The act of reading ... begins on a flat surface, counter or page, and then gets stirred and chopped and blended until what we make, in the end, is a dish, or story, all our own.
— Adam Gopnik

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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.

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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!

Natalie~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.

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