A Rule Against Murder by Louse Penny (#4 Armand Gamache)

A Rule Against Murder: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny

Published: 2009




A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny is the 4th in the Armand Gamache Series.

Armand Gamache (Chief Inspector of Homicide for the Surete du Quebec) and his wife Rene-Marie are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary at the Manoir Bellechasse, a luxury chateau deep in the Quebec woods, but not far from their (my) beloved Three Pines.  This year will turn out to be a little different.  Other guests at the Manoir include the wealthy Finney family, who are having a reunion to commemorate the late patriarch of the family by erecting a statue to honour him.  Armand and Rene-Marie are startled when they realize they know one of the family members, especially since the Finney’s are a very dysfunctional, and unpleasant bunch.  When one of the family ends up dead beneath the statue, it is quickly evident that it was murder, and Gamache calls in his team to help solve the case.  He will have to battle the Finney’s prejudices and bitterness, and in the end put his own life on the line to save one of theirs.

I really enjoy reading this series.  The plot in this one was good, the method of murder very unique, and the process to find the killer interesting.  Louise Penny creates characters with such depth that you feel you know them intimately.  In this book, we get to see a more personal side of Gamache as he interacts with his wife, and we learn more about his background.  Even the surroundings themselves become a character, with Gamache seeing the beauty, and Beauvoir seeing the black flies.

I was unsure about the change in venue, but I guess not all murders can be in one small village, and we did find out a little more about my least-liked resident of that small town.  With a family like that, you can sort of understand the problem.

Bottom line, a great read!

Re-Read: November 2016


Favorite Quotes from A Rule Against Murder:

“You have a rule against murder?” he asked.
“I do. When my husband and I bought the Bellechasse we made a deal with the forest. Any death that wasn’t natural wasn’t allowed.”

“Bean’s feet never leave the ground, at least not together. The child can’t or won’t jump.”
Bean can’t jump, thought Armand Gamache. What family produces a child so earthbound? Mired. How does Bean express excitement? Joy?”

“Be careful,” Gamache whispered. “You’re making hurting a habit. Spreading it around won’t lessen your pain, you know. Just the opposite.”


About the Author:  Louise Penny is a Canadian author, born in Toronto, but presently living outside of Montreal.   She was a journalist and radio host for CBC.  Her awards for writing keep coming.  Her beloved husband Michael Whitehead, the former head of Haematology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, passsed away in September of 2016.  He had dementia.



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