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Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Paperback – August 2, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 999 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. At the start of Agatha-winner Penny's moving and powerful sixth Chief Insp. Armand Gamache mystery (after 2009's The Brutal Telling), Gamache is recovering from a physical and emotional trauma, the exact nature of which isn't immediately disclosed, in Québec City. When the body of Augustin Renaud, an eccentric who'd spent his life searching for the burial site of Samuel de Champlain, Québec's founder, turns up in the basement of the Literary and Historical Society, Gamache reluctantly gets involved in the murder inquiry. Meanwhile, Gamache dispatches his longtime colleague, Insp. Jean Guy Beauvoir, to the quiet town of Three Pines to revisit the case supposedly resolved at the end of the previous book. Few writers in any genre can match Penny's ability to combine heartbreak and hope in the same scene. Increasingly ambitious in her plotting, she continues to create characters readers would want to meet in real life. 100,000 first printing.
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.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Penny’s first five crime novels in her Armand Gamache series have all been outstanding, but her latest is the best yet, a true tour de force of storytelling. When crime writers attempt to combine two fully fleshed plots into one book, the hull tends to get a bit leaky; Penny, on the other hand, constructs an absolutely airtight ship in which she manages to float not two but three freestanding but subtly intertwined stories. Front and center are the travails of Gamache, chief inspector of the Sûreté du Quebec, who is visiting an old friend in Quebec City and hoping to recover from a case gone wrong. Soon, however, he is involved with a new case: the murder of an archaeologist who was devoted to finding the missing remains of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec. As Gamache is drawn into this history-drenched investigation—the victim’s body was found in an English-language library, calling up the full range of animosity between Quebec’s French majority and dwindling English minority—he is also concerned that he might have jailed the wrong man in his last case (The Brutal Telling,2009) and orders his colleague, Jean Guy Beauvoir, back to the village of Three Pines to find what they missed the first time. Hovering over both these present investigations is the case gone wrong in the past, the details of which are gradually revealed in perfectly placed flashbacks. Penny brilliantly juggles the three stories, which are connected only by a kind of psychological membrane; as Gamache makes sense of what happened in the past, he is better able to think his way through present dilemmas. From the tangled history of Quebec to the crippling reality of grief to the nuances of friendship, Penny hits every note perfectly in what is one of the most elaborately constructed mysteries in years. --Bill Ott --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (Book 6)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312626908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312626907
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (999 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,001 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
These were the four sentences Chief Inspector Armand Gamache had learned from his own Chief, Emile Comeau, when he was a green agent and which he passed on to each agent under his command in the Sûreté du Québec. They are sentences Gamache has found more need of than ever in the months since the events in Louise Penny's previous novel, The Brutal Telling: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel.

Not only does he have continued second thoughts about arresting and helping convict one his Three Pines friends of killing a man, but he is haunted by a recent operation that led to the violent deaths of a number of officers serving under him. One of the deaths weighs particularly heavily on his mind, as he plays back seemingly endless bits of conversation between himself and the doomed officer. Gamache is a man of extraordinary sensitivity and feeling in a job that sometimes can require nearly superhuman choices with no good endings. He knows that it takes time to heal (or at least cover over the wound), but he also knows he will always carry with him the mistakes and misjudgments he thinks led to terrible and final consequences for others and to his own sorrow of soul. No matter whether he says, "I'm sorry. I was wrong," or not, he cannot bring back the lives lost. But perhaps he, with the help of someone else in the Sûreté, can take another look at the Three Pines case...

Penny has done something I'd been hoping she would: she has written a book focused more on the police we've come to know in this series than on the villagers in Three Pines.
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Format: Hardcover
In keeping with my usual personal policy, I will skip a synopsis of this book; I assume readers of this review will have picked that up from the numerous reviews elsewhere. This, then, is just my opinion.

I've been a big fan of Louise Penny since her first book, Still Life, which I adored. I've read every installment in the series and enjoyed all of them with a particular fondness for last year's The Brutal Telling.

In this sixth outing starring Surete de Quebec Inspector Armand Gamache the author undertakes something I don't think I've seen done in a mystery novel before: the intertwining of three distinctively different stories. And I'm not sure I really want to see it done again...

Although she did this exceedingly well, I found it somewhat distracting. Interestingly, this is the October choice of my online book group and we don't seem to have focused on the same story line, some of us preferring one over the other and others the third. However, I wouldn't for a minute consider not reading her next book -- I am simply too invested in Gamache and the residents of Three Pines, all of whom have such distinctive personalities, to walk away from them any time soon. Or ever, for that matter.

A word of warning: readers absolutely MUST read The Brutal Telling before reading Bury Your Dead. Although there are enough of the main points given in this book to cover the highlights of the previous installment, you will never get the full import of what the author has done in book six without a fuller understanding of the background.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have all of Louise Penny's Three Pines mysteries, and also reviewed the penultimate in the series, "The Brutal Telling". With the latest, "Bury Your Dead", I think the series has changed its name to the Armand Gamache or Inspector Gamache series, after the Quebecois Chief Inspector who leads the action. The town of Three Pines appears in "Bury Your Dead", but it is not the center of the action.

At times in this series, Gamache's always-patient, always wise-as-an-owl persona gets just a little annoying (though not enough to keep me from giving the books five stars). I didn't feel this annoyance in "Bury Your Dead". Yes, Gamache still has his head screwed on right and lives and reacts with dignity (though not standing on his dignity). But it wasn't beaten to death in the telling of the tale.

Louise Penny does a masterful, and I mean masterful, job of intertwining three stories. 1) Why was an eccentric killed in the basement of the Literary and Historical Society Building, in the old walled city of Quebec, while Gamache was visiting, no less. 2) Did Gamache (and the prosecutor) make a mistake when they nailed a certain Three Pines resident as the murderer in "The Brutal Telling". 3) How can Gamache heal from the heartbreak and guilt of a kidnapping gone wrong, which happened before "Bury Your Dead" opens (and during the six months since the action of "The Brutal Telling").

Penny writes very intelligent books. You aren't just given a mystery, you are made interested in arcane historical questions that you didn't even know could be important. Gamache's personality is central to the feel and tone.
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