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The Brutal Telling

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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 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 buried in the wilderness.   No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures— from first editions of Charlotte’s Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word “WOE” woven in it—lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.


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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 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 buried in the wilderness.   No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures— from first editions of Charlotte’s Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word “WOE” woven in it—lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.

30 review for The Brutal Telling

  1. 5 out of 5

    Micheal Fraser

    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 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 another human being and many times, not even ourselves. But Penny shows us a unique insight into the very "black box" of her characters - the good people of Three Pines who, like the residents of St Mary Mead, have sometimes huge contradictions and even frightening aspects to their inner lives while outwardly are wonderful, interesting and truly good peeople. And in the center of all of this strides Gamache when an unknown man is found murdered in this idyllic paradise, some modern day seer into the soul who, like Miss Marple, not only has an intimate knowledge of human nature, but has compassion to temper his judgment. And it is this intimate knowledge that lets him find out how and, more importantly, why, murder is done. I know all these people from her previous novels and they have become friends, people I thought I knew with all their contradictions. But here Gamache and his team strip away veneers and shows us even more about these people, the worm in the apple. This is a terrific read if you like mysteries but it is also a stunning look at our universal condition. In a brutal telling itself, Penny connects us with our own humanity as well as others. She shows us the fragility of our existence and that even living within the pale doesn't exempt us and we can have everything taken away in a very short time. Thanks so much for sending me this book which I could not put down, could not stop thinking about after wards, and so thoroughly enjoyed. Louise Penny's books transcends the genre of mystery like any good literature and speaks to us.

