It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?
Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. "It doesn't make sense," Olivier’s partner writes every day. "He didn't do it, you know." As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.
LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (seven times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.
Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6) by Louise Penny (Author), Ralph Cosham (Narrator)
This entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series is even sadder than the last one. There are several threads we are following as the story progresses. The last case worked by Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his second in command, Jean Guy Beauvoir, ended with many people either injured or killed and both men are on leave to recover from physical and emotional damage. Throughout the story we see that horrible case take place, through the memories of both men, who are suffering flashbacks and PTSD from what transpired.
But both men can't sit still with their memories and are unofficially working on unrelated cases. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is staying with his former mentor and friend in Quebec City and has been asked to assist in the investigation of a murder that took place in the Literary and Historical Society. Jean Guy Beauvoir is back in Three Pines, at the request of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, to reinvestigate the murder that sent Bistro owner Olivier to prison.
There is a sense of impending doom as we relive the memories of Gamache and Beauvoir during the countdown of their last case. A literal countdown that is imbued with such sadness and feelings of helplessness. Gamache's case in Quebec City is steeped in politics, secrecy, and history. Beauvoir, in Three Pines, begins to see things from Gamache's point of view, that the people of this village have so much to offer when it comes to seeking knowledge and insight to the happenings around them. Now I think this is my favorite book of the series, thus far.
I just love this series. This is the sixth book in the Armand Gamache Series. I love the characters and love Three Pines. The characters have become my friends. They are so real and yet so quirky. I remember when I first started the series I thought that I would never remember all of their names because there seemed to be so many people, but now I can easily recall each person. And of course, the continuity is always provided by Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who is a central character in each novel. I had intended to savor this book and read it slowly, but from page one I got hooked and I couldn't stop because I had to find out how all these stories would be concluded. Louise's ability to juggle so many situations and characters at the same time is amazing. Some people considered this series to be "cozies", but they are much more in depth than a cozy, especially "Bury Your Dead".
Armand Gamache is taking a break from police work after a particularly traumatic case that left him, and members of his team, both physically and emotionally wounded. When a dead body is found in the Literary and Historical Society basement, one of the employees recognizes Gamache and requests his assistance. The body leads to another mystery surrounding the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain. Meanwhile, Gamache is plagued by a question from a previous case in Three Pines and sends Jean Guy to quietly re-investigate to see if they missed or mis-read clues.
"Bury Your Dead" takes you to several locations throughout Canada, but her skill in tying it all back to Three Pines and the residents there is wonderful. I have no desire to spoil any of the storyline(s) for you, so I will just say that if you like your reading to include sly wit, heartbreaking emotions and a deep understanding of what makes us human, this is the book (and series) for you. Enjoy.
“It's a blessing Madame Gamache and I had at our wedding. It was read at the end of the ceremony.
Now you will feel no rain For each of you will be shelter for the other Now you will feel no cold For each of you will be warmth for the other Now there is no loneliness for you Now there is no more loneliness. Now you are two persons, but there is one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place To enter into the days of your togetherness. And may your days be good and long upon this earth.
I highly recommend this series and recommend that you read them in order.
As I said it before, Inspector Gamache series is my favorite of the mystery genre and this 6th installment did not disappoint. If anything, the books are getting better and better. Again, I have to underline that this series should be read in order for a better understanding of the characters the plot. This one is especially connected with the one before it.
SPOILERS about the previous book ahead
This novel has three connecting plots, there are three mysteries to uncover, one by Gamache, one by Inspector Beauvoir and the last one by us, the reader. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is on leave because something very bad happened to him and his team and he decides to visit his good friend in Quebec City. There he stumbles upon another murder (as one does) at the Literary and Historical Society. The dead person is a crazy historian obsessed to find the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain. For the 2nd mystery, Gamache, consumed by doubt, asks the PTSD suffering Beauvoir to check again all the evidence about the murder of the Hermit and try to see if he can prove Olivier not guilty. Finally, we are slowly revealed what happened with the team that left Gamache and Beauvoir scarred both physically and psychologically.
What I loved about this novel was that the three mysteries integrated very well into each other, that I learned more about the history of Quebec and off course, that I got to spend more time with my friends from the Sûreté du Québec and Three Pines.
Fantástica novela. Para mi le falta acción y dramatismo, pero entiendo que no era la intención de la autora y por eso respeto las 5 estrellas. Una trama con dos investigaciones paralelas muy bien tratadas. Unos personajes muy bien diferenciados, con sus contradicciones internas. Con sus descripciones, te apetece viajar a Quebec y también a Three Pines. Aunque a veces le falte ritmo, entiendo que la trama necesita ser pausada: nieve en abundancia, viento, frío, libros, ancianos. Es una novela que invita a sentarse y acurrucarse en el sofá con una manta.
