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The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  27,215 Ratings  ·  2,544 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
Paperback, 480 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Headline (first published September 22nd 2009)
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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)
Marilyn Clement Woo is Olivier which was revealed by the contents of the canvas bag.
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Micheal Fraser
Jun 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Mackey St
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 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
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
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
Richard Derus
Sep 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Oct 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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.
Feb 16, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4000-books, sep-17
Another wonderful addition to Louise Penny's "Chief Inspector Armand Gamache" series.
Aug 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
I have enjoyed Louise Penny’s novels immensely, but reading her 5th instalment of the series has sealed it firmly, she is an amazing writer and I loved her novels deeply. This book makes me curious enough to google famous English verses and poems because how wonderful it features them.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache was called back to Three Pines for another murder, the victim was a stranger with a smashed skull found in Olivier’s and Gabri’s Bistro. Everyone was shocked, the Bistro’s reputation
Karen Hall
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Previously on Goodreads, my review for book 4

I made it to the duck.
Rosa is a character finally.
She even wears clothing.
However, she does not say, "Fuck" and that means I haven't read what I'm supposed to read about this duck, yet.
I've got to keep going.

I'd keep going anyhow.

While the mystery in this book, like the others, is fairly weak, and I'm not buying the solution at all, I truly enjoyed everything else, especially the cabin full of treasure hidden in the woods.
A first edition of Charlotte'
Kathy Davie
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Fifth in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series and revolving around Gamache and Three Pines.

The Brutal Telling won the Agatha Award for Best Novel in 2009 and the Anthony Award for Best Novel in 2010 and was nominated for a Dilys Award and the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel in 2010.

My Take
This one was confusing, convoluted, and horrible. The confusion from how Penny filled in the background on the Hermit and the "stranger's" relationship, over the victim's identity, the why o
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Gamache #5 is in the books.

Louise Penny continues to spin excellent mysteries in the tiny Quebec village of Three Pines.
Again, the regulars are present: Olivier, Gabri, Clara, Peter, and of course the acerbic Ruth. And her duck.
And, once again, the mystery is a mystery, keeping you guessing throughout.

Penny's gift is making every page interesting. Whether it be by dialogue or plot reveals or the evolution of these characters, the last thing you can say about her novels is that they're boring. Th
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ако досега сте се наслаждавали на уюта и очарованието на спокойния живот в планинското селце, останали някак встрани от трагичните инциденти в предните истории, „Отровни думи“ ще ви накара да избягвате да я четете сами вечерно време. Ще попаднете в един съвсем различен непознат свят, в който властва страхът, а маските постепенно падат. Светът на митовете – призрачно красив, но и страшен в заблудите, които носи. А всяко развенчаване на мита е среща със себе си – невинаги приятна, но необходима.

This was 4.5 stars. My only criticism is that it took its time to reveal some movement towards solving the mystery of the murder. Like many readers of this series, I love discovering more and more secrets of the Quebecoise village of Three Pines. Penny infuses her Gamache novels with details of life in Francophone Quebec, as well as details from Gamache's life and past.

The identity of a murder victim is as much of a mystery as "who dun it". What I enjoyed the most about this novel was that it i
Tanja Berg
Jul 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aw - now that the politics are done and over with, I just love this series! Finally a Chief Inspector who is not a Lord, Poet, near Deity or a Drunkard! It's so nice to meet up with the familiar inhabitants of Three Pines village. Who cares that they have the highest rate of murder per capita in the world?! Such a picturesque, sweet little town anyway.

A body is found in the gay couple's bistro, Gabri and Oliver's. No one claims to know him. Chief Inspector Gamache comes and begin to investigate.
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, tbr-2017
This one was fantastic. This book shakes things up in Three Pines when one of the characters we know and love (Olivier) is looking like a likely suspect in the murder of a hermit. Readers are given insights into Olivier and it was like finding out someone you have been hanging out with for a long time is a hired assassin. This book was definitely about how little white lies eventually become monstrous things you eventually cannot bear to be revealed. I also got a kick out of the fact that we don ...more
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The Three Pines: The Brutal Telling #5 1 15 Jan 18, 2017 09:20AM  
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #67 - The Brutal Telling (Gamache #4) 1 4 May 21, 2015 02:45AM  
**Spoiler Alert** What is "Woo"? 11 372 Nov 26, 2012 08:02PM  
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LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of thirteen 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
More about Louise Penny...

Other Books in the Series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 13 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.” 32 likes
More quotes…