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Discussion: Orienteering featured in new NYT Best Seller

in: Orienteering; News

Sep 1, 2016 1:59 AM # 
Many of us have dreamed that a popular author or movie producer would feature orienteering in their work. This dream just came true for me. Louise Penny, award winning author, just released her newest mystery novel on August 30, 2016, titled, A Great Reckoning. I have become a big fan of her Inspector Gamache series and in the past few years have read the first 11 in the series. I am such a fan that I went to the book launch in Knowlton, Quebec last Saturday, part of a sold-out event. Knowlton is just north of Sutton which is just north of the Vermont border. Most of her books are set there or nearby. Very convenient.

At this launch, she mentioned that this book is about a maps, the history, the meaning, etc. In her novel an old map is found in a wall during a renovation which turns out to be the key to solving a murder. The locals, including Gamache, marvel at its beauty, its detail, etc., and after some research, learn that it is an early orienteering map of the area. A little later, the detectives meet with a local orienteer who explains the sport, and tells them more about the map. There are some bits an orienteering purist could fault, but for the most part, she gets the point across and builds interest in both the sport and the map. Yeah.

Now, to add to this, Carl and I did some orienteering in Sutton in the 1990s and I was able to dig out the maps: Sutton by John Charlow, 1994, and Sutton East, also by John Charlow, 1997. Perhaps some of you have orienteered there. The maps are only a few miles from where the author lived until recently.

I am 3/5 into the book and now am dying to know how this all plays out. In the meantime, I'm curious to know how Louise Penny learned about Orienteering and who she might have talked to. The Charlows? Francis Falardeau? The Internet? My own investigation is just beginning. Does anyone have any clues?

How cool is that?
Sep 1, 2016 2:02 AM # 
The victim probably mispunched because of SI Air.

Thanks for the heads up, mjchilds!
Sep 1, 2016 2:21 AM # 
Personally, I dream that a Kardashian will take up orienteering. Or the Pope - that would be pretty good too.
Sep 1, 2016 2:30 AM # 
Ken Jennings at least reaches some map nerds who may never have heard of orienteering. Kardashians and the Pope may have a lot of followers but I'm not sure they're the kind of people we want to attract. ;-)

Mary Jo, you keep rousing my interest every time I see you talk about Loiuse Penny. I'll have to look for this one.
Sep 1, 2016 2:36 AM # 
@JanetT. Yes, you do. You won't be disappointed. Especially with the latest one. I should mention that it is best to start the series from the beginning because there is an overarching story that runs through all the books. It helps to know the back story to understand the depth of what is happening in each successive book. That said, they are written so that anyone can pick up any book and be introduced to the characters and the setting as part of the current story. Since this is book 12 in the series, I think you should just jump to this one. If you like it, you can then start at the beginning.
Sep 1, 2016 2:48 AM # 
I've read a couple of her books, but not lately. Well written and interesting development of character. Will have to look for this one. Thanks.
Sep 1, 2016 3:21 AM # 
This is so funny. I just got sent a photo of my aunt with her friend, Louise Penny, who she knows through her brother-in-law and his partner, who own an antique shop and are probably the inspiration for the gay couple who own antique shop in a book. An American cousin of mine loves those books and lost her mind when she learned that her relatives just knew Louise Penny. Small world, Canada especially!
Sep 1, 2016 4:50 AM # 
I'm #230 in line at the library!
Sep 1, 2016 2:33 PM # 
I'll have to check it out.
Sep 1, 2016 4:33 PM # 
#25 in line for the e-book version. That means I may see it some time next year.
Sep 1, 2016 4:43 PM # 
In May I got my orders to reserve a library copy for Mrs GHOSLO. Her copy is now "in transit". We didn't know about the orienteering connection. She just reads them all.
Sep 1, 2016 6:43 PM # 
@cwalker Each time I go up to the Eastern Townships, I see people I suspect are the role models for her characters. Sounds like your family connection could be the link to the gay couple in the books. I hope you get to meet LP someday. She is so inspiring.

I would also like to say that my reveal of the orienteering connection was only a very wee spoiler. At the book launch and on the jacket cover, it is revealed that the discovering of the old map leads the investigators down the path toward the solving the murder. That it is an orienteering map was still a surprise to me. Still reading. . .
Sep 12, 2016 7:41 PM # 
The 1994 and 1997 Sutton maps are not really old at all. They were probably the last ones produced for that area. The first coloured map of that area was 1971 for the Quebec Champs. The Ramblers OC Facebook page has a copy of the map marking a spot where is a buried treasure. Damn, I ran right over that spot going between control 7 and 8 on the Red course back in 1971. I mean RIGHT OVER. If I'd only known.....
Sep 14, 2016 8:16 PM # 
matzah ball:
@ JanetT - so orienteering is an elitist sport that would rather not have Catholic participants? What kind of spiritua/lphilosophical leanings are preferred and for what reason?:)
Sep 14, 2016 8:20 PM # 
People who live strictly on a paleolithic diet?
Sep 15, 2016 1:35 AM # 
Orienteering is run on a Sunday morning?
Sep 15, 2016 1:57 AM # 
Thank you for the smiley face, Rudy, and the opportunity to apologize for my quip. It was not a well-thought out comment at all.
Sep 15, 2016 1:58 AM # 
matzah ball:
Kardashian cause might be hopeless, but had the previous pope twice removed been approached likely would have given orienteering a resounding blessing. As bizarre as it may seem he was a passionate mountain hiker and skier who would sneak out from the vatican incognito to go on mountain excursions. I wonder if it rubbed off on any of his followers. And actually I wouldn't give up on the dream of the current pope in the context of orienteering either, given his predilection for Umweltschutz . Its not necessarily oil and water, au contraire, think John Muir for instance, though he, like many of the best outdoors people, preferred to read the landscape carefully and dispense with the map.

It makes perfect sense for orienteering to be included in a mystery novel, its pretty much of a mystery to me. (just to clarify TWIMC, no offense taken, actually very funny)
Sep 15, 2016 2:34 AM # 
Love the Louise Penny Inspector Gamache series and will definitely get the latest addition.

This discussion thread is closed.