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.

3,639 replies on “The Bistro”

Perhaps it this question has been addressed already:
Who writes “Ruth’s” poetry? I love it and find it and all of Gamache’s wisdom! Really Louise ‘s wisdom. Thank you so much. A second reading/listening is helping me through the Pandemic. I hope all in and of Three Pines are well.

I just found these discussions on the Gamache series in Three Pines just today. I have read almost every book so far from the beginning of the first book, I did go thru a period of ill health for 2 years, which means I missed those books from 2015-2017. So those would be the years I have to catch up on. I am doing a little investigating, but I love the Bistro and Gabri and Oliver and of course our dear Ruth…

I have been assigned by my book group to ask a question about Kingdom of the Blind. Some thought that Gamache set Amelia up to be back on the street in order to stop the drug trafficking. Others thought she relapsed on her own and he simply used that as an opportunity knowing she would lead him to where he needed to go. We are asking if it is one or the other?

Gamache actually gave Amalia the assignment to track down the drug traffickers; they were in cahoots. She did not relapse on her own; the pusher who was doing his own drug tests on users administered the drug to Amelia which is why she found the tattoo on her arm. Gamache had Amelia watched for her protection while she was on the streets.

I am re reading the book, it has been a long time between readings and I am inclined to agree that Gamache set up the situation to have Amelia on the streets seeking the drugs. This is her hood and she knows better than anyone how to locate the drugs if anyone can. And I read on enjoying the tension in every page.

I hope I’m not alone in reading this series totally out of order due to just picking up one of these treasures by accident about 9 months ago. Now I’m trying to track the ones I’ve missed, but I would love to ask a simple question that obviously has been answered in the book following, The Brutal Telling. Who actually killed the Hermit and why?
I know from another of the books that Oliver was falsely convicted and later Gamache resolved the case to get him released. But I don’t know or remember what else was revealed in that book. Please help, it will be weeks before I can request the older books from other libraries.

In case you haven’t figured this out yet, it was Old Mundin, the carpenter. He thought he was killing his father’s murderer when in fact it was his father, hiding out years after faking his own death

Just finished Glass Houses.

Question: How did Anton’s DNA get on the bat if he didn’t commit Katie’s murder?

Was the bat gone and then returned just cause Jaqueline panicked or because she was somehow adding Anton’s DNA to the bat?


A Better Man is the best of Louise Penny’s books I think and I have read them all. I read about her first book when she was a new author and got it and read it at once. ABM is excellent and surprising. Please give yourself a treat.

I am curious as to the meaning of the word “woo” referenced in the killing of the Hermit in Books 5 and 6. Why would that word frighten the Hermit? Thoughts? Thanks!!

I think it was what the baby/child said or how he/she pronounced a name.
I wish I had the book with me now, I could find it

I love, love, love the inspector Gamache books. Currently reading the current one and there are two different quotes that I want to find but since I actually listen to books it’s not easy to tag them and go back. Or at least not for me. There is one about every time you say something, think, say it with kindness or don’t say it all and something else. I know that’s vague and I’m going to try to listen again, but does anyone remember? He quotes it when he’s remembering sitting with his mentor somewhere. Thanks

Hi fellow enthusiasts – may I join you?

I have a couple of questions about Better Man – which I absolutely LOVED. If you haven’t read it yet, please skip this post!!

Why would Vivienne have her pink duffel bag over her shoulder when she met wth her actual murderer? And why DID she have the pills in her bag? Just feel like I must be missing something here…

I think I have a new favourite “thing”: the lines “But then, ducks often…” That makes me smile out loud every time!!

Right here is the perfect webpage for anyone who wants to understand this topic.

You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa).
You certainly put a new spin on a subject which has been written about for years.
Great stuff, just wonderful!

Who’s in the Bistro today and what’s the topic of conversation? Are we all F.I.N.E.?

I happened on this series via one of my older sister’s who happened to purchase Glass Houses, which she loaned to me, but she had ordered the series. From the Glass Houses I found myself wanting to start at the beginning as well. I’ve come to love Three Pines and the characters of the Gamache series, and once I’ve read the full series I plan on listening to the audio books. I’m not sure what I will read after I’m finished the Gamache series it will be hard to follow.

I have listened to the whole series on Audible and will definitely listen again. These books are sublime. I was so impressed with them, I bought the whole series for my 92 year old father, who loves mysteries and lived in Quebec until 1969 (It wasn’t easy to find them all…) He devoured the books in short order and loved them.

If anyone is interested in the whole series 1-13 please contact me at ginanpa@gmail.com

I hope it’s ok to post this here. I tried finding book clubs on facebook without any luck.

I don’t understand how “L” could have said she loved Clara’s art if she’d never seen it. The only mystery left for me from this book.

Catherine, You were right about Rosa and Trick of the Light. I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as a reprise of Ruth’s portrait, in which a light of hope is discerned in the distance. I did hope it was the promise of Rosa’s return. But it could also be the actual event, Thanks.

Thank you for the vision of goodness existing strongly in the midst of evil. It’s what makes the stories mythological in depth. Concerning mugs, the Walter Drake catalog has very nice personalized mugs, so why not ask for “Gamache?” Although the bookstore mugs are shaped like café au-lait bowls, which is very nice. I have ordered the Walter Drake ones in the past and they are fine.

Rosa doesn’t come back in any of the books, although we’d like to see it. One minute Ruth is gazing into the sky and in the next book Rosa is back.

Concerning the movie, nothing wrong with Parker I guess, but I had envisioned a larger version of David Suchet, gray and balding. (Probably not anyone else’s vision) How to portray power and love and kindness? Am I the only one who thinks verisimilitude would be served by characters speaking with a French accent? I understand that Quebecois are speaking French, not English with a French accent. But Louise makes is pretty clear in the books, with the use of occasional French phrases, that the characters are speaking French.

I only watched the movie until the intro of characters. It was impossible after that. Although Ben and Janet seemed okay. I had seen (and I realize others probably had a different vision) Beauvoir as a young Roger Moore, Clara as a middle-aged Jill Clayburgh, Reine-Marie as Louise of course, but I would like to be Reine-Marie myself. Although I would not like to be married to a homicide detective. I don’t remember ever wanting to be a fictional character before. I never had a picture in my mind of Myrna or Gabri, but Olivier and Peter are both slim versions of middle-aged Land’s End catalog men in my mind. Maybe Myrna is Queen Latifah with different hair. Or the same hair. Ruth is the old actress and writer Ruth Gordon, for me, although she certainly has elements of CCCH Pounder in Bagdad Café. The anger is perfect. Or Alfre Woodard in one of her crabbier parts. I had never realized quite so strongly how characters are flattened out in movies. It would be hard to cast Agent Nichol. She is not pretty and she is not merely uncertain. She takes up a lot of space in a room and virtually sizzles with resentment. She is unkempt. If you erase all that the character disappears. Is there a hint, before Kingdom of the Blind, that Billy Williams appreciates Myrna? I don’t remember it.

I love the dog. Henri is a whole character and all that is good about dogs.

I’ve just been through my second reading of all of them, third of “How the Light Gets In.” Picked up a lot I had missed the first time and I only read them a couple of months ago. Happy to see that there will be more.

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