Gamache Series Open Discussion

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.

Paul Hochman

Discussion on “Gamache Series Open Discussion

  1. Anna says:

    “Where did this mysterious toxin come from?”
    Robbie could almost hear Morgan shaking his head over the phone.

    “There the mystery deepens but the thinking of the experts is that he made it himself. The suicide victim was a bloke called Brendan Whitmore, a chemical engineer by trade who made a fortune manufacturing insecticides and pesticides in developing countries. His company ran a small research unit locally where he had a development team tinkering with better and safer agents. Strangely that team had no knowledge of the toxin that killed Whitmore and there were no records that one had been produced, but the general supposition was that he probably made the stuff himself.”
    It seemed like a lot of trouble to go to in order to commit suicide mused Fox. Morgan agreed and if it was the same agent, how on earth did it end up on a tour bus?
    It was late in the evening when Fox and Collie shared a meal in the now deserted dining room. The tour guests were ensconced in cosy accommodations upstairs with a constable guarding the exit, just in case.
    “If it was the same weird nerve agent Whitmore used, then the killer had to be on the bus,” Collie announced. She was flicking through the report on Whitmore’s death which Morgan had sent over. “It kills within seconds so it had to have been ingested right before she died.”
    Fox nodded as he swallowed the last mouthful of a delicious lamb pie. “In which case the likely repository for said toxin was Ms Purdue’s water bottle but she had been sipping from it all morning as was her want apparently, with no ill effects. Well, no prior ill effects. And she was seated alone. In all my interviews I could not identify anyone with access to the bottle. How about you?”
    Collie shook her head and sipped from a bottle of beer, grateful that the Inn was licensed.
    “Therese Longley moved from the seat Evangeline was in but that didn’t give her access to the water bottle. Could the toxin have been administered in another way?”
    “Are you having James Bond thoughts?”
    “Why not? We have seen stranger…ricin pellets delivered by umbrella, Polonium in tea…”
    “It’s not impossible. Nerve agents can be absorbed across the skin Morgan tells me. I daresay injection would work quickly as well. I didn’t see anything of that ilk but we will see what Morgan and the SOCO team turn up. If it is murder we are dealing with, any likely suspects among the crowd you spoke to?”

  2. Anna says:

    Sorry it’s been a while. You may need to go back to the last installment to get back into the swing. I know I did!
    This short story is heading towards the 4000 words!

  3. Barbara H. Johnson says:

    Glad the Dr agrees about surgery. It seems so often now that there is a delay between being told a procedure will be one and the date being scheduled and then what seems like a long wait. I’m so impatient. A friend was complaining recently that once she decided to have something done, she wanted it the next day or so. She and I remember when that was the usual thing. As children and young adults the Dr saw you in at least 1 or 2 days if not the same day. I think that was because the Medical School of Ga was here in Augusta. Still is… name. Our ever increasing population and the fact that local people do not start their practice here as often as before has changed everything. New Drs must wonder about us elderly people who find things so odd.
    Wishing the best possible outcome for you. Let us know when surgery is scheduled.

    • Barbara H. Johnson says:

      Julie, I did it again. was reading previous page (went to it from favorites list) and posted. Surprise! New page had started.
      Won’t let that stop me.

  4. Barbara H. Johnson says:

    Anna, Thanks for the next installment. This is really fun. Well at least for us . I think you do enjoy writing though. We are glad you do.

  5. Julie says:

    Barbara, I’m intrigued that you are testing your DNA – have you done any other genealogical discovery? Do you kind of know what you think the DNA will show? Or will it be a big surprise? My mother always said we had some native American blood – and I guess it would be Cree, considering where in Canada we lived, but I have never actually figured out how that happened. She said her father’s mother was native American, but he was born in England, not Canada… so I think there’s a secret in there somewhere…. You could certainly believe it if you saw him (though I’ve only seen photographs). Her last name was French, which makes me think that there’s some possibility that her father’s father could have been descended from an actual Frenchman who married a native woman, then took the baby back to Europe. When they moved to England, who knows? It’s interesting – my mother didn’t have details, and of course, we all wait too long to ask these questions… one of these days I will start to look into this sort of thing on – once my eyes are a little worse, I’m lining up other things to do, hahaha.

    Do let us know what you find out (if it’s not too personal).