Fantastic novel. For me it lacks action and drama, but I understand that it was not the author's intention and that is why I respect the 5 stars. A plot with two parallel investigations very well treated. Very well differentiated characters, with their internal contradictions. With her descriptions, you want to travel to Quebec and also to Three Pines. Although sometimes it lacks rhythm, I understand that the plot needs to be leisurely: snow in abundance, wind, cold, books, old people. It is a novel that invites you to sit and snuggle on the couch with a blanket.
Number six in this series which keeps getting better and better! Bury Your Dead takes place six months after The Brutal Telling and one of our Three Pines characters is languishing in gaol convicted of murder. A lot has happened to Gamache and his team in that six months including major injuries and deaths. all of which is revealed slowly as the book progresses. Two mysteries run parallel in this book. Gamache is in Quebec recovering emotionally as well as physically from the earlier traumatic events. He accidentally becomes involved in a murder case which he helps the local police solve. Meanwhile he directs Jean-Guy Beauvoir to take his convalescence in Three Pines and try to make sure that they did convict the right person of murder. Altogether a story about mistakes and guilt and how you learn to live with them. Gamache of course is his usual self. He grieves deeply but he is also able to acknowledge his mistakes and eventually 'bury his dead.' An emotional book altogether but it has happier times too. One highlight is a very special reunion at the end and there is also the amazing Ruth to add a touch of humour. A great read!
This is book 6 in the Armand Gamache series and I recommend that you read them in order, as some events carry over from previous books. This is an excellent police procedural series and I thank my s-i-l Julia for recommending this series to my wife and I. We both enjoy it. This book is one of the author's best that I have read so far and I rate it 4.5 stars rounded down. This book opens with Armand recovering both physically and mentally from events in the previous book. Armand is on medical eave from his position as Chief of the Homicide Surete(Quebec Provincial Police) team. He is drawn into investigating a murder that has taken place in Quebec City. At the same time he suspects that he may have made a mistake in his role in convicting a murderer from the previous book. He asks his #2 in the Homicide team, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, to re-investigate the crime unofficially. Jean-Guy is also on medical leave and agrees to do so. Both cases are solved with a satisfactory ending. Both men are starting to heal, both physically and mentally. I grew up in Buffalo, NY and I can remember occasional cold spells where the temperature dipped to below zero, once to -20F. My parents and friends would always comment that "you know it's cold because you can feel the snow crunching underneath your feet when you walk." This book takes place in February in Quebec City, where crunchy snow is an every day occurrence and daytime temps go to -30(book doesn't say Celsius or Fahrenheit, but both are bitter cold). Some quotes: Describing the Literary and Historical Society: "It takes a lot of effort to halt time, and for the most part they've done it." Conversation between members of the Champlain Society: Rene: "I sometimes thinks that we are in a rowboat society." Jean: "A what?" Rene: "A rowboat. It's why we do things like that." He jerked his head toward the window and the dot on the river. "It's why Quebec is so perfectly preserved. It's why we're all so fascinated with history. We're in a rowboat. We move forward, but we're always looking back." I raced through this library book in 3 days.
You really know how to hurt a boy. You make, ex nihilo, people whose reality I completely buy into, whose very existence (in a well-ordered Universe) is simply necessary, and then you give them real, human flaws, and dreadfully painful pasts, and generally screw with my reality/fictionality compass.
And then you make them do yucky, tacky things. And even vile, evil ones. And somehow, throughout that process, you *don't* make me dislike them, or even judge them. You make me wince and cringe for their foolishness and then weep in anticipatory pain for the inevitable consequences of the actions YOU, Puppet Mistress of the Damned, make them perform!!
I just want to know one thing: How did you make so many people suffer these same pangs with only a few flicks of your cruel, cruel pen?
Your friend, Little Richie D.
So if you're on the Three Pines Express, I don't need to sell this book to you. I do need to let you know a few things about it: 1) Not very much of it involves Three Pines, Clara or the bookstore. 2) The manner in which Lousy Louise stitches the three story lines together is disconcerting, and very effective most of the time; when a fourth story line is added, it becomes too much and feels like short shrift is given to some fan favorites. 3) Gamache and Jean-Guy are the primary movers in the stories, and each comes across as a multidimensional character with new and unexpected dimensions; but both are also required to do a little too much on-the-page soul searching for effectiveness, and the end result is each character now feels a little more fictional than before.
And we are ALL OVER THE PLACE all the time. I truly, truly wish we weren't given a picture that's quite so fractured. It's not quite as much fun as previous outings, but it's still head and shoulders above the vast majority of non-four-hankies-and-a-pistol books. It's a fine addition to the body of work Penny's accumulating, to be appreciated by the intelligent, thoughful commoner with nothing to prove.
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.
Many readers have fallen in love with Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache books, especially Bury Your Dead, and it’s easy to see why. Her descriptions of place are gentle and thorough, lifting every cover and opening every cupboard of a setting until we feel that we’re strolling down the streets of Old Quebec or pushing our way through the waist-high snow of a Canadian village.
