books I’d be happy to send your way. Let me know what titles you’re still missing.

Is the raid where Gamache and Jon Guy are wounded in one of the books or is it just discussed in others?

Dear Sue, Gamache is a Quebecois and they do not speak the same French as those people who come from France! When I landed in Montreal in 1967 I was surprised that no one understood my lovely Parisian French – I quickly learned to speak Quebecois, with the help of some lovely friends who had originally laughed (very kindly) at my first attempts to speak French.
I own a Gamache mug and just love to have my morning coffee in it while reading a Louise Penny book.

My next-door neighbors growing up were French. I went camping with them to a “French” campground on the Eastern Shore of VA. My friend couldn’t understand the Canadians French, her brother had to translate for her. She was fluent in her mothers Parisian French.

Has anyone ever created a ‘map’ of Three Pines? If so, where could I find it? As I read the books, I can picture Three Pines but then something will come up and I’ll have to rearrange the map in my head, ‘No, Clara & Peter’s house must be over there… .’

Love the map, but would love it even more with a legend. I think I can name the buildings and home, but am not positive.

A map would be great. I can picture the row of stores but then draw a blank. Actually, I know this is a tall order but I would love to have a Three Pines Christmas Village set, complete with people and Rosa and dogs of course!
Or perhaps a diorama kit! It’s wonderful that her books have inspired people to feel such a human connection.

That sounds so wonderful! I have been reading this series for years! I hate the long wait in between books. I can’t wait for the movie in December. Debbie Hamilton

Me too! What a great idea, to have a lovely little village that I can totally relate to, with little figurines of Ruth and the duck and the gang! And it would be so awesome if it could be rigged up so that every time one turned on its power, a person could get a whiff of whatever is being cooked in the bistro! 🙂

A request of those of you Three Pines fans. I know the village is fictional, but is there an area in that part of Canada that can be toured? Any establishments resembling (or modeled) after the B&B and/or the Bistro? My wife and I are anxious to drive or travel by train, but to try to experience the country as so vividly described in Louise Penny’s Gamache series. Any information is greatly appreciated.

Go over the border from Vermont North Troy I believe, and Knowlton is just 10-12 miles away, I believ, and Sutton and several other villges that Louise Penny took bits and pieces of for her imaginary village. But the Three Pines, a sign, the bookstore the old inn/tavern Auberge Knowlton- Le Relais you can get a room upstairs, and eat downtairs. Lc Brome is real. etc. A great place for a holiday any time of year. The monastery Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac is not far.

I did not have Alfred Molina in my mind as Gamache either. However I will give the series a chance. That’s the job of an actor; to embody the character, is it not. I am assuming Louise Penny has had control over decisions and content with this endeavor.

I feel truly selfish. Louise spends months (years?) developing her stories and as soon as they come out, I crawl into bed on a long do nothing weekend, and devour the books.
She is my favorite female author. I love 3 Pines and would move there if I could find it, but only spring, summer and fall.

I am on my second round of reading the series in random order. I love that you can read this series out of order! I just started a Three Pines book club in the tiny (pop. 92) village I moved to in Colorado last year. It is in the historic registry and has two antique stores, a general store, a pizza restaurant/bar, a historic inn and a castle. One day I hope to go to Canada and try to discover Three Pines, don’t worry Louise, I won’t visit you. I may go see you on book tour if you ever come to Colorado again. My cabin has three pines in the yard and I call it Three Pines. I love Gamache and all of the characters really. Thank you for giving me a place to relax with good friends.

I agree – there is some profanity (I’m looking at you, too, Rosa, along with your “mother.”) But it’s handled well and is usually for the humor. No sex, some small amount of gore (it’s always about a murder – there’s bound to be some gore, but it’s minimal.) The thing to remember is that the characters are well drawn, and very realistic. These are not lightweight cozies, Ms Penny is a serious writer, and her stories are about bigger issues than just the murder before them.

The series is one of well developed and interesting characters, and beautifully told stories. Sometimes, the writing is so fantastic, I copy down phrases. Loved the website and feel somehow more attached by seeing the pictures. It helps to picture the characters in Three Pines. Always looking forward to the next book!

I read The Madness of Crowds first, a year ago. Then I started reading the series from the beginning. These books have so much depth and it feels as if I’m reading poetry.

Does anyone know when the Amazon Prime 8 episode series Three Pines will air? I’ve just finished the last book and really want to watch the new series!

Even Louise says she doesn’t know and she will let us know when. If you subscribe to the monthly newsletter you will get new info faster.

What Amazon Prime Series? This is the first reference I have seen about it. Can someone give further details?

I have some duplicates. Bury yout dead. Trick of the Light. If you want them, send me your address and I’ll mail them to you. MJ

Retired in May, read all 17 books this summer. Couldn’t wait for Madness of Crowds to come out in paperback, so I bought the hardcover. Even after re-reading the ending (several times), I remain confused. So I ask this question of those of you who have finished MoC, and will try not to spoil the novel for those of you not yet there – Does Penny actually reveal the murderer, or does it remain unknown. And most troubling, how does she explain the murder weapon being brought to the scene of the crime?

Help! I am new to the series (just finished the second and I LOVE everything about it). I am listening to the books and I just can’t seem to figure out what is going on with Yvette Nicole? Is she sent in as a spy? By who? And why!

