cloudy, sleet, mild, temps 0
well, this was unexpected! I'd happily blogged in early Janurary that the NYT was going to do a review of A RULE AGAINST MURDER to run January 25th. But then when I was in Phoenix for the launch earlier that week I got a call from the publishers to say it wasn't going to happen.
We were all very disappointed since a review, good or bad, in the Times is significant.
Then, last this past week I started getting messages from people - some congratulating me on having a review in, some asking if it was happening. I patiently wrote back to thank them, but explain there was no review.
Then, woke up this morning to another flurry of messages - many attaching the actual review - which will run in tomorrow's Book Section. Here it is!!!!
Louise Penny applies her magic touch to A RULE AGAINST MURDER (Minotaur, $24.95), giving the village mystery an elegance and depth not often seen in this traditional genre. Although Penny is no slouch at constructing a whodunit puzzle, her great skill is her ability to create a charming mise-en-scène and inhabit it with complex characters.
There’s something otherworldly and altogether enchanting about the Manoir Bellechasse, the magnificent lodge in the Canadian wilderness where Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the head of homicide for the Sûreté du Québec, has taken his wife for their 35th wedding anniversary. Not only does the auberge offer grand views and the order and calm of old-world service, but it also observes a no-kill policy, with the proprietors feeding wild animals in winter and forbidding guests to hunt or fish. Someone obviously failed to explain that rule to the cultured but quarrelsome family holding a reunion to unveil a statue of their late patriarch, who makes his feelings felt by toppling down on one of his own. As Gamache observes, “things were not as they seemed,” not even in a paradise like Bellechasse. And never in a Louise Penny mystery.
Wow! Thank you to all the people who saw this in advance copy and sent it on...and sincere aplogies to people kind enough to say something, whom I didn't believe!
But, having given up on the possibility of a review in the NYT this feels like a huge unexpected gift. Exactly what it is, in fact! Yipppee...and long live Marilyn Stasio - the crime reviewer.
Had, as you might expect, a terrific day. Spent it in bed, actually, which is why this blog is being posted late. Not ill - just relaxed and lazy. Read a good book, drank coffee, napped, responded to emails. Napped. Napped. Wonderful.
Am now up and dressed and Michael's having a nap. We're trying to figure out if we want to go out for dinner (steak frites on the corner) or stay in. I'm now keen to go out - celebrate. Especially since I'm the one dressed and vertical. But we'll see how the Big Guy is feeling in an hour. If he'd like dinner in bed it's the least I can do after he climbed the stairs for me a dozen times today.
Oh, by the way, if you feel you'd like to rent this home you can. the only catch is that Old Quebec City is fearful that it will stop being a place where people actually live and become a spot for visitors only - too many hotels and B&B's and places let by the week...it can change the character of a place. So the city has brought in a new rule stating that places can still be rented, but no longer by the week. The minimum is a month.
But, if you have a month to spare and want to explore Quebec City and the surrounding area (Isle D'Orleans, Montreal, Gaspe, Tadoussac and whale watching - in summer) then this is a great base.
If you're interested, or just want to see more pix of this home, you can go to http://sites.google.com/site/quebeccityhouse/
or vrbo (vacation rental by owner)...not sure what this home is listed under, though! But it's in the Quebec City listing.
Hope that helps. We're off to that big brunch at the Chateau Frontenac tomorrow to celebrate carnaval with all the dignitaries...and us. apparently it"s expected we'll wear a ceinture fleche...which is a traditional Quebecois braided belt. We actually have quite a rare, authentic one, but we left it at home - d'oh. So we'll need to buy a couple on our way up there. The finals of the cross river canoe race are on at the same time, so this is also a celebration of that.
Really looking forward to it.
Be well, and will report in tomorrow -