About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Murder Stone by Louise Penny

11. - 474.) The Murder Stone by Louise Penny – Sometimes four books into a series there is a dropoff in quality. Setting a mystery away from the series home rarely improves the series. Not this time. The Murder Stone is the best of the Inspector Gamache series. (Since writing this review I would say Bury Your Dead and A Trick of the Light are better.) Set an hour away from Three Pines Gamache and his wife, Reine Marie, are at a beautiful summer resort, Manoir Bellechasse, for their annual summer stay. They arrive to find the wealthy Morrow family has gathered for a family reunion. The Morrows are a lifetime dysfunctional unit who have assembled this year for the unveiling of a statute of the deceased patriarach, Charles Morrow. Their cruelties to each other are precise after a lifetime of practice. The Gamaches provide a powerful contrast. About to celebrate their 35th anniversary they deeply love each other. They share humour and quick wits. They are happy to meet their friends from Three Pines Peter and Clara. They had not realized Peter was a son in the Morrow family. When Morrow daughter, Julia, is killed by the statute falling on her everyone is a legitimate suspect. (The book maintains Penny’s tradition of unique methods of murder.) Not only is there an abundance of suspects the Surete cannot figure out how the heavy statute was moved. Amidst the investigation we learn of the scandal and death of Gamache’s father. Gracefully interwined are the Morrow saga, the Gamache marital relationship, the history of Gamache’s father and a murder investigation. The solution was imaginative and cleverly done. The atmosphere of the Manoir is as wonderful as Three Pines. I now wish I could jump in my car and head to the Manoir on the way to Three Pines. (I heard Louise on the radio say that Gamache is her dream husband. She said if she had to live with a fictional character by writing about him she wanted someone she would marry.) Superb. (Mar. 4/09) (Tied for Fourth Best fiction of 2009)


  1. I liked this one a lot primarily because I figured out how the murderer "did it." I agree with you that BURY YOUR DEAD and it's prequel THE BRUTAL TELLING are better. I have TRICK OF LIGHT but have yet to read it. I like reading Penny in the summer time for some odd reason. So I'm saving it.

  2. John: Thanks for the comment. I believe you will have some good summer reading in A Trick of the Light. I am impressed you figured out how the murderer "did it". I did not. Maybe all those locked room mysteries you have read give you some insight into difficult to determine methods of murder.

  3. I just checked this one out from the library, but the American title is A Rule Against Murder. I'm never sure why the titles are altered.

  4. RebeccaK: Thanks for the comment. I believe you will enjoy the book.

    I think changing title names causes more confusion than helps sales.