Hi, Ingrid. I revisit this site rarely, so I know it’s a long time without any answer. I had hoped that Yvette would become a regular character. She will come up again in a few more books, but I guess never really clicked with the current team (or Ms Penny decided the team was better without her.) I think her raison d’être was to show Gamache’s process of nurturing the next generation by taking the misfits and teaching them to find their own way. Yvette seemed to me like a hard nut to crack, but wants desperately to do a good job. Before she is out of the books altogether (though, of course, who knows if she might come back sometime.) you will see that she is not a spy, that she is a troubled young woman who wants to succeed but doesn’t know how to do that. I really do wish that Gamache would have taken her under his wing, though some later dealings with her give you the reasons that might not work.

Just finished The Madness of Crowds and feel like I’m missing something… Who called Gamache in the opening scene? I remember he was upset and said “you’ll regret this” but did it ever explain who it was?

Just wanted to know if the series is clean. How much profanity, sex, etc? Wondering if my 83 year old mother would enjoy them.

There is a decent amount of profanity (I’m looking at you, Rosa), but that’s about it. No sex, some violence but nothing over the top.

LP is not in the business of writing porn. Rest assured her books are “clean”- gory sometimes but clean. Some folks say her stories are more
intellectual than anything else – a lot of French words and expressions. 4 years of French and I don’t need the translations. You may not either. And you may find yourself collecting “ gamache sayings”. (Quack quack)

I have read all of these books twice. I love the small town of Three Pines.. I wanted to find a place that was so close knit it would feel like home, with all the quirks and supportive people, minus the homicide rate! And I have . It’s not in Canada , though I’m sure they exist there; it’s in France!

I’m not sure about your mother, but my 84-year-old husband reads my Penny books as soon as I finish them.

I’m 82,and read every single book. If she can handle the gory details of an awful gun battle, the rest is easy. Penny is not in the business of writing porn and I think that’s obvious from the first book.

There is not one thing your mother would feel uncomfortable about. No sex – yes, it is possible to find a book without sex – but packed full of interest, warmth, wonderful characters and intriguing plots. I finish a Three Pines book feeling uplifted.

Mom 94 year old mother loves the series…why don’t you read one and decide for yourself. It is a personal thing how much you are bothered by whatever…that being said I do not think there is profanity, definitely no sex. There is a delightful gay couple that runs the Bistro. I really wish I could go to 3P and meet them!

I’m almost as old as your mother and I have read and collected all of the books. I would be very surprised if she didn’t love them

Are you kidding? This is probably the best set of books we ever read and my husband is a retired lawyer and 82 years old. We couldn’t put them down and can’t wait for the next book. We wish Louise Penney would write at least one book a month. Your mother will be immersed in these books. We spent time in that Montreal area and the areas where these books take place and it brings back so many happy memories. My step-daughter is a very successful lawyer in Washington DC and finds time to read them. Every time she has a hard day she tells us she wants to move to Three Pines. Absolutely loved these books.

No sex, which is a very nice change, but the darned duck has a potty mouth, er, bill. Ruth also has one, but it’s FINE.

It sounds egocentric, but I may be responsible for all of the “F” bombs showing up in the books.

In the beginning, Ms. Penny used Quebecois cuss words. (Interesting fact: they were French words for items in a Roman Catholic church. I thought it added a Quebecois flavor to her books and miss them.

About book three, Ms. Penny started using English profanities. At one point, Jean-Guy Beauvoir drops the “F” bomb before Reine Marie Gamache . Even then, Jean-Guy’s love and respect for Armand Gamache was evident and I could not see him using that word in front of Ms. Gamache. And I wrote and told Ms. Penny so. After that, the “F” bomb started exploding more and more frequently and dropped by more and more characters.

Coincidence? I think not.

I’m 84 and have read, chronologically, all of the Gamache series. Ms Penny makes him like your next door neighbor. The adventures are very realistic and when finishing one can not wait to get the next. Profanity is limited to what anyone would generally hear. You and your Mother will enjoy them

I am 78 years old, shall I say a contemporary of your mother, and I have read EVERY Gamache at least twice and love them all. The “profanity” is so very minor that your mind can easily read it and then ignore it as you move on to the next sentence to see what’s going to happen!

Yes, there’s some profanity, but it’s all in fun. Louise uses it well, and often it’ll be in French!

Her books are classic and your mother would love, the little profanity is not offensive and it is otherwise like most cozy mysteries in that they are timeless and wonderful. I want to re read them all again. I am obsessed with Three Pines and the Bistro. My favorite reading series of all time. Brilliant

Retired in May, read all 17 books this summer. Couldn’t wait for Madness of Crowds to come out in paperback, so I bought the hardcover. Even after re-reading the ending (several times), I remain confused. So I ask this question of those of you who have finished MoC, and will try not to spoil the novel for those of you not yet there – Does Penny actually reveal the murderer, or does it remain unknown. And most troubling, how does she explain the murder weapon being brought to the scene of the crime?

A little over a year ago my wife and I both discovered Armand and friends and very quickly fell in love. We are now ready to begin book 14 – Kingdom of the Blind. I don’t know what we will do when we catch up with Louise. We have started reading other authors in between each book (to slow us down) but find we can’t wait to get back to Three Pines. Thank you Louise for your wonderful and beautiful story telling and character portraits. Your stories have entertained and enriched our lives. So much so that we decided we needed to visit and see for real the inspirations that created these characters and their surroundings. We are going to do a road trip in November (even though Glass Houses almost made us change our minds about November in Quebec) to visit the “land of Gamache”. Other commitments kept us from doing so sooner. We can’t wait. The Gamache series has definitely been a bright spot to help us get through the pandemic. Thank you again Louise.

My wife and I are also very interested in such a road trip. I know Three Pines and the Bistro are fictional, but how did you plan such a trip? Very interested in your experience and how to tour the area.
Steve & Barbara

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