Barbara's Reviews > Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
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's review
Jan 18, 2014

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-mystery
Read in December, 2011

I seldom give five stars to a book and I'm delighted to do so with Bury Your Dead. I read this at the beginning of my Christmas holiday and it was a perfect book to pull me out of my work world into relaxation. I couldn't put it down.

It's actually about three crimes in one book: a terrorist plot barely averted, from which Chief Inspector Armande Gamache of the homicide division of the Surete du Quebec is recovering; a murder in a small tourist village by the Vermont border for which a greedy gay bistro owner has been convicted and imprisoned (possibly wrongly); and the murder of an annoying amateur archaeologist in the basement of a historical English library in the middle of the old walled city of Quebec.

The pacing is slower than usual for a mystery. It reads more like literary fiction and has the character development of literary fiction, but with a plot that is unrelenting. The history, back to 1608, when Samuel de Champlain landed at Kebec, the 'place where the river narrows', and started a colony for France and Catholicism, is compelling. The tragedy of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1769, at which the English General Wolfe defeated French General Montcalm and lost New France to the English and to Canada, is an open wound that throbs beneath the plot. The cultural tensions of English and French in Quebec City are hauntingly and compassionately laid out. You'll read about common mistakes of bilingualism--'The night is a strawberry' is one that anglophones commit.

For all that it's a story about letting go, about bearing one's personal and cultural history but also about adapting and forgiving and moving on. Lots of stuff for a great discussion, for the right group.
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01/31 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lynn I agree, perfect book for the winter break!

message 2: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Kelley beautiy said Barbara Jean!!!

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