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.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Surprise Cancellation of Three Pines Series

To my surprise the series, Three Pines, based on the Armand Gamache books by Louise Penny was not renewed for a second season. I first read of the cancellation on the Rap Sheet blog.

Variety magazine received an email from Amzaon Prime confirming the cancelation and blandly stating:

“We are proud of the work done on the series and the opportunity to work with great partners”.

I have not been able to find an actual explanation online on why the series was canceled.

The program’s showrunner, Emilia di Giorlamo, who had departed for another project wrote on Instagram:

“I was not involved in the conversations and negotiations wround renewal but I have been told Left Bank, Sony & Prime Video all wanted to bring the show back but were unable to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.”

Louise Penny was clearly unhappy. She wrote on Facebook:

We finally have word from Amazon Prime Video. There will be no second season of THREE PINES. Despite achieving #1 for Prime in US, Canada, UK and other markets, and top ten wherever it was broadcast, Amazon has decided to cancel it. I am shocked and upset. Like any show, it had growing pains, but it was only going to get better and better. And it already had Alfred Molina as Gamache! Alfred was deeply invested in the show. He wanted to pass this along to you:

**Sadly, we will not be returning with a second season. My personal disappointment aside, I am proud of what we achieved, and honored to have been part of a wonderful creative tem who gave everything to bring Louise’s books to the screen.** 

If you want to write to Amazon with your thoughts, the executive in charge of Prime Video Television is Vernon Sanders. His email is: vernon.sanders@amazonstudios.com

Her post has drawn 2,500 comments. I have not read all of them. A sampling indicated a majority enjoyed the show. A significant minority had reservations. Many of those with reservations echoed what I had said in my review of the series. A link ot my review is below.

On her website prior to the show being aired last  year Penny had said:

I’m sure you are wondering how true it is to the books. There are definitely changes, some I struggle with but overall I am pleased and relieved. It will be interesting to see what you think.

In an interview with Vanity Fair she recounted her reservations about the movie, Still Life, the first effort, a decade ago, to put Gamache in a film:

Really? Isn’t this the second time Gamache landed on the screen?

It is, and he did, and thank you for bringing that up! It wasn’t my favorite experience, to be honest, and not because of the actors or any one thing in particular, it just wasn’t, I felt, a true reflection of the spirit of the books. Afterwards, every time anybody asked [to make a show], I said no. A hard no. I don’t have much to gain but lots to lose. My characters are very important to me and every decision I made was personal.

I had thought Still Life a barely average movie with Nathaniel Parker badly miscast as Gamache.

She says further in the interview that she agreed to a deal with Left Bank Pictures for the series that became Three Pines principally, but not only, because they had made The Crown.

She recounted to Vanity Fair the push and pull between author and series producers. They agreed with her that it had to be set in Canada but not all went as she wanted:

Can you give me an example of a battle you lost?

Sure, yes, I’ve been open and honest about this. The village is much darker than my village, the villagers aren’t open or welcoming. Everyone has dark secrets. My village is a sanctuary and my characters are a lot more accepting. That’s my Three Pines, but the show goes another route. That’s okay too, and I accept it.

On the rating of the show I could not find a ratings report that had Three Pines as one of Amazon Prime’s top 10 series of 2022 or 2023. FlixPatrol had it ranked 16th in 2022 and 11th in 2023. It is difficult to sort out ranking as the show was released in December so there were viewers in both years. Those rankings suggest to me it did well despite the late year release.

It was clearly set up to be continued because of the cliffhanger conclusion to the first season. 

While it could go to another streaming service most articles I really doubt Three Pines will be picked up.

There is a mystery to be solved here. What were the reasons three major media companies could not reach agreement to continue a series each wanted to bring back? 


(2022) - Season One of Three Pines


  1. Oh, that is a disappointment, Bill. And it really does raise the question of why it happened. It had high ratings, a strong cast, and so on. It's hard to know sometimes why these sorts of decisions are taken. I do hope it gets picked up somewhere.

    1. Margot: Thanks for the comment. "Why", when it is not stated leads to speculation.

  2. First, you have repeated the same quote from Vanity Fair in your post and I think that's an error. The second quote is not about Penny's insistence the new movie be set in Canada. I didn't think much of the Three Pines movie I saw which is based on the mystery about the electrocution murder near the curling game. I thought it merely middling and I never bothered watching the rest of the adaptations. Molina is a vast improvement over the poor choice of Parker who was in Still Life but I didn't care for many of the other core cast members. Apart form Molina I didn't think the movie had a strong cast at all. thought the actress who played Ruth was horrible. Savagely mean and just annoying. Worse than the other actress in Still Life who at least had a sense of humor. Frankly, I'm not surprised that it won't be renewed. Some books resit good adaptations. I think Penny's book are more alive on the page than on screen. Part of the magical other worldly atmosphere of Three Pines (very prominent in the first seven books but evaporated in later books) just can't be captured on screen because that integral aspect of the series so subjective to each reader.

    1. Thanks for the comment.

      My proof reading certainly failed when I repeated the same quote. I have now inserted the quote that was intended to be in the post.

      Interesting how our thoughts varied on the cast. I thought Ruth was well cast. She is caustic and insensitive in the books.

      I agree the series did not capture the subtleties in the books. Much of what Penny writes is in the heads of the characters.

      Overall, I enjoyed the series and anticipated, as did Penny, that the second season would be better.

  3. Bill, my husband and I and my son were all disappointed that Three Pines was cancelled. I thought Alfred Molina was great in the part of Gamache and that some of the other cast were very well cast also, especially Jean-Guy Beauvoir. But I did not like that the stories were darker and Three Pines characters were not as welcoming. I still would have liked the series to continue. I hate that the cliff hanger at the end was not resolved.

    This is a very nice post about the subject and I am glad you shared quotes from Louise Penny that I had not seen.

    1. TracyK: Thanks for the comment. If the production had been run by Canadians, Penny and the worldwide host of readers of the series, the villagers would have been welcoming. Trying to create an edge is formulaic. Letting them be the villagers of the book would have created the dynamic of contrast between the idyllic village and murder. I continue to doubt the series will be resurrected.