Her characters are also the beneficiaries of this intelligent and pleasant cataloging. We’re treated to wonderful physical descriptions of the important personas, then are given a trip inside their heads and hearts as they move through her drama. The intimate 3rd person narration gives one the sensation of riding along on the shoulders of the characters like an invisible eye.
Unfortunately, the same pre-occupation with detail and intricacy doesn’t always work well with plots and it’s here that Penny loses me. There’s a fine mystery series convention, the standard “A” and “B” story lines (A being the crisis of the moment, B being the protagonist’s ongoing life issues), that’s worked well for thousands of mystery writers and their books. Bury Your Dead, however, is a riot of plot lines, an attempt to weave together four separate mysteries, only two of which have even a passing connection to each other.
That’s a lot of balls to keep in the air. A and B are fine; when you toss in a C and a D, you better be prepared to wrap it up well. Unfortunately, I think Penny bit off more than she could chew, with the result that I was left feeling that none of the stories were given their due or ended particularly well.
Had Penny sacrificed the artificial complexity of the two extraneous mysteries and concentrated instead on writing a simple, yet compelling plot, we’d have a book worthy of all the accolades it received. As it is, we’re left with a beautiful mess filled with warm descriptions and lovable characters that ultimately falls short as a satisfying novel.
In this sixth book in the 'Chief Inspector Armand Gamache' series, the Chief Inspector of the Sureté de Québec and his associate, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, are recovering from severe injuries incurred during a recent police action. While they're regaining their strength Gamache looks into a murder in Québec City and Beauvoir investigates a case in Three Pines. The book provides enough background to be read as a standalone.
To get a bit of rest, Gamache is visiting his mentor in Québec City, where he spends his days in the Literary and Historical Society (Lit and His) researching a historical battle.
When the body of a local man, Augustin Renaud, is found in the Lit and His basement Gamache is asked to assist with the murder investigation.
It turns out that Renaud was an eccentric historian obsessed with locating the missing body of Samuel de Champlain, the explorer and soldier who founded Québec City in 1608.
Renaud had been digging up sites all over the city and had presumably sneaked into the Lit and His to have a look there.
All this is complicated by the fact that the Lit and His is an English establishment in the midst of the majority French population of Québec City - many of whom are separatists (i.e. want Quebec to separate from Canada). Thus finding the French hero's body on 'English soil' would increase the antagonism between English and French residents.
Meanwhile Inspector Beauvoir has been dispatched to the village of Three Pines, to secretly re-investigate the murder of a hermit.
Bistro owner Olivier was convicted of the crime but there are now doubts about his guilt.
So Beauvoir pretends to be on vacation while he looks into the matter.
The book rotates among three story lines: Gamache looking for Renaud's murderer; Beauvoir re-investigating the hermit case; and both detectives recalling the event that led to their injuries - a disaster involving a kidnapped police inspector, a bomb, and many deaths.
As the story unfolds the author provides a glimpse into the history of Quebec: how the region was stolen from the Cree Indians; the battles between the English and French vying for the land; how bodies of soldiers and early settlers are buried all over the place; and so on. The book also offers a feel for the current appearance and atmosphere of Québec City, with it's high surrounding wall and vintage buildings - and since the story occurs in winter.....the snow, sleet, wind, icy streets, and arctic temperatures. I almost felt like donning a parka and mitts while reading the book.
While doing his historical research and investigating the Renaud murder Gamache meets an array of interesting characters, most of them on the Board of Directors of the Lit and His. He also eats numerous warm baguettes with delicious French meals and walks his beloved German Shepherd Henri - who is endearingly cowardly and loves to catch snowballs. Poor Henri can't fathom why the 'balls' disappear the second he snags them. Ha ha ha. 😊🐶
For his part, Beauvoir gets to hobnob with the usual array of Three Pines residents, including artist Clara,
bookstore owner Myrna,
café owner Gabri,
crotchety poet Ruth, and others.
I missed Ruth's duck, who had taken off south for the winter.
