Three Pines Series Discussion

Three Pines Series Discussion

Three Pines Teaser Pic

Based on Louise Penny’s #1 New York Times bestselling novels, “Three Pines” from Amazon Prime Video and Left Bank Pictures stars Alfred Molina as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, a man who sees things that others do not: the light between the cracks, the mythic in the mundane, and the evil in the seemingly ordinary. 

Discuss the series with other Louise Penny fans here! 


286 replies on “Three Pines Series Discussion”

Love the books, but sorry, did not love the first two episodes of the series. I felt that the sideline of the missing Indigenous women regretfully took away from the introduction and development of the characters of Three Pines who, as much as Gamache and his team, are the essence of the books.

It took me a while to realize that Pierre was Pierre Arnot – so it looks like the back story of Arnot may develop as it did in the books but with a different tone line.

I have resolved myself to disassociate the series from the novels. At first, I was so irritated: the village is a town; the characters seem ominous, not to mention how they deviate in appearance from the novels; the only similarities are the characters’ names! The lack of richness of the primary characters’ personalities is the most upsetting element. I found myself constantly telling my husband, “The books aren’t like this!”
BUT I am most disappointed that Louise would allow her work to be so misrepresented in setting and character development.
Watching is like reading Shakespeare for Dummies rather than Hamlet.

Received book #18 today – and watched the first two episodes of the series. In for a Penny, in for a pound!

I’m conflicted about the series. Love the casting of Armand and Reine-Marie. Ruth cracks me up (as she did in the books). I agree with Mary above that Jean-Guy looks older than I pictured, and Clara too young. But Peter is coming across really true to the books. I think my biggest disappointment is Nichol – such a well drawn, complex, conflicting character throughout the series, but is coming across as eager beaver without any of her surliness. I spent several books trying to figure out if she were heroine or villain and getting none of that in the series.

One of the things I love about Ms. Penny’s writing is her vivid descriptions of both characters and setting. Three Pines is not how I visualized it. But I’m such a fan that I’ll hang around to see how they do as the series progresses.

I’m 4/5ths of the way through my second reading of the oeuvre – have to finish the next three before I can enjoy #18.

How fortunate we are that Louise Penny continues to deliver such wonderful reads, and that we have a place to gather to discuss!

More – just watched the movie Still Life and loved the locale, direction, atmosphere, and characterizations! Definitely much more what I pictured for Three Pines than the Amazon series. Nichol is her surely self, Gabri and Olivier spot on, Ruth (sans duck) very Ruth like. I liked this Jean-Guy much better than Amazon Jean-Guy and Isabelle much as I had pictured here. Not sure I like this Gamache better than Molina, though. Peter and Clara are troubled, which rings true to the books.

Bonus points for Louise Penny’s cameo in the Bistro scene.

I agree with most of the comments so far about the video: Gamache with Alfred Molina was terrific. Agent Nicole was so very very different from the book…that was disappointing. The village itself was very different from the books: it looked larger and more spread out and the buildings were much larger than I imagined as I read the books. And Myrna was not the very large woman in vibrant flowing caftans that was described in the books…I miss that. (I’ve read all of them and am 1/2 way though the latest one….and loving it and cannot put it down.)

I just saw the video. I think it was generally a good effort but I enjoyed each book better than the video. In my mind I have distinct conceptions of all the characters and locations. The video did not match my conceptions I envision that Three Pines is bright and cheery and simple but beautiful and centered around a big village green. Also I do not think the video characters match the people in the book with Ruth being a possible exception! I LOVE LOVE LOVE each book that Louise has written. I will keep and cherish my visions of Three Pines and all the wonderful residents in spite of the video. I wish I could draw you my conception of what Three Pines is for me. It is a place where I would love to live and a place where I could go to the Bistro that is not noisy as in the video and is so restful with lively food and a tasteful and cozy interior with comfy chairs and cozy sitting areas by the fire place. I could go on about my love of the Three Pines and friends there but will stop and simply say that I am disappointed in the video’s interpretation of the books.
I LOVE the people , buildings, village green etc and all that Louise has created in her books. The video is a
disappointment for me.

