Behind the Three Pines

Hinter den drei Kiefern: Ein Fall für Gamache
by Louise Penny

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

My first Gamache, but the 13th of the series, so I am most likely missing some context.

Gamache, the chief of police of the province of Quebec, is in the witness stand of a murder trial. The chief prosecutor is pretty hostile towards his main witness. Through the questioning we are told the story of the murder that happened in the village of Three Pines. So much for the beginning. There is more to it, with a pretty modern problem.

Slow. A lot of talking and reminiscing. Set-up for the community that lives in Three Pines and its guests. More talking. Little doing. The murder only happens a third into the book. And the accused sitting on that bench during the trial is never named, which in my opinion is a pretty lame gimmick to create suspense. Of which there was little to none. The last 30% are a bit more speedy, but the wrap-up is quite repetitive.

Some of the characters stay one-dimensional, I struggled to keep them apart until the end. The woman with the duck was just a silly caricature.

Many of my reading buddies love Gamache, but this was way too cozy for me. And the plot was a little silly. It is very unlikely that I will pick up another one of the series or by this author, unless I come by it very cheaply. Maybe #14…

2.5 pine cones, rounded up to 3 for the tears-inducing ending.

PS: 
– Initially bought for my mum, who did not finish it. I should have listened to her reasons.
– I don‘t read many straight mysteries anymore and never in German, so this was a bit of an an uphill struggle.
– Reading a novel in German again wasn‘t as much work as I had feared. 
– This is the first book of the series published in Germany and consequently released books do not seem to follow the original sequence either—I didn‘t check too deeply though. Very odd, why didn‘t the German publishers start with the first book?
– The first book of the series, Still Life, was made into a movie and I would watch it.
– The English original is called Glass Houses: A Novel, which is more meaningful for the book than the German title „Behind the Three Pines“.

Literary Awards: Anthony Award Nominee for Best Novel and Nominee for Best Novel in a Series (Bill Crider Award) (2018)Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel (2017)Lefty Award Nominee for Best Mystery Novel (2018)Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Mystery & Thriller (2017)

2 thoughts on “Behind the Three Pines

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