I enjoyed the three plotlines but found the book a little slow-moving in places, especially the parts detailing the physical and psychological injuries of the detectives. Still, a good addition to the ''Three Pines" series, recommended to mystery fans.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache must wrestle with the core of his being in this next novel of Louise Penny’s ongoing series. The piece opens with Gamache in Quebec City, ready to enjoy a winter carnival. He’s on leave, as is the rest of his Sûreté du Québec Homicide squad, after a brutal terror attack left many dead. While taking the time to hone his knowledge of Quebec history, the murder of local amateur archeologist, Augustin Renaud, creates quite the buzz. Found at the Literary and Historical Society, Renaud was said to have been trying to unearth the body of Quebec’s founder, Samuel de Champlain. Eager to offer his assistance, Gamache gains access to the investigation and begins to poke around, while also using his mentor and long-time friend to discuss matters of policing and personal politics. Without needing his compatriots, Gamache sends Inspector Beauvoir back to Three Pines to covertly reexamine the case of local resident, Olivier Brulé, whom series readers will know was arrested and convicted of murder at the end of the previous novel. Could it be that Olivier is innocent after all, as his partner, Gabri, has been touting in daily letters to the Chief Inspector? While there, Beauvoir interacts with Three Pines residents, many of whom have nothing but disdain for this man who chose not to support their friend. Beauvoir recounts to the locals some of the happenings related to the aforementioned terror event, explaining the step-by-step process that had Gamache in the middle of trying to save one of his new agents without ceding complete control to a farmer with a mission. In the present case, Gamache is trying to wrestle with the idea of his connection to the Quebecois, something that parallels a nationalism many feel for their country. Penny explores this struggle throughout, pushing her protagonist into the middle as he tries to find not only the killer, but to examine how the Literary and Historical Society—an Anglophone organization in the heart of French Quebec—has survived this long and what take they have had on Champlain and his role in Quebec’s founding. With three criminal investigations on the go within the single narrative, there is much to discover and explore, but nothing will be clear-cut, nor will happy endings be bountiful. Penny has really pushed the reader to their limits with this one, seeking to juggle multiple crimes in a series of time periods. Recommended to series fans who have a great handle on the characters and writing style. At this point, I would suggest new readers begin where the series began and progress accordingly.
Louise Penny has taken a significant gamble at this point in the series and I can see where some might bemoan her decision, though I do not entirely agree with the criticism. This story straddles three cases, all of which reveal themselves in the narrative, though their timelines differ greatly. Additionally, Penny seeks to explore Quebec nationalism and paint her protagonist into a corner as he works in Quebec City. Let us first explore the characters who appear and evolve on the page, then tackle some of the narrative and other parts of this complicated novel. Gamache has grown so much over the past few novels that the series reader might not expect as much development as can be found in this sixth piece. Not only does the reader discover some of Gamache’s deeply held beliefs as a Quebecois, but also what drives him as a leader and a man. Penny does well to explore these most sensitive aspects of her protagonist, without pulling him from the job for which readers have come to love him. The other characters prove to be a mish-mash, receiving some minor development, but Jean Guy Beauvoir deserves a few lines here. His icy demeanour is one that series readers know well, so tossing him into the Three Pines community without the shield of Gamache was sure to prove entertaining. Beauvoir forged into the area, armed with trying to see if his own notions about the guilt of one resident could stand after exploring some evidence. This also forced him to engage with the locals, thereby testing his ability to work independently and stop the incessant judging of all things Anglophone. Penny does a decent job of coaxing out some development with this plot line. The story is actually three, as mentioned before. While I thoroughly enjoyed them all, I felt throughout that the ‘terror cell’ should have been its own story (novel or novella), as it kept things somewhat confusing. While series readers are an intelligent bunch and I am the last person to criticise an bestselling author, I felt things got too clouded throughout. Penny would have done well to explore the terror cell theme in a stand-alone piece (#5.5?) and allow oblique reference to it in this piece, rather than trying to juggle everything. Gamache still ends up in Quebec City for this novel, Beauvoir is still able to return to Three Pines on his own, but the reader has that intense storyline out of the way and free from constant flashbacks. A throughly enriching experience can be found in this novel, which taps not only into Canadiana, but plunges headlong into the depths of Canadian and Quebec politics on a level that is both complicated and much needed. I applaud the political dignity Penny utilises in this hot potato topic and hope she will not shy away from the Quebecois struggles within her protagonist as the series continues.
Kudos, Madam Penny, for keeping me enthralled. And now...your sole short story in the collection. Let’s have a look!
4★ “Chief Inspector Gamache knew that most killers didn’t consider their act a crime. They’d somehow convinced themselves the victim had to die, had brought it on themselves, deserved to die. It was a private execution.”
This is the sixth in the series featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, and it is a follow-up to the previous book, The Brutal Telling. There are three threads to follow. First, Gamache is recovering from trauma. Second, Gamache is being pestered about the previous case in Three Pines (the subject of the previous book). Third, a new murder has occurred in an historic building in old Quebec City, which is where his friend and revered mentor, Superintendent Émile Comeau, retired.
The author has written a very informative and welcome introduction about the old city and the library which is the centre of action for the new murder case. This case revolves around the search for the bones of explorer and founder Samuel Champlain. Anyone interested in early North American history will especially enjoy this. I am ashamed of my ignorance of the relationship today between Quebec and the rest of Canada.
The Quebec sovereignty movement has Anglophones and Francophones (English-speakers and French-speakers) pitted against each other, but what is unusual for North Americans, it’s the Anglophones (English) who are the looked-down-upon minority. But, as Gamache thinks, while their numbers may be small, the Anglos still sense that they should be in charge -it's their destiny to rule - much like whites in South Africa.
The Separatists are outspoken. This scene occurs when Gamache is being shown around.
