Review by Shellie for: Bury Your Dead (Armand Gamache #6) ~ by Louise Penny
A literary murder mystery set in an icy winter in Canada's Old Quebec City. This story includes an exceedingly likeable and down to earth character - Inspector Armand Gamache.
About: Inspector Gamache is still healing from a traumatic event which has him reeling both physically and emotionally (a thread continued from Louise Penny’s previous book in the series – The Brutal Telling). Meanwhile he is inadvertently brought into a search resulting from a recent murder which has occurred in the historic city. An eccentric amateur archeologist has been found dead in the basement of a local English library and historical society, creating some interesting side lines regarding issues prevalent since the birth of the country – the separation of French and English nationalities.
Another murder (from a past book) is interwoven into the story, and Gamache is having second thoughts about the man he convicted. He is also having flashbacks about a mistake for which he feels responsible, which resulted in the death or severe injury of some of his co-workers. As he and his dog make the rounds - visiting cafes, experiencing local color, food, and lore - he ponders the historical founding of Canada itself and attempts to make sense of his losses.
Thoughts: This story has lyrical writing, human insight, some very cozy scenes in the freezing landscape, interesting local information and an extremely likeable character. Armand Gamache is thoughtful, intelligent, listens, is ruggedly attractive, and is a seasoned and effective Chief Inspector in one of the largest cities in the country. You cannot dislike this character.
Bury Your Dead is book number six in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone. I did not feel I missed reading the first five in the series, or at least not until the very end - the cast of character is huge from lingering threads in previous books, so that did get a bit confusing. However, I do now feel compelled to read others in the series to fill in the missing pieces, so Bury Your Dead is a workable place to start. In summary it is an accessible literary mystery best for a cold winter night or for some coolness in the heat of summer. I’d give 4 stars to this intensely insightful novel which has a flowing writing style. It is moody yet cozy, and such a lovely read.
Books from the Armand Gamache series in chronological order:
- Still Life (book 1) ~ US|UK|Canada.
- A Fatal Grace/Dead Cold (book 2) ~ US|UK|Canada.
- The Cruelest Month (book 3) ~ US|UK|Canada.
- A Rule Against Murder/The Murder Stone (book 4) ~ US|UK|Canada.
- The Brutal Telling (book 5) ~ US|UK|Canada.
I had hoped to review this several months ago when it was still cool, for that cozy read feeling; but I’m thinking it will do very well in the melting days of summer when one needs a breath of some icy air – albeit vicariously. Oh the joys of an escapist read!
Thanks for reading!