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A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Gamache, 4)

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He didn’t think violence was the answer, encouraged Canadians to not volunteer to fight, and apparently was responsible for delaying Canada’s entry into the war. I felt irritation with him, impatience with him, unhappiness with him, and often mad at him on Clara’s behalf throughout the novels. Once again there is passion, compassion, unresolved feelings, secrets and magic buried in this addictive word-castle of a brilliant author. They were all jealous of each other and felt that each of them received a greater amount of their father’s love and attention than s/he deserved.

And while we may love to dislike the detestable (with the exception of Bean) Morrow-Finney clan, they are all instantly recognisable as people we know or know of. Fair, lovely, and charming, she married a wealthy man, but is undergoing a divorce after his fraudulent investment practices came to light, and caused a very public scandal.I don’t think he’s going to murder anyone (though I don’t have a crystal ball, hahahaha) – I think if he were, it would have been his father or Julia, and those ships have sailed. But thinking of him in connection with Pierre during THIS rereading and discussion was the first time I actually considered that he had a “howl inside” that often surprised him and that he had to “wrestle with” his inner demons. The hotel staff includes Madame Dubois, the elegant elderly proprietor; Chef Veronique, a large woman who is a world class chef; Pierre Patenaude, the maitre d'hotel; Eliot, an insolent and handsome young waiter; and Colleen, a young gardener. Their animosity towards each other, and their disconnection from people who do not belong in their social circles is like a madness, caused often in abused people, especially children. I know that misleading the reader and red herrings are typical of murder mysteries, but there’s something about how clumsily—and blatantly—Penny does this that irritates me.

It couldn’t be the Madam of the Manoir, she’s too frail and quite unknowing about the workings of statues.

Sandra: Thomas’ wife, seemingly bursting at the seams with insecurity and unhappiness and constantly making unreasonable demands on the staff of the Manoir Bellechasse. Gamache removes the stingers and poison sacs and Reine-Marie applies calamine and kisses them better, while the rest of the Morrows stand nearby, squabbling with one another. Gamache and Beauvior spend a good bit of time puzzling over why Julia had her arms outstretched, as if she were hugging the statue to her. The body of the beautiful Julia Martin, one of the Morrow sisters, turns up on the grounds of Manoir Bellechasse, next to the newly installed statue which is a memorial to the late Charles Morrow, Julia's estranged father. There is no more hunting and fishing, birds are fed in the winter, mice are even caught alive and released.

But he lied about one thing in his past – that he was in captivity in Burma during World War II, one of the most inhumane, and unsurvivable places to be during the war.The morning arrives that the loathsome final pair of Finneys are to arrive, but to the Gamaches’ surprise and delight, it turns out to be Peter and Clara Morrow, who they know from Three Pines. I thought that moving the action out of Three Pines would make me grumpy, but instead it made me feel, more than ever, that I want to live in Three Pines because Manoir Bellechasse is close for those times I need to get away from the hectic hustle and bustle of Three Pines (snort).

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