Gamache stopped. '’Excusez-moi?’
‘Les têtes carré,’ the young officer explained. The square heads.
‘You will treat these people with respect,’ said Gamache. ‘They’re no more tête carré than you and I are frogs.’ His voice was hard, sharp.
The officer stiffened. ‘I meant no harm.’
‘Is that really true?’ Gamache stared at the young officer, who stared back. Finally Gamache smiled a little. ‘You won’t solve this crime by insulting these people, or mocking them. Don’t be blinded.’
‘Yes sir.’ ”
This friction plays havoc with the murder investigation and who has what authority in an English library which is the last bastion of Anglo history in this French corner of the world. Gamache has enjoyed visiting the library while he and his wife, Reine-Marie, are staying with his old mentor, while Gamache is on leave to recover from severe injuries, both physical and psychological.
The author drip-feeds us the circumstances of his injury in flashbacks which have left the chief inspector haunted and sleepless to the point that he gets up in the middle of the night to walk in the snow and bitter cold with only his enthusiastic young Shepherd, Henri, for company.
“Out they went, Gamache gulping as the wind hit his face and took away his breath. Then he turned his back and felt it shoving him.
Perhaps, he thought, this was a mistake.
But the storm was what he needed, wanted. Something loud, dramatic, challenging. Something that could blot out all thought, white them out.”
Meanwhile, he receives daily letters from Gabri, the partner of Olivier who was jailed for murder in the previous book. He sends Beauvoir to Three Pines to deal with the situation while he is seconded to assist investigation in the library.
I found the mood of this book unsettling because Gamache is so unsettled, I think. He has always been a calm, stable, thoughtful presence in the past, and we’ve been led not to doubt his judgment. Now, however, he is doubting himself, and we trek through the night blizzards, as haunted by his memories as he is.
Daily letters from a convicted murderer’s partner pleading his innocence and asking, “Why did he move the body?”, force Chief Inspector Gamache to the regrettable realization that he may have put an innocent man into prison. After a great deal of contemplation and soul-searching, he sends his associate, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, to Three Pines to re-evaluate the evidence, to re-interview the witnesses and to examine the entire case from a different perspective with an open mind and a fresh set of eyes. The solution to the case presented in the previous novel, THE BRUTAL TELLING, is up for grabs.
“I need help”.
Gamache gets a call from a frantic man who was pulled over with a flat tire and a gun in his front seat. Terrified that the officers would find out what he was carrying in the back of his truck, the driver ends up shooting one officer and kidnapping the other. What starts as a straight-forward hostage incident balloons into a frightening, province wide terrorism investigation whose resolution requires Gamache to plead for help from resources around him that would not normally be disposed to offer it.
“I don’t know”.
After the mental turmoil of THE BRUTAL TELLING investigation, Gamache has retreated to a vacation to enjoy the Quebec Winter Carnival, to seek emotional healing and the quiet solitude of reading and studying in the Quebec Literary and Historical Society Library. But, instead of the rest and rejuvenation he seeks, Gamache finds the body of Augustin Renaud, a local amateur historian who may have been murdered because he discovered the hidden burial place of Samuel de Champlain, Quebec’s beloved founder. Gamache’s solution to the mystery, with the help he needs from his predecessor and elderly mentor, Emile Comeau, will have profound implications on the stand-off between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism in Quebec, the perennial French-English culture and language debate and even possibly political moves back towards separation.
BURY YOUR DEAD is a masterpiece and, far and away, the finest novel in the Inspector Gamache series to date. It outlines three widely separated but concurrently running cases that give Gamache reason to mentally review the words of wisdom he heard from Comeau so many years ago, four sentences that lead to wisdom, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I need help. I don’t know”. Penny’s control of such dramatically different story lines is masterful and her character development is brilliant. If any potential reader was concerned that, after six novels, Gamache and Three Pines might be getting a little long in the tooth, well, rest easy. It’s only getting better.
I forced myself to wait. It was difficult! Spacing the books in this series out made it so much more exciting.
The Brutal Telling and this book must be read together. Bury Your Dead completes the previous book in the series. What a conclusion!
Once again Louise Penny took us heart and soul into the lives of the many characters and history of Quebec. She made it impossible to read this book without getting heads over heels involved in the plot and story.
Inspector Armand Gamache and his second-in-command Jean-Guy Beauvoir are both suppose to be on leave, one in Quebec and the other in Three Pines, when duty calls as usual and two murders need their expertise to be solved. This time the causes span over centuries and Three Pines become a side show - well mostly.
Brilliant book and so very sad! Happy sad little town! Oh what a great experiences once again!
What a heartbreaking, amazing episode! Bury Your Dead is the 6th in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and is closely linked with the previous book, The Brutal Telling. This is a series that benefits reading it in order, but most definitely #5 then #6 or the context will be completely lost. The events which have occurred since the ending of The Brutal Telling had devastating consequences, which were slowly revealed through Bury Your Dead. With Armand in Quebec City recuperating, he was drawn into a murder case at the Literary and Historical Society. And Jean-Guy Beauvoir was sent to Three Pines for his convalescence, and to make some investigations of his own.
