I am going to read Louise Penny’s latest soon, so in preparation I thought I’d review an earlier Inspector Gamache book, A Rule Against Murder. Inspector Gamache and his wife Reine-Marie are celebrating their anniversary at the remote but luxurious Manoir Bellechasse. The only other guests are the strange Finney family, there for a reunion. They intend to erect a statue on the grounds of the resort to the family patriarch, who is deceased. The Finneys are wealthy and privileged but treat each other and others with disdain.
Julia Martin, daughter of the family matriarch, Irene Finney, is attending the reunion for the first time in years, after her husband has been disgraced and imprisoned following a financial scandal. She is in the midst of divorcing him. The older brother is spiteful and his wife seems insecure. Gamache is surprised to find that “Spot” and his wife Claire, for whom the family has been waiting, are actually his friends from Three Pines, Peter and Clara Morrow. Unfortunately, Peter seems to revert to bad behavior under the family’s influence. The only pleasant member of the family is Irene’s second husband.
One night after a terrible storm they find Julia’s body, which has been crushed by the statue of her father. Gamache and his team must find out who murdered her, but they also must figure out how the huge statue could even have been moved.
As usual, I find Penny’s novels atmospheric and well written. Penny also creates believable and interesting characters. I am looking forward to reading her next book.