It's too soon to talk a lot about the book -- I'm only two chapters into it, because so much of the day was spent driving (smile) and savoring French Canadian food (yumm). But this eighth in the series begins with the mystery of why and how music moves us, and proceeds to exactly the kind of mystery you'd expect a member of the Sureté du Quebec to investigate -- and more.
Louise Penny said today, ""My books are really about belonging, about the quest to belong, about love and friendship and second chances." In keeping with her pattern of alternating settings for the Gamache series, one book in Three Pines, the next outside it (to avoid too many bodies piling up in the village), Penny placed this one in a monastery in the Eastern Townships of Quebec province.
Penny also answered audience questions about a Gamache TV film in progress, based on her first two books, with filming starting in October. She is excited about the director and the directions worked out, and is an executive producer for the film. What does that mean? "For me, being the executive producer is a lot like being the Queen of England," she dead-panned. "I can have opinions but I'm not allowed to declare war."
She usually takes some time off work in winter and begins writing a new book in March, so he is now in the third draft of a probable five or six for her next Gamache book, which returns, of course, to Three Pines as a locale.
This year's event also included an amazing rendition of a "chant" (honoring the Gregorian ones featured in the new book) describing the Three Pines series, complete with setting and characters (Penny told the audience she tries to be even-handed among her characters, including Clara, whom she originally thought would be the amateur sleuth of the series, as well as Gabri and Gamache, but "I love Myrna -- she is someone I would like to have as a friend). The chant was written and performed wonderfully by Brome Lake Books owners Danny McAuley and Lucy Hoblyn with friends and family, accompanied by McAuley's mother-in-law on an organ! Louise Penny rose merrily at two cameo appearances in the performance, clearly enjoying the surprise, as did the audience.
|Beth Mallon and Susan Jensen|