Would these two men, deeply affected both emotionally and physically by events in their recent pasts, be able to come to terms with what had happened? Could Armand make peace with himself and bury his dead?
A series I am thoroughly enjoying and highly recommend.
This installment in the Armand Gamache series includes FOUR mysteries in one: - who really killed the man in the woods in the town of Three Pines? - who killed an amateur archaeologist in Quebec? - where is Quebec's founder, Samuel de Champlain, buried? - what happened recently to Armand Gamache and his team, resulting in their injuries and PTSD?
These four storylines are seamlessly interwoven, taking this series from it's 'cozy' feel to something with just a bit more bite while still maintaining it's focus on the lives of these characters rather than necessarily the 'murder of the week'. I just can't recommend this series enough, and the little interview of the author at the end of this audiobook just makes me like it all the more.
One of the finest of the series I have read to-date. Penny has 3 plots going in this one which makes it very interesting and more complex which I enjoyed. One reopened case is in Three Pines with Gamache's 2nd in command, another in Montreal which delves into French Canadian history, and another case set in the not too long ago past which shows us another side of the kind and thoughtful Chief Inspector Gamache.
Volume #5 sparks a profound series twist, that continues in “Bury Your Dead”, 2010. Read it first. It so complexly connects several storylines, I hesitated to do it justice. I looked forward to this mystery above all others, because it spins an old one: locating historical figure, Samuel De Champlain! I love puzzles. Like most authors, Louise added a modern case I would normally call superfluous; except that the flavour of a bizarre Canadian city which cemented everything, was uniquely enthralling.
It is genuine history that Samuel’s burial place got lost. I was stunned to learn that how he looked is unknown, too. Apparently the wrong famous person’s photograph is mistaken for him. I know nothing of Ville De Québec and must see it. To think, it has an ancient Anglophone library! It is the centrepiece of triple mysteries. Louise outdid herself. A delicious ambiance evokes answers we must know! A man murdered in that library was solving the 300 year-old Canadian mystery. A modern person killed him. And Armand Gamache may have made a mistake, on his last case in Three Pines. He asks Jean Guy Bouvoir to correct it. He is in Québec City; recovering from a worse misstep.
Readers gradually read how an agent died. It made national news, that Armand and others were emotionally and physically wounded. We trust the team but Louise Penny does not repeat, nor rest on laurels. I like stories that veer away from Three Pines! Armand is fallible and Jean Guy grows likeable. The novel did not exude the “Surréal 3000” vibe I craved but earned 5 stars nonetheless. I have seldom seen real life and growth approximated better! Our etiquette dance of choosing a language between bilingual speakers, is but one strand of our rich tapestry that Louise weaves beautifully.
This is my first ever Louise Penny and I wonder why it took me so long to discover her!
I loved the quiet progression of this novel, where so much happens so seemingly effortlessly.
Past and present collide in this novel, where Inspector Gamache must relive and come to terms with an investigation that went horribly wrong, leaving several of his team dead.
While on holiday in Quebec, and indulging his love of history at in the Literary and Historical Society, a body is discovered in the basement.....that of a man who was a thorn in the side of the society, a renowned but obsessive historian.
At the same time he reopens a murder investigation after receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. ‘It doesn't make sense,’ Olivier’s partner writes every day. ‘He didn't do it, you know.’ And there are questions, questions that have remained unanswered about this case, questions that now Gamache has time to ponder them, disturb him.
All this is set against the rich history of Quebec City, the unrest and rivalries that exist between the French and English providing a wonderful backdrop to the main plot.
This may have been my first Louise Penny, but it won't be my last.
Another absorbing series to be savoured from the beginning.
I was hoping to have discovered a "new" series to enjoy since this book is apparently the sixth Inspector Gamache adventure but sadly I was not that impressed. I enjoyed the tidbits of Quebec history and the descriptions of Old Quebec but the story itself lagged and finally just became uninteresting. It didn't help that there were three seperate plots to keep track of. Sometimes this kind of writing works but not in this case, it was just annoying, mainly because one or possibly two of the plot threads were heavily based on previous "cases" (i.e. the first five novels in the series, I assume) with which I, being new to this fictional version of the Surete du Quebec, am entirely unfamiliar. The overly descriptive and fragmentary writing style took some getting used to and the complex interior emotional lives of the main characters were, frankly, boring. By the time I got to the ending, with its several last-minute reveals, I just didn't care anymore. My favorite character by far turned out to be Henri, the Inspector's German Shepherd.
“Not everything buried is actually dead. For many, the past is alive.”