  2. 5 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    4★ “Fear more than anything was the thrust behind the knife, the fist. The blow to the head.” This is the fifth outing of Penny’s much-loved and highly respected Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the head of homicide of Canada’s Sûreté du Québec. I’m always happy to return to Three Pines and immerse myself in village life with the characters I’ve come to know and enjoy. Peter and Clara are a couple, artists who work separately, and she is on the brink of discovery and fame, which Peter envies. Gabri 4★ “Fear more than anything was the thrust behind the knife, the fist. The blow to the head.” This is the fifth outing of Penny’s much-loved and highly respected Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the head of homicide of Canada’s Sûreté du Québec. I’m always happy to return to Three Pines and immerse myself in village life with the characters I’ve come to know and enjoy. Peter and Clara are a couple, artists who work separately, and she is on the brink of discovery and fame, which Peter envies. Gabriel and Olivier run the B&B and Bistro where we enjoy their hospitality and the camaraderie and the food. The warm baguettes with pâté and cheeses along with the wine and the desserts are enough to send you to find a little something yourself before continuing the story. It’s a warm, inviting village. “Soft light glowed at some of the windows. Curtains were drawn in bashful old homes.” Not everyone is warm and welcoming, though. Ruth Zardo, the cranky old poet with the active middle finger and the sharp tongue is in full flight, dropping scraps of paper with lines of her poetry in Gamache’s and Beauvoir’s pockets for them to piece together. Her opinion is never in doubt and her insight is unique. At one point, someone is asked a question. “He looked over at her and smiled. ‘I'm fine.’ ‘Ruth's FINE? F**ked up, Insecure, Neurotic and Egotistical?’ ‘That's about right.’” Gamache’s offsiders are here, particularly Beauvoir, who has a hard time dealing with some of these people. He has his own insecurities and demons. Penny includes bits of information here and there to allow us some insight into how and why people are affected by what they encounter during an investigation like this. A body has been found in the bistro. Just inside the front door. Who, what, when, where, why, how did he meet his end, Gamache wonders. “Looking at this man's face he knew he hadn't suffered. The blow to the back of the head meant he probably hadn't even seen it coming. Almost like dying in your sleep. But not quite.” During the investigation we meet some newcomers, including a small Czech family living in a very modern house and a couple and mother who have bought an old, dilapidated mansion and are turning it into accommodation and an upmarket spa that will steal customers from Gabri and Olivier. How dare they?! The body is not identified, nor is the killer. Gamache says he thinks someone did know the man and had visited him. Someone asks if he means “one of us”? “One of us, thought Gamache. Three short words, but potent. They more than anything had launched a thousand ships, a thousand attacks. One of us. A circle drawn. And closed. A boundary marked. Those inside and those not. Families, clubs, gangs, cities, states, countries. A village. What had Myrna called it? Beyond the pale. But it went beyond simple belonging. The reason “belonging” was so potent, so attractive, so much a part of the human yearning, was that it also meant safety, and loyalty. If you were “one of us” you were protected. . . . Was the drawbridge up? The pale closed? Was Three Pines protecting a killer? One of them?” The clues are complex, and the story travels across Canada and the around the world. The ever-present woods, of course, are both as inviting and scary as ever. People are advised not to venture into them alone - too easy to get lost, or . . . well, you know. There is more than a passing nod to forest conservation and Canada’s First Nations, but just enough to give us a sense of history and atmosphere without preaching. “Many native tribes believed evil lived in corners, which was why their traditional homes were rounded. Unlike the square homes the government had given them.” I do love this series, and it does need to be read in order to appreciate the characters. They are as important as the plots. And they aren't all warm and wonderful, remember. There's a murder in every book! I'm looking forward to the next one now. :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    Although Armand Gamache series is my favourite among the mystery genre The Brutal Telling is the first that got 5*. It checked all the right boxes but what finally made me to give it the top mark was the author's courage to make one of the most loved characters as top suspect . Once again, I have to point out that this series has to be read in order so if you like crime fiction, which is a bit cosy but also dark try this series but from book 1. I am not going to repeat the blurb, I will only writ Although Armand Gamache series is my favourite among the mystery genre The Brutal Telling is the first that got 5*. It checked all the right boxes but what finally made me to give it the top mark was the author's courage to make one of the most loved characters as top suspect . Once again, I have to point out that this series has to be read in order so if you like crime fiction, which is a bit cosy but also dark try this series but from book 1. I am not going to repeat the blurb, I will only write what I enjoyed about this novel. Firstly, the writing is beautiful as always. The characters are all interesting, even the secondary ones. The way the plot was waved was so intricate, I particularly enjoyed the story about the mountain and how it was mingled with the main plot. All the art talk. The way Mrs Penny writes about food makes my mouth water every time. It was almost perfect. The next novel is connected with this one so I have to get to it soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache makes another appearance in Louise Penny’s ongoing Canadian police procedural series. Things continue to get better as I binge my way through the well-developed novels, losing myself in the powerful narrative and peaceful setting. The calm nature of Three Pines is disrupted when a body is found within the town’s bistro. The owner, Olivier Brulé, is fingered as a potential suspect, but the evidence soon points in another direction. There’s no time to waste and the H Chief Inspector Armand Gamache makes another appearance in Louise Penny’s ongoing Canadian police procedural series. Things continue to get better as I binge my way through the well-developed novels, losing myself in the powerful narrative and peaceful setting. The calm nature of Three Pines is disrupted when a body is found within the town’s bistro. The owner, Olivier Brulé, is fingered as a potential suspect, but the evidence soon points in another direction. There’s no time to waste and the Homicide squad of the Sûreté du Québec is summoned, headed up by Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, familiar with this bucolic community. Surveying the scene, Gamache discovers that the victim is unknown to the locals and appears to be a vagrant, but one who takes care of himself. Unsure where to begin, Gamache and the squad take in the town’s changes since last they spent time there, including the Hadley House, once deemed haunted but now being renovated into a spa and retreat centre. When clues around the body point to it being moved, Gamache looks to some of the newer inhabitants of this community in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. There’s something just not right about them and Gamache is determined to get all the facts before he makes a final judgment. When a cottage is discovered in the woods, full of primitive living accommodations and with a significant amount of blood, all eyes turn to that discrete location as being the crime scene. It’s only then that Olivier begins acting strange again, as though there is more to the story than he is willing to share. While Olivier’s secret past begins to drown out the persona everyone knows, a killer lurks in the shadows, waiting to be found. Gamache cannot let this case slip through his fingers, even if it means alienating himself from some of his friends to turn over ever rock! Penny keeps the intensity high in this fifth novel, sure to shake the reader to the core. Recommended for series fans and those who enjoy Canadian mysteries full of national symbols. Louise Penny continues to impress me with her writing style and unique plotlines. Chief Inspector Gamache remains a highly interesting character, whose development does not seem to take a break, even when new and exciting characters cross the page. His meticulous nature and attention to the crime scene keeps the reader connected to the protagonist, whose witty repartee offsets a dedication to police work. There is no apparent letting up of his dedication or leadership, even with strong supporting members of the Homicide squad. Said individuals prove great contrasts to their boss, each with their own stories that emerge slowly throughout. After a break from the residents of Three Pines, they are back as key members of this story, including the quirky poet, Ruth, whose duck left me shaking my head throughout this novel. As Penny has done before, we learn more about another of the residents, this time in the form of Olivier, who owns the bistro and is in a relationship with Gabri, the other half of a somewhat confident gay couple. The backstory and hidden traits that Olivier reveals throughout will fuel some interesting storylines into the future, though Penny’s focus here may create degrees of alienation by the other Three Pines folks. That said, if Ruth is still able to lure people for the oddest dinner party ever, surely Olivier will not become too much of a pariah in the short term. I felt that the story lagged at times, the first time I express this sentiment, but Penny did have to focus her attention on a subplot that builds as the novel progresses. It seemed as though much attention was paid to the many new characters, though they did not distract from the serious crime at hand. Penny foists the reader into the middle of the investigation, honing the many layers of the investigation before reaching the core standoff and discovery of the killer. I continue to love all the Canadian references, even if some non-Canadians will miss them in passing. I continue to enjoy this binge and will push onwards, as I have only a few weeks until the newest book lands on booksellers’ shelves. Kudos, Madam Penny, for keeping me fully committed. I cannot wait to see what else you have in store for Gamache and those who surround him on a regular basis. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/ A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

