Louise Penny’s fourth Three Pines Mystery, A Rule Against Murder (2008), changes the series up a bit by not actually taking place in Three Pines. That, my friends, is not a good thing.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his wife are taking their annual anniversary getaway at a private lakeside lodge when a murder occurs. A member of a most unpleasant family having a reunion at the same lodge is killed by a falling statue — a statue of the woman’s own father, as it happens. It turns out that some people from Three Pines are connected, and the Gamaches make a visit to the village, but the story is not set there — and, whoa!, there’s no connection at all to the haunted Hadley house. (Thank heavens, I was getting tired of that place taking all the blame.)
Although the solution to the mystery was credible, the solution to the family problems was almost completely unbelievable. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say I believe that people know when they are loved regardless of what others do or say and to ask us to believe that an entire family somehow missed it is asking too much.
I didn’t like this Three Pines mystery as well as the previous one; in fact, it’s probably my least favorite of all, but I certainly liked it enough to read the next one. Which I’ve already done… review to come eventually.