The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
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The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5)

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  8,940 ratings  ·  965 reviews
Chaos is coming, old son.

With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets
Hardcover, 372 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Minotaur Books (first published 2009)
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Kelly  Maybedog
My first book of the new year!

I'd really like to give this book 2.5 stars. The ending really irritated me but the rest was pretty good. I'm going to start of the new year with kindness and give it three stars.

This book is interesting and well written for the most part. It has a few slow spots but it's hard to put down once you reach the half way point. I'm sure it will be appealing to fans of this series. I haven't read any of Penny's books before so there have been a few moments when I've wonde...more
[This review is based on an Advanced Reader Copy won through the Goodreads First Reads program.:]

The Brutal Telling is an enjoyable, quiet mystery, with a couple of big flaws.

To repeat what some others have said, this is a nice small town mystery with interesting characters. Once the story pulled me in, I "couldn't put it down." (Okay, I could put it down. But I was always eager to return to it.)

You can read more about the plot and the characters and the writing in other reviews. I want to addre...more
Micheal Fraser
Having read all of Louise Penny's previous novels about the perfect
village of Three Pines and the amazing Chief Inspector Gamache I was
prepared to be vastly entertained by a witty, sometimes funny and
intricately plotted mystery whose solution always lies in the hearts of
men and the ability of Gamache to suss out what lies within.

I was not prepared for this compelling and unflinching look into the
heart of darkness that resides within us all. It is a universal truth
that we can never fully know ano...more
Oct 17, 2009 Stephen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Stephen by: First Reads Giveaway
Shelves: first-reads
People come to mystery novels for different reasons, which explains why there is such a wide variety of sub-genres. When we read a mystery we are confronted with our own fears, desires, and those less than pleasant parts of our personality that we work to prevent seeing the light of day. Louise Penny deals with exactly that uglier part of our natures in this novel, The Brutal Telling.

I have read all five of the Chief Inspector Gamache novels. After reading Ms Penny's second novel I caught on to...more
First Sentence: “All of them? Even the children?” The fireplace sputtered and cackled and swallowed his gas. “Slaughtered?”

As the seasons are changing, so are lives in the village of Three Pines. The body of an unknown man of a stranger is left in the bistro and antiques store of Oliver and Gabri. Chief Inspector Gamache must identify the victim as well as the killer uncovering secrets and lies along the way.

Quite different from the previous four books, this feels to be a transitional book, both...more
Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karen Hall
I’ve loved Louise Penny’s books since Still Life, and read them quickly, almost one after another, but somehow I missed The Brutal Telling in my Year of Louise Penny, 2011. Since some of what happens in The Brutal Telling is revealed at the beginning of Bury Your Dead (2011), which I thought was brilliant, I considered skipping it altogether.

Boy, am I glad I didn’t! Had I not opened this book, I would have missed the continued rich development of characters I know and love, the interesting comp...more
"First off, I need to apologize to my Canadian friends. Until I read this, I was completely wrong on the location of the province of Quebec. Shame on me. I guess I didn't realize that there was something east of Ontario other than Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. I'll be the first to admit that my Canadian geography is a little rusty, and now I know that it is located in Eastern Canada. I also know that based on this boo, it sounds like an absolutely stunning place to visit.[return]I was p...more
Tanja Berg
Aw - now that the politics are done and over with, I just love this series! Finally a Chief Inspector who is not a Lord, Poet, near Deity or a Drunkard! It's so nice to meet up with the familiar inhabitants of Three Pines village. Who cares that they have the highest rate of murder per capita in the world?! Such a picturesque, sweet little town anyway.

A body is found in the gay couple's bistro, Gabri and Oliver's. No one claims to know him. Chief Inspector Gamache comes and begin to investigate....more
I was fortunate enough to come upon this book in an ARC giveaway thing. I chose it for silly reasons: I knew someone with the last name of the detective (an unusual last name and hard to pronounce), I liked the setting (just over the border into Cananda from Vermont), and the title was intriguing.