  5. 4 out of 5

    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 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 joy. What a voice. What a beautiful French Canadian accent. 4.5 rounded up to 5 stars due to the outstanding audio book and Ralph Cosham. Don't miss this series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Phrynne

    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 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 character redeem himself. Oh and I really hope Rosa the duck returns. What will Three Pines be without her? This was a real pleasure to read and I am very happy that I have Bury Your Dead ready to read any day now:)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    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 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 along with his partner Gabriel Dubeau, run the bistro and the Bed and Breakfast. Everyone has their secrets. Things even their closet friends are not aware of. A body is found in the bistro. A stranger. Who is he and what was he doing in the bistro? The residents of Three Pines want desperately for the murderer to be a stranger too. Not one of them. The Old Hadley house, that curse which looks down on the village, has been purchased by Marc and Dominique Gilbert and is being renovated into an Inn and Spa. Maybe it was one of them. They are new in Three Pines and besides they will be competition for Olivier and Gabri. Chief Inspector Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, and his team, return to the village to investigate. From the start it is clear that Olivier is not being truthful and Gamache cannot understand why. Like the other residents he doesn't want the murderer to be one of the friends he has made in Three Pines. Although the body was found in the bistro it is clear that he was killed elsewhere and his body moved. A cabin is found in the woods. The cabin is filled with priceless antiques and other treasures. First editions of Charlotte’s Web and Jane Eyre, a rare violin, silverware and glassware. As each clue is discovered and as each lie is revealed Olivier grows more frantic. What past did he leave behind? How did he make his money to buy the bistro? Why did he come to Three Pines? Why does everything point back to Olivier? Everyone has their secrets but could Olivier be a murderer? In many ways this was a dark book. We learn some things about the residents of Three Pines that we may not like. But there are also lighthearted moments from Ruth's duck, Rosa, wearing sweaters and a rain coat to Jean Guy Beauvoir riding a horse through the woods to the cabin. Can you say "Giddy up"? The ending leaves you wondering. There is an arrest and conviction but is it over? I am looking forward to reading Bury Your Dead to find out more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sebastian

