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“In the end the answer to a murder investigation was always devastatingly simple. It was always right there, obvious. Hiding in facts and evidence and likes, and the misperceptions of the investigators.” These sentences, from The Brutal Telling, more or less sum up the appeal of Louise Penny’s crime novels, set in the fictional Quebec village of Three Pines, a normally sleepy place that wakes up to homicide on an annual basis. This time around, Penny’s endearing police detective, Armand Gamache, and his investigative team from the Sûreté du Québec are summoned to find out why an elderly gentleman’s body lies inside the popular (and only) café in town, and why the café’s owner, Olivier Brule, seems to know more than he’s letting on about the nameless drifter. 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. She illuminates how Gamache and his fellow investigators will find the culprit: “Not by DNA tests and petri dishes, ultra-violet scans or anything else a lab could produce,” but by old-fashioned legwork and teamwork. Penny also explores why the allure of being a resident of Three Pines tantalizes city dwellers seeking refuge in a tiny rural community: “The reason ‘belonging’ was so potent, so attractive, so much a part of the human yearning, was that it also meant safety, and loyalty. If you were ‘one of us’ you were protected.” The flip side, as Penny has proven many times over, is that those who belong may also seek to protect unsavoury sorts who have long been part of the community fabric. This notion has paid off in previous books, and does likewise here. But one wonders how much longer Penny can spin stories of murder in Three Pines – how many more killers can be protected and then unmasked – before Cabot Cove syndrome sets in. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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. (People)
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. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
One of the key characters unrobed and disclosed. Say it isn't so, however, new mentor revealed...Great read and personal insightPublished 1 month ago by cathy
Captivating from start to finish, as is the whole series of Gamache novels.Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth Laroche