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The Brutal Telling

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  36,847 ratings  ·  3,365 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
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Vicki Jaeger And Marc the horse is a symbol for the previously angry, hurt, and arrogant man that was Marc's father. He went to LaPorte and his life was changed.…moreAnd Marc the horse is a symbol for the previously angry, hurt, and arrogant man that was Marc's father. He went to LaPorte and his life was changed. He found peace. So it's amazing that he advocated to send the horse there, to try to help him find peace, instead of putting him down.(less)
ElaineY Woo is not Olivier. The identity of this mysterious Woo is revealed in the next book, Bury Your Dead, which continues this murder/mystery thread.

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4.23  · 
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 ·  36,847 ratings  ·  3,365 reviews

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Micheal Fraser
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Matt by: Marty Fried
Shelves: audiobook
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache makes another appearance in Louise Penny’s ongoing Canadian police procedural series. Things continue to get better as I binge my way through the well-developed novels, losing myself in the powerful narrative and peaceful setting. The calm nature of Three Pines is disrupted when a body is found within the town’s bistro. The owner, Olivier Brulé, is fingered as a potential suspect, but the evidence soon points in another direction. There’s no time to waste and the H ...more
Paula Kalin
Louise Penny's Inspector Armand Gamache series is my favorite series in the mystery genre. The 5th book is back again at Three Pines introducing new unwanted owners of the haunting Hadley house. An unknown hermit is murdered, a treasure is found, and we witness the worst traits of the book's characters. This is a story of greed, jealousy, resentment, and lies.

What I enjoyed most was the wonderful poetic nature of The Brutal Telling. Listening to quotes narrated by the late Ralph Cosham is such a
Chaos is coming, old son.

Having been introduced to Three Pines, the fictional Quebec village close to the Vermont border, I have fallen in love with it and it's quirky residents. But as I read my way through the series their flaws and imperfections are being revealed. Like layers on an onion slowly being peeled back one layer at a time. In A Rule Against Murder we learned a bit more about Peter Morrow. In this fifth installment in the series we learn more about Olivier Brulé, the gay man who alo
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books
Another excellent book in this great series. This is book five and I am becoming quite attached to all the characters, especially Armand Gamache himself of course. He always moves so quietly through each story, absorbing all the facts, gently managing his colleagues and eventually solving the crimes.
All our favourite residents of Three Pines popped up along the way and one featured in the worst possible manner. I cannot help thinking that something will happen in the next book to help this chara
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Michael by: Margitte
Penny is at the top of her form with this 5th installment of the “cosy” mystery series set in the fictional rural Quebec village of Three Pines. A strange turns up dead in the bistro run by a gay couple, and Instpector Armand Gamache of the provincial homicide division come to town with his team to solve it. In the process, he digs up many secrets and suspects in this tight-knit community, mostly achieved through his special talent at listening and being able to garner subtle clues and detect li ...more
Jan 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Ahhh, Louise Penny you have broken my heart! Generally I read Penney's novels because I adore her mysteries but even more so because I have come to think of Inspector Gamache, his team and the marvelous people of Three Pines as literary friends. Penny does this to you with her incredible writing, in-depth character development and her beautiful story telling. The mystery is there but it is the people that you come back time and to visit time and again.

So I blindly walked into this story believin
The discovery of the body on the floor of Gabri and Olivier’s bistro was a dreadful shock to them, and the townsfolk of Three Pines. But when they realized he’d been murdered, they called the police. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team once again arrived in Three Pines to investigate a murder.

Secrets, lies, confusion, puzzles and treasure – all have Gamache scratching his head and trying to find the answers. But worse was to come before the final curtain – what would he find among the pe
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Several considered this novel dark. It is light! The mystery is identifying a victim. A resident knew the recluse and visited him on the key night. He was moved a couple of times but families under suspicion are new to readers. There is no emotional attachment, except a fantastic story with rescued horses. This is an interesting puzzle, dipping into famous treasures. Some must be gloomy about “The Brutal Telling” because a regular Three Pines resident was accused. So what? I wish one of my three ...more
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
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
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
I have yet to be disappointed with the Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache series but so far, this is my favorite. The Brutal Telling show how far Gamache will go to bring a murderer to justice no matter what or whom. It shows a tougher side of Armand Gamache and why he is the Chief Inspector.
I got to see a darker side of him, how he can be "brutal"when necessary. I also see a darker side of Three Pine. I loved all the twists and turns all the way up to the very end. Normally Three Pines seem
The Hook Needed a comfort read after reading several brutal thrillers. Strange that this one has Brutal in the title but it was much less violent even with a murder in the plot.

The Line “Funny how imperfections on the outside mean something splendid beneath.”

The Sinker – I was probably half way through this 5th Chief Inspector Armand Gamache
in the series before I became interested in the mystery. It didn’t grab me right away. As more and more was revealed about the murder victim I began to e
4.5 stars

If there is only one mystery series you read, this should be it - that's how much I adore this series. This installment was the best one so far! And yet it was so sad at the end that I almost feel bad loving this book so much. I think the next book is almost a continuation of this one, so I will be picking it up sooner than later.
Richard Derus
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Lewis Weinstein
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Louise Penny provides everything a fine detective story should have and much much more. This book breaks the bounds of the genre, as Inspector Gamache conducts a marvelous exploration of the mind of the criminal and the victim. There is also a serious break with the eclectic cast of the village of Three Pines that has fascinating implications for subsequent books in this series. Overall a great read.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Forest British Columbia, by Emily Carr, Image source

As much as it pains me to say this, I'm finding that the appeal of the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series is diminishing as I get further into it.

As I said in my review of the fourth (and preceding) book, A Rule Against Murder (see the review here:, the series is starting to get a bit stale, formulaic and repetitive.

Unfortunately, this often seems to happen with series
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
joyce g
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Three Pines is lovely , dark and deep.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Poetry, art, philosophy, sociology, history, literature, psychology, and a smattering of la langue français.

Chief Inspector Gamache is so much more well read and insightful than I am. But his wisdom is held and shared quietly, kindly.

There are so many facets I enjoy about the Three Pines mysteries. The village itself, the community and all its colorful inhabitants. The smooth and thoughtful Inspector Gamache, his family, and his somewhat clumsier colleagues. And all those first eight things I m
This was a difficult book for me in the Armand Gamache series. I did not enjoy the direction that the story went at all. Gamache and his crew are all wonderful, but some of the dark belly of Three Pines comes to light. One of my favorites in the village is accused of something horrid. This was painful.
Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)
Absolutely the best one yet. So good. Just so, so good.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime
But there was no hiding from Conscience. Not in new homes and new cars. In travel. In meditation or frantic activity. In children, in good works. On tiptoes or bended knee. In a big career. Or a small cabin. It would find you. The past always did.

Wow. This book is going to change the atmosphere in Three Pines. Excellent story. With an ending I didn’t think would be the culmination of the story. I thought Louise Penny was just teasing, but she wasn’t.
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, first-reads, reviewed
[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
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4000-books, sep-17
Another wonderful addition to Louise Penny's "Chief Inspector Armand Gamache" series.
Karen Hall
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of fourteen Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Penny has won six Agatha Awards and five Anthony Awards, and has been a finalist for an Ed ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 15 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)
“Where there is love there is courage,
where there is courage there is peace,
where there is peace there is God.
And when you have God, you have everything.”
“The leaves had fallen from the trees and lay crisp and crackling beneath his feet. Picking one up he marveled, not for the first time, at the perfection of nature where leaves were most beautiful at the very end of their lives.” 45 likes
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