    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 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 time with them and feel like we know them. It is true that as the series progressed we have discovered many faults in them, take Peter as an example and his "hidden" jealousy of his wife's success. But in this book I felt like the author went completely out of the realm of what's believable and delivered a huge change that I could really not swallow. If this was the only fault, it would not be too bad. However, the author also decided to change up many other things for the worse. In an uncharacteristically decision, we find out about a murder being committed right away. In the past, the author has taken her time in exploring other aspects of the story before showing us "the body". I thought that jumping right into the mystery would be a good thing, but after finding out about the crime things slow down to snail pace and we find it difficult to stay engaged in the story. This goes hand in hand with the decision to make this book considerably longer than everything Penny has written so far. This did not work well, because I got the feeling the writer was just dillydallying and getting us bored in the process. The fact that the book is so long also contributes to make the ending that much more of a letdown. I expect my mysteries to have a clear resolution. I understand that this is a series, but I still want to know who did it and to get a clear explanation of how it all happened. This is clearly lacking here and is what really pushed me over the edge. After reading over 500 pages and having to deal with all the issues pointed above, I was livid when the book ended! So here is the crux of the problem. Those that have been reading the series will still have to read this, since there are important developments that are sure to impact what happens in the next book, but you have been warned. If you are similar to me this will not be a book you will enjoy all that much. In my case, I am emotionally attached to this series, so I am not going to stop after one bad book, especially when I know how good a product Penny can deliver. I can only hope that in the next book she returns to her usual style and gives us one great novel!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    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 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 lies. As usual, the origin of the crime is not from exceptional evil or madness, but an extension of more mundane human emotions of greed, jealousy, or fears of exposure among the members of the village. Soon the victim is determined to have been a hermit living quietly in the woods. Among his possessions are art treasures, and pieces of his own woodworking artistry that seems to tell some form of allegorical story. Some special leaps of insight leads Gamache to seek more clues among a community of a First Nations tribe on a remote island in British Columbia. I totally love the cast of characters in this rural microcosm, the eccentric craftsmen, artists, and writers who take refuge here among the long-term working class residents and their intersections with Gamache and his team, detective Jean Guy Beauvoir and technical specialist Isabelle Lacoste. The tale fulfills my vision of the murder mystery as means to discover and point the way to healing the problems of our human condition and the ills of our civilization. It is my fourth and best of the ten in the series I’ve enjoyed so far. I haven’t suffered much from reading them out of order. For a most delightful review, I refer you to one by Margitte.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Margitte

    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 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 make cheese, some wine, some pots. We produce bodies.” And so it was. One early Spring evening, the Saturday night of Labor Day weekend, another body was found, this time around, in the bistro. All the previous deceased had names. But this one fell from the sky. The inner circle of friends became involved again when Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, Inspector Jean Guy Beauvoir, and agent Isabelle Lacoste of the Sûreté du Québec’s homicide division, turned up to investigate the murder. For, a murder it undoubtedly was. The much-loved owner of the much-loved bistro, thirty-eight-year-old Olivier Brulé, with his life partner, Gabi, had no words to describe the horror of the event. But Gamache believed that no murder happened in the spur of the moment. It could have started many years before. This event, he knew, will have a story to tell, with the clues spread all over the quiet village and beyond. Yes, Queen Charlotte Islands - Haida Hwaii, where the ancient totem poles of hundreds of years ago, was made by whittlers from redwood cedar trees. Each carving was a sequel of a previous totem pole. They were all connected, and whispered clues to Chief Inspector Gamache in Three Pines village, thousand of miles away. There came a time when it seemed a howl, as though they had hold of something wild that screamed clues at them. It was, Gamache knew, the shriek of something cornered and frightened.The town, where nobody was a stranger, seemed to bristle with art and artists. Peter and Clara Murrow were still enchanting the world with their paintings. Peter, still the conniving, envious husband of the upcoming, just-discovered Clara, who were preparing for her first international art exhibition, had his own revenge up his paint-covered sleeves. Ruth, with her pet duck, named Rose, did not beat around the forest when she dissects the characters assembled for apple and cheddar soup in the bistro: Ruth leaned over and took Olivier’s hand. “It’s all right, dear, we all know you’re greedy.” Then she looked at Clara. “And we all know you’re needy, and Peter’s petty and Clouseau here,” she turned to Gamache, “is arrogant..." Myrna still sold new- and secondhand books to the villagers. She remembered which book was sold to whom. Gamache believed in books. There was a connection, he knew. This murder was about fear and the lies it produced. But, more subtly, it was about stories. The tales people told the world, and told themselves. The Mythtime and the totems, that uneasy frontier between fable and fact. Somewhere deep in the woods, another artist, a hermit, lived in a remote log cabin, where the fire in his hearth had been burning for more than ten years. Nobody was aware of his existence, except someone in the village of Three Pines ... The deceased was an artist himself. His carvings told a tale of hubris, of punishment and love. And betrayal. Of a mountain of Despair and Rage. And Chaos. And something else ... Gamache also knew that anything in life, including art, was motivated by something more than art. There are currencies such as jealousy, rage, revenge. Inspector Jean Guy Beauvoir knew that lies annoyed Gamache, but the truth seemed to piss him off even more, especially when it was inconvenient. In the heart of this tale, Gamache now knew, a brutal telling was waiting. Comment: A multi-leveled tale of love, loyalty,friendship, community, culture, bonding, and history captured in a brilliant suspense thriller, cemented in outstanding prose. Louise Penny has become my ultimate favorite in crime writing. She captures the heart of a village. The good, bad and evil and presents the inhabitants with grace and empathy. PS. I scrambled everything up in the hope of confusing everyone who wants to find a clue in my review :-))

