- Series: Armand Gamache Mysteries (Book 5)
- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: Minotaur Books; 1 edition (September 22, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312377037
- ASIN: B003STCQHK
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,118 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,565,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Armand Gamache Mysteries) Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 22, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. When the body of an unknown old man turns up in a bistro in Agatha-winner Penny's excellent fifth mystery set in the Quebec village of Three Pines (after Jan. 2009's A Rule Against Murder), Chief Insp. Armand Gamache investigates. At a cabin in the woods apparently belonging to the dead man, Gamache and his team are shocked to discover the remote building is full of priceless antiquities, from first edition books to European treasures thought to have disappeared during WWII. When suspicion falls on one of Three Pines' most prominent citizens, it's up to Gamache to sift through the lies and uncover the truth. 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. 100,000 first printing. (Oct.)
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About the Author
LOUISE PENNY is The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of seven novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Her debut, Still Life, won the John Creasey Dagger and the Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys Awards, and was named one of the five Mystery/Crime Novels of the Decade by Deadly Pleasures magazine. Penny was the first author ever to win the Agatha Award for Best Novel four times—for A Fatal Grace, The Cruelest Month, The Brutal Telling (which also received the Anthony Award for Best Novel), and Bury Your Dead (which also won the Dilys, Arthur Ellis, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero Awards). She lives in a small village south of Montréal.
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It reminded me of a film with great special effects (i.e., her verbiage), but a less than great script (her mystery).
The bistro, with its wonderful food, is the center of communal life. The used bookstore is filled with good books, advice, and the large presence of its owner, former psychologist Myrna Landers. The artists Peter and Clara Morrow continue to produce wonderful art, and Clara is anticipating her first major show. The eccentric and often vulgar poet Ruth Zardo maintains her policy of offending everyone while she dresses her duck Rosa in sweaters and coats.
Yes, murders happen, but the fabric of life in Three Pines continues.
But not this time. Not in the fifth of the Inspector Gamache mystery novels by Canadian writer Louise Penny, “The Brutal Telling.” This time, the world of Three Pines will be upended.
A body is found early one morning in the bistro. It appears to be an elderly man who’s had his head bashed in. But there’s no blood, indicating the man was killed elsewhere.
What the reader knows from the beginning is that Olivier Brule, the owner of the bistro, knows the murdered man’s identity, and has been visiting him at the man’s cabin deep in the nearby woods.
The mystery of the man’s identity is compounded when the cabin is eventually discovered. Inside the cabin are priceless antiques, signed first editions of books, artifacts that went missing during World War II, and other treasures. Among all of these are small, exquisitely carved pieces of redwood, found only in British Columbia.
Solving this mystery will indeed change Three Pines and the lives of the people who live there.
“The Brutal Telling” is the fifth mystery in Penny’s Inspector Gamache series. The amazing thing is that, despite many of the same characters and same setting, each story is new, fresh, and different. And so far in the series, the stories are becoming better, more nuanced, and deeper. This story at times threatens to break out from the mystery genre and become serious literary fiction.
Now I can’t wait to read the next in the series.
On top of all that is the writing. I'm finding more and more I'm seeking out authors who have that way of not just writing a good story but engaging the reader. It's not necessarily the story line that's especially "riviting" but the "fluidity" (if that's a word) of her pen that grabs me every time. Well done once again Ms. Penny.