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! 


310 replies on “Three Pines Series Discussion”

I’ve read all of Louise Penny’s books and loved them. Last night I watched both episodes. Have to tell you I was very disappointed. Many of the characters were quite different from the descriptions in the books. Myrna was supposed to be a big woman with flowing caftans. Jean-Guy looked to be about the same age as Gamache. The village was not so little and cozy…Although Mr. Molina portrayed the inspector well, he didn’t seem to have as much strength and presence as the books’ description. And I kept waiting to see the majestic 3 pines the village was named after. All in all, the series was a great let down.

My favorite books are the Gamach series. I was thrilled when I read of the TV series, disappointed when I viewed the first. Casting, actions of actors not as in the books. Ganache was believable, though the enormous black glasses dominated the scene. Three Pines was not an idyllic place, architecture, streets, could’ve been the little town I grew up In Oklahoma. Plus, the 3 pines were puny considering they were ages old in book. Too much focus on the missing girl, not inhabitants of Three Pines.

I read the 18th book earlier this week and watched both episodes of White Out last night. What a wonderful week to be able to spend so much time in Three Pines. Though that 18th book was definitely her darkest. So much tension towards the end. I needed more time in the Bistro. I really enjoyed the Amazon presentations. I traveled to Three Pines a few years ago, that is I drove to Knowlton, visited the bookstore and bistro there, saw Lac Brome, and then drove south towards Vermont. I got a little lost, I came over a few hills, and saw so many beautiful vistas. Unfortunately, I must not have been lost as the characters in the books because I never saw it all. But I was there. I loved the overhead shots that show those vistas. The town of Three Pines, while not the perfect circular green in the books did have the feel of the village. While buildings didn’t quite match the descriptions in the book ( Though, I thought the Hadley House was well chosen) they gave me the same feeling.

These productions were rewritten based on Louise Penny’s books. Instead of the flashbacks given in book 6, we get the actual actions parallel to book 2. I thought CC and Petrov were well drawn. She was hateful through and through. And Richard and Crie were nicely portrayed, though that critical scene of CC lashing out at her daughter after the concert should have been there. That explained so much about the family and the town’s reaction to CC.

I love that Bea and Lacoste are First Nation. Also that instead of boys lost, they switched to girls and women. Not a bad move in my opinion, especially given the plot line of book 18. Thank you, Louise, for having the courage to let someone else take your words and churn them up into what could have been a dog’s breakfast, but instead was delight. Thank you for sharing your soul with all of us.

Just wondering how many episodes per book and how many books per season. Will there be a new book each week? Will some books last more than one week? Hoping that some will be longer to allow for a more in depth picture into the relationships of the Three Pines friendships.

I always think books are better than movies or TV but… I was ok with the TV show. If I had t read the books it would have been ok. I was disappointed by the village, it was too spread out and seemed to be on a busy road which looses something in my mind. The characters were a bit different but I expected that.

The book A World of Curiosities was fabulous. I finished it in 1 day and then wanted to cry because I had finished it…. Louise is a master at weaving stories together and character development. Well done!

The village was not as pretty as I’d hoped. And I had pictured a central town square with the three pines in the middle and everything else surrounding it.
I agree that the town seemed almost unfriendly. And the villagers were portrayed as always sitting all together giving the impression that they were plotting some secret plan.
I found the symbolism with the blue jay feather a little over the top – especially when Gamache appeared to have one of his own, presumably from when his parents died….

I watched the first episode last night. I was disappointed to find the streaming constantly disrupted. The picture jumped and the voices were out of sync. I don’t know if this was the fault of the streamer or the original material but it was so frustrating that I may not continue.
I love Louise Penny books and look forward to reading the new one.

I’m sorry to hear of your issue with the streaming. Our broadcast of the first episode was flawless. The problem was probably with your cable service. Maybe try watching it again and see if the problem is resolved.

The new Louise Penny book is wonderful!

I knew the television series could never live up to the books, but I was determined to enjoy it regardless. And I did… with effort. My biggest disappointment was the village itself, an equally vital character in the stories. How on earth did they settle on that lifeless, flat town?! You’d think with the title of Three Pines they would make that landmark more obvious. I don’t remember seeing the village green, the river or most importantly, the trees! Whoever was in charge of film locations must not have read the author’s description: “…the tiny village of Three Pines…That sat in a hollow surrounded by forests and mountains. As though in the palm of some great hand”. The sad set that was used was a far cry from a warm, welcoming village in an enchanting hollow. The characters were better, though I wish they hadn’t been so PC about Myrna – I could barely tell she was black, let alone generously proportioned. Hopefully, the folowing episodes will be more convincing. But how is that possible when the main character, Three Pines itself, is so lacking?

My thoughts exactly! The village of Three Pines was so disappointing visually. I had thought that the character of Gamache would be the most difficult for me to accept onscreen — but after a few minutes, I could tell he was an excellent choice. I also agree with the previous commenter who said that showing the residents of Three Pines together all the time made it look as if they were conspiring, and far from the open, accepting characters we know and love from the book.

I loved the first two episodes of the series. I notice that the episodes are coming out two at a time each week. Are there only going to be 8 in the first season? Or 10? or…?

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?

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