How lucky for me! This was a great mystery story, well-written with sharp characteization, a good plot, and lots of local interest. It's always good to add another author to that mystery list which is...more
Jan C
A dead body is found in the B & B … Olivier’s B & B. He says he knows nothing about it. But can this be believed by Chief Inspector Gamache? Well, not exactly. Even the beginning reader knows this since the book starts out with Olivier talking to the old man in his cabin in the woods. And the next thing you know, the dead man is found in the lounge.

Olivier and his partner Gabri have some new neighbors. An Inn and Spa is going in at the Old Hadley Place. Readers of previous books of Loui...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Won on "Giveaways"--was drawn in immediately by the description--sounded very creepy! This is my first "Gamache" novel by Louise Penny, so I came in with no real expectations, although I was hoping for something dark and creepy!

I was torn between giving 3 or 4 stars, but ultimately I couldn't stop thinking about the writing style, so I rest on three.

My dislikes: apparently the village of Three Pines has LOTS of murders which I find kind of ridiculous; some of the 'mysteries and secrets' of the...more
Ronald Roseborough
Bon Dieu! How is it that I have not found this author before? "The Brutal Telling", by Louise Penny, is more than just a detective story. It is a literary novel. This work blends the lives of the characters and the reader by speaking to the souls of both. As in all great literature, the characters come to life through the words of the author, quickly becoming more than just the written word. The characters, such as Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, are completely developed people, full of life. Ea...more
When I find myself in Three Pines it reminds me of Brigadoon, the fictional Scottish village that only emerges from the mist for a single day each hundred years. Fortunately Penny doesn't make us wait that long for another glimpse of the charming, magical, slightly other worldly Three Pines. Penny is an amazing writer. Through her prose I can actually see and feel the stunning power of Clara's paintings. I can sit in the Bistro enjoying the smells and watching Gabri deliver yet another superb me...more
In her first novel, Three Pines, Louise Penny wrote a truly compelling, original novel with interesting characters and a neat mystery. The novel had no subtitle. Her second, A Fatal Grace, was subtitled A Three Pines Mystery; her third was A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Three Pines mystery); her fourth similarly subtitled, and now this, her fifth, is an Armand Gamache novel. Clearly this is a writer in search of a cash-cow series. Armand Gamache was a secondary character in her first novel,...more
Sheila Beaumont
This, the fifth in Louise Penny's wonderful Three Pines series, is not only a clever, well-plotted whodunit, but also an allegory, a myth brought to life, and a meditation on greed.

The story starts off with bistro owner Olivier Brule and a hermit, who will be the murder victim, sitting in front of a fire in a log cabin in the woods outside Three Pines. A story, involving a Mountain King and his treasures, and the coming of Chaos and the Furies, is being told. When the hermit's dead body is found...more
Never thought I would see this day!

If someone had told me that I would be rating a Louise Penny book with two stars, I would have disregarded them as crazy. The author is such a good writer that there is no way this was even a choice. Sadly, I have to do it. In this novel pretty much goes against everything that has led me to love her work in the past. When we first met the inhabitants of Three Pines we were introduced to a fascinating group of people. At this point, we have had quite a bit of t...more
Louise Penny brings back Chief Inspector Gamache and Three Pines in this intriguing mystery. Gamache and team arrive in the quirky village of Three Pines when an unidentified body is discovered in the local bistro. A new family has moved to Three Pines to rehabilitate the old Hadley place and turn it into an upscale hotel and spa. This presents competition to the local B&B and tensions have risen in the village. Suspician twists and turns as the team struggles to identify the victim and the...more
Mary Lou
I have recently discovered Louise Penny and just finished this book--what a treat.

Her policeman, Gamache, is a combination of Miss Marple and Columbo, with a French accent. This is a thinking person's mystery with layers of meaning, and it's not all neatly wrapped up with a bow (Gamache himself continues to question the eventually convicted killer's guilt, on into the next book). The book has a number of themes: what do people fear more than anything else? What does it mean to be in community wi...more
Armand Gamache is a chief inspector in Quebec called out to investigate a murder in Three Pines. The deceased is supposedly an elderly man but forensics puts him in his early fifties. There are interesting characters in Three Pines: the town poet who owns, dresses, and walks a duck; a bistro owned by two gay men, an antique store owner, and the new owners of a bed and breakfast. When they finally locate the house in the woods where the deceased had lived, all kinds of puzzling questions come to...more
Eric Wright
Penny visits the quaint Quebec village of Three Pines in another of her Gamache mysteries. Gabri Gamache and his colleagues are members of the crack Surete de Quebec police bureau tasked with special crimes. In this case Gabri arrives in Three Pines to find a village in chaos due to a man brutally murdered and left on the floor of Olivier's bistro.