This is actually 3 different stories. It starts with a police action that goes horribly wrong. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his lieutenant, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir, are severely injured. Several other Surêté officers are killed and injured. Both Gamache and Beauvoir are on medical leave as they recover. Armand Gamache is in Québec City visiting an old friend and mentor and spending his days in the sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society ("Lit and His") as he struggles to recover from the physical and emotional trauma. The details of the police action that resulted in Gamache and Beauvoir being injured is not fully disclosed at first. The events are slowly revealed as Gamache relives the past and visits by a ghost.
The second story revolves around the murder of Augustin Renaud, an obsessive historian, who spent his life searching for the burial site of Samuel de Champlain, Québec's founder. Renaud's body is found in the basement of the Literary and Historical Society. Most considered Renaud as eccentric or obsessive / compulsive. Many considered him a nuisance or troublemaker but why would someone want to kill him? Whatever the reason the crime is about to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French and Gamache finds himself pulled into the investigation. As a "consultant".
The third story picks up where The Brutal Telling left off. That story had ended with Olivier Brulé being arrested and convicted for the murder of The Hermit. Everyday his partner, Gabriel Dubeau, writes a letter to Gamache ... "He didn't do it, you know." Gamache asks Jean-Guy Beauvoir to return to Three Pines. Outwardly Jean-Guy is supposed to be on vacation, resting, recovering. In actuality he asks Jean-Guy to reopen the investigation into the murder. Presume Olivier is innocent.
This book also provided some history. It was an insight into Samuel de Champlain. That in itself is a mystery story. No one knows where he is buried. No one is even sure what he looked like. It is story of the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in 1769, at which the English General Wolfe defeated French General Montcalm and thus New France to the English and to Canada. It is an open wound that still throbs. The cultural tensions of English and French in Quebec City resonate throughout.
A haunting and beautiful story. Louise Penny continues to create characters that you would like to meet and get to know. When the three interwoven stories reach their conclusion and the past and present meet Armand Gamache finds he can finally bury his dead.
As the pristine white snow covers the village of Three Pines and Quebec City, my reading palette is cleansed, too. No more dark thoughts of unresolved human issues or political turmoil. I am covered in a cool, white enveloping blanket.
Although my friends in Three Pines are visited again in this book by Louise Penny, the action takes place mainly in Quebec City during winter Carnival. A foot or so of snow frequently transforms this northern city in the magic of winter (much nicer to read about than to experience). I have never visited this city, nor have I much knowledge of Samuel de Champlain and his founding of this city. This new information woven into a familiar narrative was fascinating and comforting. I will go back to Three Pines or any other locale Penny will take me for however long she continues this series.
I think this was my favorite so far in this series but might be the saddest as well. We know right from the beginning that something terrible has happened with Chief Inspector Gamache and his team. Something that involves funerals and an injury to Gamache himself.
We get pieces of the tragedy all throughout this one, but we don't get the truth until the very end. I both wanted to know and didn't want to know what happened.
To heal physically and mentally, Gamache is spending time with his mentor in Quebec City in the winter. Having been there myself in March, Penny did an excellent job describing the cold, winter, snow, icy streets, and the fun of Quebec City! While in town, Gamache is called upon to help solve a murder and he descends into the history of the founding father -- Champlain -- and where he is buried.
Meanwhile, Jean-Guy is also recovering and spending time in Three Pines. In the last book, the village was ripped apart by one of their own, Olivier, being sent to prison for murder. His partner, Gabri, doesn't believe for a minute that Olivier is guilty. His daily letters to Gamache convince him that it might bear a second look at the crime.
I'm glad this series will continue because I've grown to like these characters a lot! I especially liked Jean-Guy and Ruth in this one, they had some great conversations!
Thanks to Marilyn for continuing the path with this series! And thanks to my local library for having this series available.
Another superb Chief Inspector Gamache story ... actually three stories blended with exquisite control in Penny's hands. One part concerns a murder in Quebec City, with enough local color to make me want to visit the city again. A second part re-investigates a murder from a previous novel, one whose conclusion was not quite satisfactory. (I wonder if Penney always intended to change that ending or did so after getting feedback from readers. In either case, a chance for Gamache to worry about a possible mistake, and now a splendid resolution.) The third part is a look at Quebec history during its founding period. Altogether an excellent read.
The Hook - When I read the sad news that Louise Penny’s husband Michael had passed away I felt a need to read the next book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series as a tribute to both she and the man she loved. The following links lead to two of Louise Penny’s newsletters. Find the first from June 2014, which opens in pdf format and shares the crack” which appeared in she and Michael’s life. The second is from October 2016 that begins with the sad news of Michael’s passing. Penny’s newsletters are always beautifully written and sharing but none are as poignant as these. I hope you take the time to read them. Louise Penny Newsletter June 2014 Louise Penny Newsletter October 2016
The Line(s) - And when the winter sun set on a Québec forest, monsters crawled out of the shadows. Not the B-grade movie monsters, not zombies or mummies or space aliens. But older, subtler wraiths. Invisible creatures that rode in on plunging temperatures. Death by freezing, death by exposure, death by going even a foot off the path, and getting lost. Death, ancient and patient, waited in Québec forests for the sun to set.”
