LJ's Reviews > Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
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Aug 04, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: canada, contemporary_post_1945, female_author, mystery, police_procedural, meals_in_mysteries
Read in July, 2010 — I own a copy

First Sentence: Up the stairs they raced, taking them two at a time, trying to be as quiet as possible.

Inspector Armand Gramache’s last investigation ended very badly for himself and members of his team, including Jean Guy Beauvoir. Each day Armand receives a letter from Three Pines asking why Olivier would have moved the body of the man he has been convicted of killing. He asks Jean Guy to unofficially return to Three Pines and reinvestigate the case from the assumption of Olivier’s innocence. Armand is finding solace in the library of the Literary and Historical Society in Old Québec City until murder intervenes. Augustin Renaud, dedicated to finding the lost remains of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Québec, has been dead in the library’s basement.

As with all of her books, Penny makes me think, view things in a new and different way, and learn about things I had not known. All of this is very good.

I love her vivid descriptions and wry humor. She conveys both the beauty and frigid cold of Quebec City in winter, and her descriptions of food are mouth-watering. She captures how in cities with such long histories, such as Quebec, one is able to sense and envision the past along with the present. She provides an illuminating look at Quebec where the English are the minority. It’s a city I’ve loved visiting but never thought about the impact of its history and politics on those who live there.

Penny’s characters are so fully realized and human. She has that rare ability which allows the reader to sense the character’s emotions, without it being maudlin or overly sentimental. In previous books, I did not fully understand the scope and importance of Gamache’s position, but it is made clear here. Through scenes of the events of the disastrous case, you feel the weight of his responsibility and his pain. Jean Guy having to employ Gamache’s style of investigative techniques gives him a new understanding of his boss. I appreciate how she introduces us to new characters yet reacquaints us with our favorite characters from the previous books as well.

Each thread of the triple-threaded plot is gripping and stands on its own yet, as with real life, they work well together and provide us greater insight to the characters. I did have an issue with the logic behind one of the plot threads, and a stepping-away from the impact of another, but I am willing to almost forgive those against the strengths of the rest of the book. She does leave a fourth, smaller thread dangling for another book, but it’s not the cliff-hanger ending several authors are now employing which I find cheap and unnecessary from a good author. Thank you, Ms. Penny, for not doing that yet always leave us wanting the next book--now.

While her books are, at their core, mysteries, and very good ones, there are layers beyond that and a wisdom brought forth through her characters that I admire. Gamache’s code for the four sentences which lead to wisdom: “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I need help. I don’t know.” are worth embracing.

Penny is one of the best authors of today and one I recommend to anyone without hesitation.

BURY YOUR DEAD (Pol. Proc-Insp. Armand Gamache-Canada-Cont) – VG+
Penny, Louise – 6th in series
Minotaur Books, ©2010, ARE – HC ISBN: 9780312377045

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11/14/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Susan Onto this book next. Beautiful picture. I hope Olivier's case is solved??? One way or another.


message 2: by LJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

LJ Keep reading.......:)


message 3: by LJ (new) - rated it 4 stars

LJ Quebec City really is beautiful, any season of the year.


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