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The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Paperback – August 31, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Penny has been compared to Agatha Christie, [but] it sells her short.”
―Booklist (starred review)
“An intricate, almost mythic plot, superb characters, and rich, dark humor.”
“Magic . . . [with] an elegance and depth not often seen.”
―The New York Times Book Review
“If you don't give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.”
―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A treat for the mind and a lesson for the soul, this is a novel full of surprises.”
“It's Penny's most ambitious novel to date, adding much to our knowledge of the continuing characters and creating a framework of myth that lends structure to the tale…
eloquent prose and amazingly complex characters.”
“In this fifth installment of Louise Penny's wonderful series, she keeps things fresh by making a beloved member of her core cast, Olivier Brule, a suspect in the death of a recluse found dead on the floor of Olivier's own bistro… Penny blends poetry, ciphers and history in all its ‘brutal telling’ with the usual mouthwatering bistro meals and the quirky villagers to continue one of the best series out there today.”
“If you've yet to meet the fascinating Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who has starred in four previous novels, this book is a good place to start. The plot, like the man, is intelligent and never boring. Penny has crafted another complex mystery with twists at every turn of the page.”
―RT Book Magazine
“As in her previous four Inspector Gamache mysteries, Penny grafts a suspenseful whodunit onto her sketch of the whims and mores of Three Pines’ small population.”
―Quill and Quire
“…little treasures are scattered throughout THE BRUTAL TELLING and all the other books as well. I dare anyone to say that this isn’t literary fiction.
But even more, this is poetry.”
“Though Gamache is undeniably the focus, Penny continues to develop her growing cast of supporting characters, including newcomers Marc and Dominique Gilbert, who are converting an old house-the site of two murders-into a spa. Readers keen for another glimpse into the life of Three Pines will be well rewarded.”
―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Having won numerous mystery prizes, including the prestigious Arthur Ellis and Anthony awards for her debut, Still Life, Canadian author Penny has only gotten better with each succeeding novel. Her fifth in the series is the finest of all. Featuring series protagonist Chief Inspector Gamache, this literary mystery explores the ways in which sins of the past have a way of resurrecting themselves, wreaking havoc upon their perpetrators, and, unfortunately, the innocent. Thus, when a hermit is slain in the woods near an isolated village in rural Quebec, secrets surface, unmasking characters who have adopted benign personae to conceal their questionable past deeds. Fortunately, sagacious Gamache possesses the acumen to peel away the layers of deceit and to expose the truth. This superb novel will appeal to readers who enjoy sophisticated literary mysteries in the tradition of Donna Leon.”
―Library Journal (starred review)
Top Customer Reviews
The first chapter of this tale opens deep in the forest where we overhear a conversation between a man identified only as "The Hermit" and a man called Olivier. The tone carries hints of fantasy and the forest primeval as The Hermit warns, "Chaos is here, old son." There is an immediate sense of isolation and fear. The story then quickly shifts to the village and the discovery of the body in the village Bistro, a body recognized only by the Bistro's owner Olivier, who chooses to keep his knowledge of The Hermit to himself. Enter Chief Inspector Gamache and the hunt is on. Who is the dead man? Where was he killed and why? Who is telling the truth and who is lying? Who amongst them is a murderer?
"The Brutal Telling" stands out from the standard issue police procedural because, intertwined with the familiar workings of the murder investigation, are bits of poetry, art, and culinary magic. There is also history, philosophy, psychology, and wisdom woven into a tapestry that feels both ancient and new. Readers new to the series will be as delighted as those returning. This is a place where you want to linger and wander about.Read more ›
The Gamache books do a very good job of mixing a cozy-style mystery plot with the sort of subjects you'd find on PBS during the weekend (e.g., cooking, antiques, lifestyle portraits, travel, the arts). The puzzle at the heart of the mystery is not exceptional; many mystery lovers will figure out the culprit's identity before the end. Luckily, Penny's books have more to offer than the crime plot alone; the beautiful backdrop, the perceptive characters and the various other smaller subplot mysteries grab the reader's interest. None of it is very new, mind you, but it all adds up to make a good if not great read.
If you like P.D. James' Inspector Dalgliesh, you'll probably like Gamache. They're similar in their sensitivities and sensibilities. Also, the overall tone of this crime series reminds me of the British TV program "Midsomer Murders" featuring Inspector Barnaby. In that series, the village environment is used well, the crimes are shocking but not overly violent, and the characters draw you in with their small-town likability and, at times, eccentricities. I'd say the same is true of Penny's works including this one, "The Brutal Telling."
I give this book three stars because I found it entertaining and enjoyable but not especially innovative or enlightening; filling a novel with references to poetry and art, for example, isn't a substitute for actual ideas.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love all of the characters. The author really draws you in, one can taste the food that is eaten, picture the gardens... Read morePublished 1 hour ago by Gayle C. Wells
Like all the Inspector Gamache books, this one is no different.......superbly written! There is a lot of philosophical introspection as the case unfolds. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Peach
Love Inspector Gamache and his ability to put it all together. Do we all live n Three pines and not know it. Read morePublished 16 days ago by NS
Character development is terrific, as usual. Louise Penny describes the people so well that I can visualize them and even anticipate how they will react to situations in the... Read morePublished 18 days ago by LINDA M. ENGSTRAND
Loved it. This is the best yet, with lots of interesting, welldrawn characters, and a great plot. Louise Penney researches her books thoroughly, and passes on interesting... Read morePublished 18 days ago by Shirley