The Sinker - Much of the plot of Bury Your Dead is revealed in reviews and summaries but I would feel neglectful if I did not mention that there may be spoilers in my comments.
As I started to listen to this sixth entry, Bury Your Dead I wondered if I had already read this book. This is what happens when time has passed since the last read. The part that seemed so familiar is the background story of Bistro Owner, Olivier, who has been charged with the death of a recluse, nicknamed The Hermit. Quickly I realized that Oliver’s story was not quite done. Yes, Gamache had arrested him for the murder but Olivier’s partner believing in his innocence writes Gamache each day with these words.
‘He didn't do it, you know.’
I wondered if I really needed to know the outcome as the recap of The Hermit tale seemed a bit repetitious. I was wrong as it’s possible is Gamache. I feel Bury Your Dead is one of the stronger stories in the series. Often, the mystery is secondary in Penny’s books. Character development and imagery are the primary appeal factors for me. In Bury Your Dead we see a Gamache we are not often allowed access to; a man with all his vulnerabilities exposed. Gamache is not on holiday in the beautiful Quebec City as it celebrates winter carnival but here to recover the horrific loss of men/women under his command and the burden he must carry from this event. This exploration of what it is meant to “bury your dead” is haunting for both Gamache and the reader.
A murder in The Literary & Historical Society and the search for the burial site of Samuel de Champlain, the founder of Quebec City sparks an opportunity for a history lesson. The plot thickens, secrets are revealed, the mysteries are untangled, Gamache faces his demons allowing him to return to Three Pines, his home, his life, his people.
Listening to this series is a special treat given the excellent narration by Ralph Colsham, now deceased. Colsham brings to life the character of Gamache and the villagers of Three Pines, in a performance that interprets the essence of Québec and the accent of its province.
If The Brutal Telling, #5, is the best of the first five books in the series, Bury the Dead, #6, essentially The Brutal Telling, Book II, is even better, with layers of complexity you just don’t see in the first four (but also fine, well-written) books, with multiple plot lines and political exploration she didn’t really attempt in the earlier books. First, spurred by Gabri’s insistent questioning, Gamache (on leave to heal from his emotional and physical wounds from the last book) reopens the investigation into a mystery he thought he had solved in The Brutal Telling, finding the culprit for the hermit killing, asking Beauvoir to head this up.
Also, a second thread: I had thought the series would never touch on local or national politics, but in this book Penny further separates herself from her mentor Agatha Christie, to have CI Armand Gamache, on leave, explore local history and politics that are key to the past, present and future of the region, bringing to life tension between French and Anglo interests in Quebec. Things are more complicated in this volume, as Gamache sees mistakes he may have made (such as with the last murder investigation, but also when four agents of the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec were killed and he and Beauvoir were injured). Gamache is investigating the history of Quebec's founding by Samuel De Champlain and the continuing centuries-old divisiveness and mistrust between the Anglos and French, and this figures in the action in both of these books).
In yet another (related) thread, we see that, even in the Literary and Historical Society, where an historian searches for the remains of Champlain, murder can happen. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years lead to murder? (Yes). As with Three Pines, a haven of peace, a haven like a library can also be interrupted by violence.
We begin to see how fragile goodness and justice may be in this fantasy dream world Penny constructs for us in Three Pines. Increasingly complicated. Gamache is flawed, Olivier is flawed, both Anglos and the French are flawed in their approach to politics in different ways. Complexity is always better in a novel, even though this particular two book thread makes the mysteries a little less cozy than we have been used to.
Once again Louise Penny has delivered a story that has set me off on a rollercoaster of emotions. In this story we have Gamache in Quebec recovering from a trauma, having lead his team into a shoot out and suffering casualties. After finding solitude in a hidden away English Lit and Historical library, there is a murder there that soon ropes him in to another investigation. While this is happening Jean-Guy is dispatched to Three Pines to further investigate the murder of the Hermit from the previous book in this series. Once again the characters in this village are true to form and a source of humour. Not a standalone book, this is very much a chapter in this wonderful series.
Firstly, reading the prior book "The Brutal Telling" is required, as a large plot line here is a follow-up of a murder investigation that occurred in "The Brutal Telling." So, you will definitely be lost if you haven't read these two in order. 3 to 4 story lines are juggled here, making this one the most complicated and intricate plots of this series so far. I felt one of the plot lines got bogged down in Quebec history lessons that slowed down the pacing, but I enjoyed it overall. In previous books in this series, I had wished the mysteries were more complicated. I got my wish granted with this one. This was her best writing in the series so far.
I love the setting of Three Pines and the characters I revisit with each book. However, this instalment in the series wove together 3 investigations, shifting back and forth, which made it confusing. Most loved it. Did I miss something?