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mackey

    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 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 believing I would visit old friends but just as with real life a curve ball was thrown my way. Suspicions are cast at one of the main residents in the village, secrets are uncovered and darkness is revealed. What once seemed seemed so ideal and perfect in the tiny village, never can be so again. Not even Rosa the duck will be waiting. 😞 If you read this series then this one is a MUST READ. If you love mysteries or good story-telling then start at the beginning and read up to this one. It's not a stand alone. Well done Ms. Penny!

  12. 5 out of 5

    C.

    Several considered this novel dark. It is light! The mystery is identifying a victim. A resident knew the recluse and visited him on the key night. He was moved a couple of times but families under suspicion are new to readers. There is no emotional attachment, except a fantastic story with rescued horses. This is an interesting puzzle, dipping into famous treasures. Some must be gloomy about “The Brutal Telling” because a regular Three Pines resident was accused. So what? I wish one of my three Several considered this novel dark. It is light! The mystery is identifying a victim. A resident knew the recluse and visited him on the key night. He was moved a couple of times but families under suspicion are new to readers. There is no emotional attachment, except a fantastic story with rescued horses. This is an interesting puzzle, dipping into famous treasures. Some must be gloomy about “The Brutal Telling” because a regular Three Pines resident was accused. So what? I wish one of my three least favourites would leave. Implicating someone familiar, who is not as in Star Trek lore, “an expendable crewman”; makes this a grownup, standard adult mystery! I for one, love a mystery taken seriously and give this novel five full stars. It took risks, it remained intriguing because readers are not privy to everything until Armand reached his conclusions, and I could not stop reading it. I love his artifacts expert friend, a grande dame like Reine-Marie. Even the duck flying south, which disappointed others, was all right with me. She can easily come back in the spring. Sometimes animals experiment and that duck certainly should go south with her kind. We are worried about our precious cat, whose siblings celebrated their eight birthday the day I finished this novel. Nonetheless, we are sure of his love for us and that he will be home with us soon. Finishing this book on September 4, is part of a wonderful day I shared with Conan's sisters, in the meantime. I will celebrate with him too, when he is home. We never forget their brother, Love: the gorgeous, loving beige cat in my photograph with me. I look excitedly forward to the three-hundred year-old mystery in “Bury Your Dead”. That is much more my kind of mystery!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    The discovery of the body on the floor of Gabri and Olivier’s bistro was a dreadful shock to them, and the townsfolk of Three Pines. But when they realized he’d been murdered, they called the police. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team once again arrived in Three Pines to investigate a murder. Secrets, lies, confusion, puzzles and treasure – all have Gamache scratching his head and trying to find the answers. But worse was to come before the final curtain – what would he find among the pe The discovery of the body on the floor of Gabri and Olivier’s bistro was a dreadful shock to them, and the townsfolk of Three Pines. But when they realized he’d been murdered, they called the police. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team once again arrived in Three Pines to investigate a murder. Secrets, lies, confusion, puzzles and treasure – all have Gamache scratching his head and trying to find the answers. But worse was to come before the final curtain – what would he find among the people he called friends? The Brutal Telling is the 5th in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny and it’s another fascinating, convoluted and well woven tale. I’m thoroughly enjoying the series, and especially like the character of Gamache. Recommended.

