Sunday, October 26, 2008

THE MURDER STONE by Louise Penny (2008)

At a charming boutique hotel called the Manoir Bellechasse, in the Eastern townships of Quebec, Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache are intending to celebrate their wedding anniversary in quiet contentment, returning to the place where they first became intimate.

The Finney family, established and moneyed Montrealers, also gathers to pay tribute to their father by having a figurative sculpture in his likeness unveiled in the back garden. In the heat of summer, in the height of blackfly season, the irascible middle-aged siblings barely behave in an effort to suck up to their aged P, demanding mother. A storm brews, tempers flare and one of the siblings is murdered, leaving those remaining suspicious of each other and their intents.

As Penny was editing this fourth novel, she decided to use the name of a former student of mine, one who got me on to her books in the first place. It is delicious to find him among these pages as one of the suspects and I can't wait for him to see his name in print.

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