Nancy's Reviews > Bury Your Dead

Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
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Feb 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery-or-something-akin-to-it
Read in February, 2012

Of the 6 books to date, I enjoyed this one the most. The interweaving of the 4 mysteries (in 3 stories) was well-done and I never felt impatient about leaving one storyline for another. There was emotional weight that carried well, to the very end. That being said, this is not a suspenseful, on-the-edge-of-your-seat book, anymore than the previous books in the series. I tend to have more of a curiosity about where she will end up, rather than feeling any tension in the story. The mysteries themselves are more about exposing the depths of human motivations, what drives people to act... and while that itself is not always completely believable, to my mind, the author does a nice job at it and at the thoughtful way the Inspector approaches his suspects and follows his theories. Revisiting the mystery of the previous story was... well, she could have done it in the previous book with some tight editing, but if the jist of the story was about Beauvoir, post-trauma, then it fit. Even if there are procedural questions jumping out all over, I was able to suspend disbelief because I like the characters.

I was glad to be out of Three Pines as the location is a bit close after 4 of the books being set there. And for the setting to be in Quebec City in the winter - awesome. Old Quebec (Vieux-Quebec) is at the top of my favourite places - food, art, charm, beauty and history - Canadian history. Not being a Champlain historian I have to check with my french friends to find out if they pretended to be Champlain when they were children... but the author did a fun job with her riff on the Champlain "mystery". I was a little disappointed with the author's descriptions of snow, as any Canadian (outside of the lower mainland of BC and southern Vancouver Island) should know that you can't pack fluffy snow OR really cold, frozen snow into snowballs. Henri would have chipped a tooth.

I was also a bit unimpressed with some of her characterizations about french and english - but Canadian history (not just the history of Quebec) is fraught with the struggle of power between the French and English and, indeed, Canada essentially exists as a direct result to weight that power to the English side. However, to say something like: "Like whites in South Africa or the Southern States who knew that things had changed, who even accepted the changes, but who couldn't quite shake the certainty, deeply, diplomatically hidden, that they should still be in charge." (p. 319). That is far beyond the reach of a mystery author, and for it to be said at all I would want to see the social research upon which such a statement was based.

P.S. Go to Quebec - winter or summer - or better yet both - you will have to pay to go on the ice slide but watching the dog sled races are free - the night parade is fun and cariboo... is meant to keep you warm ... and the hollow Bonhomme stick - well you don't need that, but it IS convenient and a good way to recognize other tourists. But a better drink is a maple whiskey .... AWEsome.
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Reading Progress

07/26 marked as: read

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

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Linda I am reading it now and I agree with Nancy. I am enjoying the intertwined stories. A reviewer above was confused, but he had not read the previous books. These books are best read in order.


Linda I will go to Quebec! I am going to Google Cariboo.


Nancy Maple whiskey is better - cariboo is for broke university students! A friend and I visited a there and 2 months later she went back on her honeymoon, she liked it so much.


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