  14. 4 out of 5

    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 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 wondered if I am missing something because I'm not familiar with previous books, but I don't think I am. In some ways it's a blessing because, not being positive about which characters have been in previous novels, I have more suspects to choose from. My biggest beefs: --I kept waiting for a big twist at the end, something that surprised me and there was nothing. The mystery wasn't very mysterious and that really bothered me. There were some bits that I was enthralled with but was disappointed with the solutions. --There was a sub-story about a couple of villagers that was completely irrelevant and distracting. --The point of view jumps from person to person, sometimes several times on one page. I hate that. It's very jarring. --I don't live in Canada but I find it hard to believe an inspector could get a warrant to search every single house in the village just because someone was killed there. I know we American's take our right to privacy to the extreme, but that's a bit ridiculous. --The ending left me feeling unsure and while that may be reality, I don't like it in mystery novels. --There was nothing even remotely thrilling. I like a bit of danger and excitement but there wasn't even a smidgen. --A Caesar code is extremely easy to decode and you don't need the number or word to decode it. There are only 26 possibilities. It took me about 5 minutes. --People jumped to conclusions and those conclusions turned out to be right even when there were lots of other possible reasons for something. I think those other reasons should have at least been brought up. --Almost everyone is supposedly talking in French but the author has them say French words and then switch to English. It's weird to only translate part of what they are saying and makes it sound like that's the only part that's French and the rest really is English. --There's a big cheese art dealer/manager who is really homophobic which is just plain bizarre to me. What world has more gay people than the arts? Things I like: --One character rescues old horses. --There are gay main characters and she handles it just right--not making it a major issue but not pretending that it's completely accepted either. --I learned a lot about Emily Carr. --I've never read a mystery series from the Quebecois perspective which is fresh and exciting. --There is a crazy old poet with a duck who wears clothes. How can you go wrong with that? I really liked the following passage about an emotionally abused boy: ...the boy grew an outer hull to withstand assault. But while those skins saved tender young souls, Gamache knew, they soon stopped protecting and became the problem. Because while the hard outer shell kept the hurt at bay, it also kept out the light. And inside the frightened little soul became something else entirely, nurtured only in darkness. --pg. 154 So, if you like this series already, or have a thing for Quebec or Emily Carr, read it. Otherwise, there are lots of other great mysteries that you might enjoy more, perhaps one of the earlier ones in the series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    4.5 stars If there is only one mystery series you read, this should be it - that's how much I adore this series. This installment was the best one so far! And yet it was so sad at the end that I almost feel bad loving this book so much. I think the next book is almost a continuation of this one, so I will be picking it up sooner than later.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*

    EXCERPT: "All of them? Even the children?' The fireplace sputtered and crackled and swallowed his gasp. 'Slaughtered?' 'Worse.' There was silence then. And in that hush lived all the things that could be worse than slaughter. ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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 EXCERPT: "All of them? Even the children?' The fireplace sputtered and crackled and swallowed his gasp. 'Slaughtered?' 'Worse.' There was silence then. And in that hush lived all the things that could be worse than slaughter. ABOUT THIS BOOK: 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 buried in the wilderness. No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him? As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures— from first editions of Charlotte’s Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word “WOE” woven in it—lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling. MY THOUGHTS: Three Pines is another place in which I will never settle nor, for that matter, visit. For the size of the village, it has an inordinate amount of murders! The chances of coming out alive are not good. Louise Penny is an amazing author. Her books are never predictable, her characters well crafted if sometimes a little bizarre (Ruth and her Duck), the plots elaborately constructed without being confusing. In Armand Gamache she has created a quietly thoughtful man, a man who is considerate of others, with a sharp mind and strong moral values. The sort of man I would like for a friend. And although this is a detective series, the crimes are never without mystery. Good solid mysteries that have me trying to puzzle it out as I read. And no, I never get it right! This series is a keeper for me. One that I dip into regularly, and know that I will reread. ***** THE AUTHOR: LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of fourteen 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 Edgar Award. She lives in a small village south of Montréal. Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards. DISCLOSURE: I listened to The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny, narrated by Adam Sims, published by MacMillan Audio, via Overdrive. All opinions expressed in this review are my own personal opinions. Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the 'about' page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system. This review and others are also published on my webpage sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    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 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 seems to be heaven on earth but this book darkens everything it touches, which in itself a twist. How far will greed take someone and how far will they go to justify what they have done? A man that no one claims to know is found dead on the floor of Olivier's Bistro, the place where everyone goes, including the homicide team, for good food and drink and to be comfortable and relax. How dare a dead man intrude on such a place! It soon becomes obvious that he was not killed there, not enough blood. It also becomes obvious that he was not just some homeless bum. The dead man's clothes are not new but everything about him shows a man who cared about himself. Where is he from? Someone in Three Pines must know who he is. The reader is forced to take a closer look at the town and the people we have come to love. How could one of them possibly be a murderer? Soon the secrets start to surfice and Chief Inspector Gamache will keep digging until he uncovers the secrets that brought about this murder. In the end the murderer will be brought to justice, even if it's someone Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come to care about. I have loved every book I have read in this series. I selfishly hope that Louise Penny never stops writing about Armand Gamache and Three Pines. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a series as much as this one. I have come to feel that I know and care about all of the characters personally. That is such a good feeling.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    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 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 enjoy myself. What really caught my interest were the things the murdered man possessed. You’ll have to read the book to discover what these treasures were. The Brutal Telling may not be my favorite of the series but it was good just the same. I certainly will be continuing to listen to these by author Louise Penny, narrated by the late Ralph Cosham.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lewis Weinstein