  6. Julie says:

    Anna, I’m just loving this – I love how the old case and new one are getting discussed together…

  7. Barbara H. Johnson says:

    Julie, I have dabbled in genealogy on and off for many years. I keep terrible records and am very easily distracted by names of neighbors in census records and so I am off and running once again on a track that will not help me trace my people. I have learned that my paternal line arrived in VA and not SC as I had always thought I “knew”.
    I won’t be upset by whatever is revealed. I’m very excited and my sister and I talked about it yesterday and last night. We will probably have the most boring report ever. All English or British at least.
    When a friend and her husband saw theirs, it was only a confirmation of what they already knew from genealogical research. They are both from families that have kept family history alive for many generations.
    When I began, I thought I was Scots, Irish and English only. Then a G-G-Grandfather was listed in a census as having been born in Germany. I fought that by insisting that Germany was probably the name of a no longer existing small town. I was assured that there was never a
    place in SC named Germany. I checked with the State archives and the head of the History Dept. of USC. All said no such town or village existed. I finally accepted the truth when his immigration records were found years later. I had assumed he came later than he did. I am such an example of what not to do. Always keep an open mind and never say impossible when the records show it is possible.
    I hope the kits arrive in tomorrow’s mail.

  8. Anna says:

    I think you guys have way more interesting genealogy than me. Basically English, Cornish and maybe a splash of Irish. Although apparently we track back to Spanish royalty on mum’s side…….
    Still writing. I am trying to have a productive week.

    • Barbara H. Johnson says:

      Wow ! I call that very interesting….Spanish was totally unexpected by me. Sounds like a book might be there. Oh, Oh Spanish from the destruction of the Armada? My guessing again.

      • Julie says:

        Good thinking, Barbara – I wouldn’t have thought about the Armada. Still – very interesting indeed… I never knew either set of grandparents, even though they were all alive when I was born, and apparently, my mother’s parents were in the same city for awhile. But my parents moved away when I was just a baby and travel was a big deal in those days, so I guess they held me as a baby, but I don’t have any memories at all of them. I’d know them from pictures, of course, and I have to think my grandmother on my mother’s side was as Irish as Irish could be, and her father was dark (and always tanned). He apparently spoke with a very broad Cockney accent and yet, they say his family came from France. Looking at him, I’d have guessed Italy (and there’s a huge Italian population in Toronto, where they lived by then), but I sometimes wonder. I’ll be very interested to see how the testing goes, Barbara. Very good of you to test the waters for the rest of us, hahaha.

  9. Paul Hochman says:


    • Julie says:

      Oh, how exciting – recipes! As much as I love The Night is a Strawberry blog, I just KNOW I’m going to appreciate these special recipes, too! By the way, did you see the wonderful French Onion Soup they made on TNIAS? Made my mouth water! Yipee!

  10. Barbara H. Johnson says:

    Hi Millie. Friday is the day to have your right eye done, if I remember correctly. How is the
    left eye doing ? It will be great when both have recovered and we can read your always interesting posts.
    You will be able to enjoy the beauty of Spring with “new” eyes.
    Hugs, calm and caring thoughts to you.

  11. Barbara H. Johnson says:

    What a great idea ! The nature of the Feast. We have often mentioned a Three Pines Cookbook. Recently, Guy Fieri prepared poutine on his cooking show. Can’t wait to try some of the dishes.
    Another great idea.

  12. Marilynn Bernard says:

    Your reply to the information you require to sign up for this newsletter tells me that i’m not old enough to subscribe. If being 71 years old isn’t enough, well………. 9-19-1944 There you go.

    • Julie says:

      Marilynn – I assure you, you are just the right age! Hee hee! I’m hoping it’s not this site that you are having trouble getting into – but we welcome all to join in our discussions here in the Bistro!

  13. Julie says:

    Speaking of newsletters, the latest just about broke my heart… Louise is the strongest, bravest person I know of… I’m so glad she and Michael had a chance to go to Jamaica, though an off-handed comment makes me think she knew at that time, that it would be the last trip… I can’t imagine watching the one you love just fade away before your eyes.

  14. Millie says:

    Barbara, thanks for keeping me in your thoughts, but the surgery on the right eye was today! I have no idea why I wrote MAY 5th. The 5th I started drops. So I can understand that. The month? Senior moment? Lol

    Please go to page 75 and about the 3rd down from top. My intent was to write that at the bottom then go back to make tiny replies. It ended up in the wrong place and a big eye strain headache. Sorry, but I chose Downton Abby. :-)

    I’ll write when I can, right now I have no up close vision to speak of. Hugs.

  15. Julie says:

    Millie – how brave of you to face family and friends and say “no”. I know just how hard that is, even though it sounds so easy, but you have a really good excuse right now, as you can tell them with your eye surgery you are taking some time to heal and get used to the new way of seeing. I think you can let on that this is not something that’s over in a day or two, but that will be an ongoing thing for awhile. Hopefully, that will get you used to saying “no – that doesn’t fit in with our plans” enough that you will have learned a new skill and earned some peace… My husband Vern (who has no idea how hard it is for me to say “no”), always says “They don’t respect you more if you let them walk all over you”, and I know that’s true. Just so darn hard to do much about for me.

    I must confess, I, too, had lost track of when the second eye was getting “done” – that’s fast – good for you! Hopefully, things will soon be on track (no matter what you tell people) and you’ll be feeling so much better. Keep us posted…

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