I agree wholeheartedly. Love the books and recommend them to all my friends, but video does not live up to my expectations. Characters poorly match book. Liked Ruth but that’s about it.

I totally agree that it fell far short of expectations. The casting. the acting, the village all missed the mark by a mile in my opinion. Even Ruth came across as obnoxious rather than unique and quirky. We’re supposed to believe that Armand and Reine-Marie will fall in love with this place and these people and make their home there? Not believable to me.

Agree with you regarding the retelling Amazon has done with Penny’s stories. Like the plot but not the characters.

I have read all of Louise Penny’s books and was really looking forward to the series. I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes and can’t wait for next week. Loved the characters, especially Alfred Molina as Gamache and Clare Coulter as Ruth. I was happy that there were subtitles in the second episode for the small amount of French dialogue because in the first episode didn’t have them. All in all I really liked it and if the rest of Season 1 is as good I can only hope there will be more seasons to come.

Being of French Canadian descent and growing up in a French Canadian/Maine community in North Cambridge, MA., I loved reading about the people, the wonderful food, and the little French sayings and verses. The books, being beautifully crafted murder mysteries, were added bonuses. And then, there were Armand Gamache’s words of wisdom that always made me stop and think. Thank you to Louise Penny.

Thoroughly enjoyed all 17 books. However, not impressed by choice of actors in the recent series.No one except Ruth and her duck reminded me of the books. The story line was good and I’ll watch the series but it’s not Gamache nor Jean-Guy. Each reader of fiction pictures the characters in stories by reading the author’s description. These actors just don’t match. Keep the books true to form, please.

I agree with Margret’s comments. I have read all 18 books and loved each one. Like the other commentators, I have formed my own visions of Louise’s characters and of Three Pines. So, it’s a little jarring to see them portrayed differently than my mental images. However, I recognize that the medium is vastly different and anticipated this when I sat down to watch. Since it’s likely to be a long time before the next book, I am happy to have these shows to keep me thinking about Gamache and Three Pines.
I do have two questions for Louise:
Where are the Three Pines? I didn’t notice them at all in the dramatization.
Why did you have to name Pune of the most despicable characters with my mother’s name ( Francoeur)?

I am puzzled by so much French without subtitles, though I did get the gist of it. And I’m disappointed in the spoken French words, the pronunciation. Sorry. I expected a blonde and graying Gamache but the actor portrays his compassion with honest facial expression. Clara is not old enough, neither is Myrna. But I know, as a writer, each reader creates in their minds their own characters and locations, as does a producer in television. I was riveted from the start, however, and I am looking forward to much more. I am a serious fan of both!

Just watched the first two episodes. Really really thought they were wonderful. Was slightly disappointed in the village of Three Pines. In my head I pictured a more intimate square, houses closer together, and the businesses closer in. Any way, the cast is much as I expected. Molina is a wonderful Armand. Didn’t recognize this particular story -I’m wondering if it is a mash-up of some of the books. Can’t wait for the next episode(s). Well done Amazon. Thank you!

Brilliant! Masterful! As a TV fan of Vera based on Ann Cleeves books, I am now a fan of Three Pines, based on Louise’s books. 🥳

I’m so confused!!! I have read all of the Three Pines books, and after watching the two episodes tonight I have to admit I don’t recognize what I had envisioned. The tone of the movie is so much darker than what I had imagined. I missed the interaction with all the Three Pines residents. My husband agreed that he didn’t recognize much at all. What’s up?

The first two episodes indicate a very professional approach….lovely scenery, stunning cinematography and lots of interesting characters. The only thing ‘missing’ for me was the village feeling, the closeness of the main characters, the sanctuary feeling of Three Pines…..no pot luck gatherings at Clara’s house or captivating conversations at Myrna’s book store…..maybe that’s all yet to come?

I liked the first 2 episodes but visualized Three Pines different. I know it is hard to find the ideal representation of the town. But I missed them driving, struggling to find the town then looking down and seeing it. I look forward to the next episodes.
I, too, thought the town folks were a little hostile to Gamache.

