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A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Gamache, 4)

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He is kind, he is loving, he is forgiving, he is calm and steady and believes in forgiveness for everyone, particularly murderers. Even with Bert Finney, we learn that he didn’t marry Irene for her vast fortune, but simply because he loved her his entire life. What was to come of that conversation was one of the most rewarding relationships I’ve found since becoming a publicist. As much money as her husband made, she could have had a nanny or assistant to do the physical work while she showered compliments and loving comments to her children.

There is an approach in psychology (I hope I don’t confuse anyone) especially for people with a history of trauma, where the patient chooses a safe place that they remember. They enjoy delicious food prepared by Chef Véronique Langlois; stroll through the picturesque grounds; relax; and engage in polite conversation and nightly bridge games with the other guests. Upon arrival at Manoir Bellechasse, the Gamaches learn that they will not have the solitude to which they are accustomed, as a family reunion brings much excitement and fills the rest of the rooms. Chief Inspector Gamache accompanies his wife, Reine-Marie, to their annual retreat for a chance to recharge. When I read the book the first time and now rereading it, Pierre as the murderer gave me the uneasy feeling that Penny changed the outcome of the book from her original plan.

As old wounds are discussed, some amount of understanding and healing begins to seep in to this family, who have for so long misunderstood one another, as well as their father’s intentions.

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. Pierre the matre d' tries to show duty and diligence by continuing to show the guests professionalism and respect a trait his father would appreciate, he thinks. He’d come to the Bellechasse to turn that off, to relax and not look for the stain on the carpet, the knife in the bush, or the back. They are a mix of self-absorbed, selfish, peculiar characters, who treat everyone, including each other with disdain.Gamache senior was branded a coward (by all Canadians, it seems, including Gamache) for being a conscientious objector during the Second World War.

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