What follows is a puzzling but slow unveiling of clues set against a charming cast of characters. We face hints of some terrible secret from the past...more
I just love the way Penny's books are about so much more than what they seem to be about. I guess that's the point of "literary" fiction and "literary" mysteries, huh?

Anyway -- I'm tempted to give this 5 stars, but once again a few points of plot weakness keep me at the 4 star level. I'm already behind on writing my Penny reviews, but I promise promise promise to catch up in the next day or two. But the take home message is: if you like thinking while you read, if you love vivid characters, and...more
These books just flow one after the other. Season by season in beautiful rural Quebec. A little jaunt to BC and the stunning Queen Charlotte islands and something dear to my heart, native First Nation history and art. Immigrant communities and the why and how of their function within a very small rural setting. I rather enjoy how the writer brings such colour and mystery to very small town life having grown up in what was called a hamlet myself in Canada. She brings the reality IMHO to the page...more
Absolutely brilliant. Best one in the series so far. Completely turns what you think about one of the main characters on its head. Now I have to go back and read the previous books to see if the clues were there all along but first I have to read Bury Your Dead which continues the story. Best book I have read in a long time.
I rounded up my star rating on this one, because I think what I liked outweighed the more negative aspects of the book. Primarily, I liked the characters and the way Penny evokes the setting. The characters were very good, each individual with their own voices and quirks and mannerisms, despite there being quite a few characters. The setting too was well drawn. She captured village life, Canadian life, in ways that brought them vividly to the eye, even though I live worlds apart from the world o...more
This mystery novel is number 5 of the Chief Inspector Gamache series, set in the small Quebec village of Three Pines. These novels have a huge reputation, are very highly rated, and win all kinds of awards so I was looking forward to checking it out.

In this one the body of a stranger is found in the local bistro, owned by the couple Olivier and Gabri. Enter Inspector Gamache and his crack staff of investigators. The police and locals are baffled as to the identity of the stranger, why he was mur...more
Sally Jones
What did Louise Penny just do? You have to have read the previous books in her series to appreciate, the resolution but sad ending. I'm upset - how will the life of the village go on? I even sat on the loo flicking pages faster and faster on my nook to find out what happens at the end. Who dunnit? You seriously have to worry about this place; it's crime rate is ridiculous given the size of the population but at least the police have good statistics! Gamache, Beauvoir and Lacoste are on the case....more
This was a good mystery and had I not just read the Beautiful Mystery I would have given it 4 stars but it wasn't quite as good. Again you had lots of clues and personalities and lots of motives and possibilities to consider. The solution wasn't revealed till the end and even it left some doubt. What bothered me some were editing errors (the number 16 figures into the plot but at one point it is switched to 17 then back to 16). There was use of a very simple shift cipher but rather than cracking...more
Mark Stevens
Gorgeous prose, exquisite detail and a fine rhythm keep "The Brutal Telling" plugging along. Louise Penny is a master stylist and I have to hand it to her on two major points that really bother me with so many other writers. First, as the plot comes down the homestretch, the quality of prose doesn't wane. To me, this a sign of a sure hand and the storyteller's confidence. Second, Penny's humor is subtle, sly and razor sharp. Sample: "Armand Gamache arrived in the late afternoon on the brooding i...more
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Many of Louise Penny's books are published under different titles by UK/Canada and US publishers.
She lives with her husband, Michael, and a golden retriever named Trudy, in a small village south of Montreal.

Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards.

* Agatha Award: Best Novel
o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
o 2008 –...more
More about Louise Penny...
Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6) A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4) A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)

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“What are you afraid of?
I'm afraid of not recognizing Paradise.”
“What haunted people even, perhaps especially, on their deathbed? What chased them, tortured them and brought some of them to their knees? And [he] thought he had the answer. Regret. Regret for things said, things done, and things not done. Regret for the people they might have been. And failed to be. ” 15 likes
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