'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

January 18, 2011

Things are strongest where they're broken


I had said before how much I've enjoyed discovering Louise Penny's mysteries, and even that the first of her books that I read, The Brutal Telling, was one of my favorite books in 2010. But this one, the latest Chief Inspector Gamache mystery, is even better. I started reading it around New Year's but set it aside for when I had more time to enjoy it. So glad I did, so sorry I've finally finished it.

When this book opens, Armand Gamache is in Quebec City (not in Montreal, where he lives and works, or in Three Pines, where he investigates murders), saying goodbye to his wife, Reine-Marie, who is reluctantly leaving him to stay with his old friend and mentor, Emile Comeau.  Even though Gamache is spending time doing something that seems so peaceful -- historical research at The Literary and Historical Society -- it's immediately clear that something terrible, and traumatic, has happened. Finding out what that is, and who has survived, is one of the book's three intersecting stories.  In another, Gamache is drawn into helping to investigate when a body is found in the basement of the Lit and His, and in the third, a member of the homicide team goes back to Three Pines, at Gamache's request, to unofficially re-investigate the case of the murdered hermit (from The Brutal Telling). 

I thought that the way these three stories unfold was very well done. That would have been enough, but then it's combined with the appeal of Louise Penny's recurring characters and her descriptions of Quebec City and its history. Bury Your Dead brought me wonderful hours of reading (and has me longing to go there again).

By the way, this is a book that you almost have to read in January, preferably when you're tucked up inside with snow falling around you. You'll see what I mean.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

2 comments:

Bellezza said...

You're one of the reasons I picked up my first Louise Penny book (A Rule Against Murder). I'm lookinng forward to this one, but I better hurry as January's wrapping up quickly!

Coffee and a Book Chick said...

I am reading it right now and I feel the same way - this is a book to be read in the wintertime. The setting is incredible and I can feel the cold wind on my face and the crunch of snow beneath my feet as the characters move through the streets. Love it so far.

Thank you for visiting!

Card Catalog

#6barsets #emma200th #maisie #PalliserParty #Woolfalong A.A. Milne Agatha Christie Alexander McCall Smith Amy Lowell Angela Thirkell Ann Bridge Anne Perry Anthony Trollope Anticipation Armchair Travels Art Audiobooks Barbara Pym Biography Bloomsbury Bookish things Boston British Library Crime Classics Cambridge Cathleen Schine Charles Dickens Coffee-table books Cookbooks D.E. Stevenson Deborah Crombie Donna Leon Dorothy L. Sayers E.H. Young E.M. Forster Edith Wharton Elinor Lipman Elizabeth Gaskell Elizabeth Jenkins Elizabeth Taylor Elizabeth von Arnim Emily Dickinson Ernest Hemingway Eudora Welty Fiction Films Food from Books Food Writing Found on a Blog George Eliot Georgette Heyer Helen Ashton Henry James History Homes and Haunts Ideas Imogen Robertson Isabella Stewart Gardner Jacqueline Winspear Jane Austen Joanna Trollope Julia Child Language Laurie Colwin Letters Library Books Literature Louise Andrews Kent Louise Penny M.F.K. Fisher Madame Bovary Madame de Sévigné Madame de Staël Margaret Kennedy Margery Sharp Mary Shelley Memoirs Miss Read My Year with Edith Mysteries Nathaniel Hawthorne Nonfiction Nook Only Connect P.D. James Paris in July Persephones Plays Poetry Pride and Prejudice 200 Queen Victoria R.I.P. Reading England 2015 Ruth Rendell Sarah Orne Jewett Short Stories Switzerland Sylvia Beach Team Middlemarch The 1924 Club The Brontës the Carlyles The Classics Club Thomas Hardy Virago Virginia Woolf Washington Irving Willa Cather William Maxwell Winifred Peck Winifred Watson