Saturday, January 24, 2009

Louise Penny's "A Rule Against Murder"

Louise Penny's first Three Pines mystery, Still Life, won the New Blood Dagger from the British Crime Writers’ Association and the Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. In the United States it received the prestigious Anthony and Barry Awards at Bouchercon 2007, as well as the Dilys Award for the book that the members of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association most enjoyed selling. Her second in the series, A Fatal Grace, won the 2007 Agatha Award for Best Novel. And her third, The Cruelest Month, was number one on the hardcover Independent Mystery Booksellers Association bestseller list in March 2008.

Penny applied the “Page 99 Test” to A Rule Against Murder, the fourth novel in the series, and reported the following:
I think Page 99 is very representative of the rest of the book in that A Rule Against Murder is about a family at conflict with itself. That much even they know. What they don’t realize is how much at odds they are with the rest of the world. How out of step. The book really is about perception and reality.

Not everyone makes the boat, she thought. But HMCS Morrow was sinking. Even Clara could see that. It was a steamboat in the age of jets. They were old money in a meritocracy. Alarms were sounding. But even Peter, her lovely and thoughtful husband, clung to the wreckage.

On page 99 the body has just been found and revealed to be one of the family. They’re staying at a remote Quebec Inn, a place both luxurious and isolated. The entire Inn has been taken up by the family. Except for two other guests, Armand and Reine Marie Gamache. The Morrows have no idea he’s the Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Quebec, and have been treating his as though he’s a slightly thick family retainer.

They’re about to learn the truth. And all their delusions are about to be stripped away. About Gamache, and about themselves.
Learn more about the book and author at Louise Penny's website and her blog.

The Page 69 Test: Still Life.

My Book, The Movie: A Fatal Grace.

The Page 99 Test: The Cruelest Month.

--Marshal Zeringue