Watched the first two episodes. Love it. Excellent. But I agree with Louise they didn’t get the details of the characters right. Jean guy should have dark slicked back hair and no grey, the feel of the episodes is right. I thought Reine Marie would be more beautiful. Love the mix of French and English. Thought the bistro looked too American, you would not see that style of building in canada

Both episodes were well done, I thought, even though they veered from Penny’s books in many places. We have to remember that Penny herself shared that would be the case. I can only imagine how difficult and emotionally fraught that she must have felt allowing her stories, characters, even plots to change. But, she also recognized that TV/film is a different process. From what I read, she insisted and won that the films would be shot in Quebec, as they should be. Molina did a great job! Like others comments, I though Clara would be older and Jean Guy younger looking. I REALLY love the addition of Tantoo Cardinal’s character and hope she continues to be a resident of Three Pines. Looking forward to the next installment!

Am I the only one who’s a little disappointed? It’s clear right away the books and the series are going to be two completely different animals. I don’t remember the villagers being so hostile to AG’s arrival… I’ve watched the first two episodes and i agree with the Twin Peaks analogy LOL the tone is completely off – the bistro and B&B is much more welcoming, Ruth Zardo is all crass and no charm, even Myrna seems unfriendly. And where is Armand’s Volvo??? I feel as readers we’re bringing so much love to these characters we’re letting the Series makers off lightly on this one

Hello Susan,
Yes, my husband and I did the same thing…watched both episodes first thing this morning! We just couldn’t wait. I think we may watch a second time tonight after dinner. Cheers!

Big fan of the books, as are most commenter here. I have started reading the latest book and love it as usual. Watched the first two episodes of the series. I thought Alfred Molina as Gamache was excellent, far better casting Ithan in the first made for TV movie, “Still Life.” I also was surprised to see Jean Guy looking so grey. So far he also seems more on the periphery, there but not really doing much or voicing his opinions as he does in the book. I hope that changes, as he and his relationship with Gamache is an integral part of the books. I really hope they flesh out the characters more as the series progresses. The village is larger than I expected but one has to remember, this is not on a soundstage set they are filming exterior scenes, but in a real town/village. I doubt a real life replica of the fictional Three Pines exists.
I am I interestedd to see where this missing Indigenous woman story line goes. So far, enjoying the show and the latest book!

I watched both episodes last night and am with Louise Penny’s 80%; I also though Jean-Guy was younger, and there was no mention of his wife, Gamache’s daughter. I too pictured Clara as older than portrayed. There were no subtitles with translations of the French in the first episode and I found that lacking. I have read all the Gemache books and am looking forward to the new one as well as season 2 of the show.

I guess I’m in the minority, but I’m so disappointed in the series. Molina is excellent but the general vibe I am getting from the village of Three Pines is not charming or quirky, it’s dark and eerie. I am not catching any of the humor or warmth of the characters. I am trying so hard to njothis because I have been waiting in great anticipation, but it just not happening.

I watched the first one, thought maybe it would get better. I watched the second. It didnt. Watched the third one because what the heck. And the story line was not even a kissing cousin to the story written by Penny. I will not watch the fourth.

I agree. A disaster of a translation of very well written, vividly characterized content. What a injustice to each book and Louise Penny’s.
If she had written about the unjustice dealt to the indigenous community, I would have welcomed watching that particular storyline but to throw it into a storyline already perfected, shame on you for not doing either topic its just dues. What a mess.

I agree. A disaster of a translation of very well written, vividly characterized content. What a injustice to each book and Louise Penny’s.
If she had written about the unjustice dealt to the indigenous community, I would have welcomed watching that particular storyline but to throw it into a storyline already perfected, what a mess.

I agree. A disaster of a translation of a very well written, vividly characterized community of characters . What a injustice to Penny. Had she written about the unjustice dealt to the indigenous community, I would have welcomed watching that particular story line come to life.

I agree. A desicration of a very well written, vividly characterized community of characters . What a injustice to Penny. Had she written about the unjustice dealt to the indigenous community, I would have welcomed watching that particular story line come to life.

Agreed. What a injustice to Penny. Had she written about the unjustice dealt to the indigenous community, I would have welcomed watching that particular story line come to life.

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