Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Bury Your Dead ~ Louise Penny


bury your dead

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. 

US|UK|Canada; 384 pages; Minotaur Books (September 28, 2010) For publisher’s information on the book see our preview page for Bury Your Dead.

Books from the Armand Gamache series in chronological order:

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!



Oh good. You found Louise Penny. I love her novels.
It's a real treat to find an author who is already in print so you can read one after another until you catch up...then the sad part, waiting for the next. Think there is a new one coming this summer.

Unknown said...

Elizabeth -
I thought about you all the while reading this book.

Yes it is a treat! I would not have picked it up but for the publicist's recommendation.

My problem is not waiting for the sequel - its just reading all the books I want quick enough. I have over 3000 books on my tbr list on Goodreads and growing. I don't think I will complete my list before I die. lol...such problems.

I woke up this morning to find she just won The Agatha Award for it. I like that.

Elizabeth Neill said...

I am a Louise Penny fan, too. Given the current vogue for suspense of a much less cozy kind, I've had trouble convincing folks to take her up so now, it's personal. This is why I'm so glad to see you're a Louise Penny fan, too.

Unknown said...

Hi Elizabeth -
Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

If you enjoyed this author you may also enjoy Aline Templeton. I've read 4 of her series set in rural Scotland. She has a similar style to Louise Penny just with a Scottish accent. And her main character is a strong mature woman similar to the main character for Penny's books except a woman not a man.

Highly recommended. Let me know if you enjoy Aline's books too.

Happy reading!

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