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The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  13,954 ratings  ·  1,366 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
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Hardcover, 372 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Minotaur Books
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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    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
    Margitte
    Three Pines welcomed Marc and Dominique Gilbert as the new owners of Hadley house on the hill. For once, this sad, violated, derelict house got a second chance. It never belonged to the village, according to inspector Armand Gamache. It seemed the accusation, the voyeur on the hill, that looked down on them. Judged them. Preyed on them. And sometimes took one of the villagers, and killed them.

    Three Pines was not like any other village. "Every Quebec village has a vocation", said Clara. “Some mak
    ...more
    Kelly H. (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
    Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Andy
    [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 two major 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 address wha
    ...more
    LJ
    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
    Stephen
    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
    Sebastian
    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
    Susan
    Appropriate October read, this being the darkest of the series for me thus far. We find our group of regulars battling some of their own inner demons, while at the same time trying to come to grips with the arrival of some unwanted outsiders. Even the landscapes in this addition were described more gloomy, remote and shadowy than usual.

    Inspector Gamache is back in Three Pines again surrounded by his friends and a mysterious death. The body of an unknown homeless man is found in the local Bistro
    ...more
    Nancy
    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
    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
    Kathy Davie
    Fifth in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series and revolving around Gamache and Three Pines.

    The Brutal Telling won the Agatha Award for Best Novel in 2009 and the Anthony Award for Best Novel in 2010 and was nominated for a Dilys Award and the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel in 2010.

    My Take
    This one was confusing, convoluted, and horrible. The confusion from how Penny filled in the background on the Hermit and the "stranger's" relationship, over the victim's identity, the why o
    ...more
    Steve
    Returning to Three Pines and Inspector Gamache for book five of this wonderful series, only after the mistake of skipping a couple and reading book seven out of sequence, I am well reminded that these are best read in order and that I’m well on my way to repairing my gaffe. The body of an unknown man whom we come to know as The Hermit, appears one morning in Three Pines’ bistro, the establishment run by Olivier and Gabri. Olivier was with The Hermit the night before his body was found. Inspector ...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
    Contrarius
    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
    Chris
    I haven’t read the other books in this series, and this is apparently book #5. I can see why so many love Penny, though. Her characters are well drawn, and the mystery isn’t the most mysterious I have ever read. At least the murder mystery isn’t .
    The central aspect of the story isn’t so much the who did it, but the characters and their interactions, which is fun.
    I really enjoyed Rosa and Ruth.
    ...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
    Leah
    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
    judy
    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
    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
    Amy
    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
    Michelle
    "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
    S.D.
    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
    Koeeoaddi
    Despite the contrived crime, the murky motivation and the frustrating conclusion, who can not love a book features arbitrary scraps of poem that may or may not be clues, a horse that looks like a moose and a duck in a sweater set and pearls?

    Addendum: this goes up to 4.5 stars if slipcased with Penny's next book, Bury Your Dead.
    Gail
    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
    Kathy
    Louise Penny has it all in this Inspector Gamache addition--art, first edition books, totem-poles, greed, genrosity, history, love, hate, death, birth . . . It is an endless stream of delight and suspense. And, by endless, I mean that this particular volume in the series, more than any previous ones, leaves some dangling ends to be continued. Just glad I came to the series late and can proceed immediately with the next book in the series. I literally cannot get enough of Louise Penny's world of ...more
    Scott
    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
    Toni Osborne
    Book 5 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series

    In her latest novel, Louise Penny brings her readers back to the village of Three Pines where we will find Inspector Gamache facing another murder scene.

    When a body has been found in Olivier Brulé's Bistro, Inspector Gamache is summoned to Three Pines with his investigative team from the Sûreté du Québec. It is soon discovered that the victim an elderly gentleman was murdered elsewhere and strategically relocated to the bistro. Why was the body left a
    ...more
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    **Spoiler Alert** What is "Woo"? 11 187 Nov 26, 2012 08:02PM  
    • Necessary as Blood
    • Out of the Deep I Cry (Rev. Clare Fergusson & Russ Van Alstyne Mysteries, #3)
    • Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs, #6)
    • White Nights (Shetland, #2)
    • A Question of Belief (Commissario Brunetti, #19)
    • Curse of the Pogo Stick (Dr. Siri Paiboun #5)
    • The Janus Stone (Ruth Galloway #2)
    194243
    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.

    Awards:
    * Agatha Award: Best Novel
    o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
    o 2008 –
    ...more
    More about Louise Penny...

    Other Books in the Series

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 11 books)
    • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
    • A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)
    • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
    • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
    • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
    • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
    • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
    • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
    • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
    • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)
    Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2) Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6) How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9) A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)

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