    Louise Penny provides everything a fine detective story should have and much much more. This book breaks the bounds of the genre, as Inspector Gamache conducts a marvelous exploration of the mind of the criminal and the victim. There is also a serious break with the eclectic cast of the village of Three Pines that has fascinating implications for subsequent books in this series. Overall a great read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    ✨Susan✨

    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 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 without any signs of him dying there. On top of that oddity the body possesses some very strange physical attributes, that have Gamache, his team, and the coroner at a loss. As the investigation progresses it takes us deeper into the surprising backgrounds of several long time residents. Some old dark secrets and unfortunate events are uncovered that will change many lives in the sleepy little town of Three Pines. A wonderful mystery with the perfect amount of humor and beautiful snippets of philosophy woven throughout. Gamache would not be the same without Ralph Cosham's narration. Looking forward to the next in the series.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. **THIS REVIEW IS ONE LONG SPOILER** Okay. I've told everyone that I read books twice before I write a review, because it's not fair to someone who spends a year just bringing a book to market, plus who knows how long dreaming it up and committing it to paper and lovingly burnishing its prose, simply to wing off some half-baked sentences about it. So I read this book twice, and thought about it, and examined my responses to it. I was careful to think through my strong reactions to the book. I can no **THIS REVIEW IS ONE LONG SPOILER** Okay. I've told everyone that I read books twice before I write a review, because it's not fair to someone who spends a year just bringing a book to market, plus who knows how long dreaming it up and committing it to paper and lovingly burnishing its prose, simply to wing off some half-baked sentences about it. So I read this book twice, and thought about it, and examined my responses to it. I was careful to think through my strong reactions to the book. I can now state, in all fairness, that I loathe Louise Penny from the depths of my soul. Hate her! Wish to see her tied to a stake and burnt as the ensorcelling, enticing Succubus of Fiction that she is! *pause to put out spontaneously combusted desk blotter* The rational reason: The murderer in this book is clearly identified early on; doubts are cast onto tthe murderer's guilt at the end of the book, but it's too little too late, as we are already eviscerated, devastated, squashed flat like a bug, by the revelation that Olivier...that's right, fearless readers, OLIVIER! as in the bistro's owner and Gabri...poor, poor Gabri!...Gabri's one true love is plain ol', flat-out nasty. Yeup. Heard me right. OLIVIER is the bad guy. So what if maybe, just maybe, he didn't kill the victim? Big deal! He did some very very very vile stuff, and he did it in full possession of his faculties, and he...I mean, I mean, LOUISE PENNY did...made us love him and care for him like Gabri...poor, darling Gabri, such a pain he is, but such a mensch...does! *pause to put out spontaneously combusted letter holder* Okay, okay, I will attempt some restraint out of fear for my home furnishings. Emily Carr, the Canadian artist whose life and career serve as one of the support rods of this perfidious, sneaky attack on the hearts of loyal fans...I mean, this narrative, was a delightful painter of the stunningly beautiful world of Canada's West. Penny doesn't need to make her more famous in Canada, but I venture to guess that most Murrikins have never heard of her. This is a shame, but not a surprise: How many who aren't serious art buffs have heard of Canada's Group of Seven anyway? So go look at Carr's bio and follow some links to her spectacular artwork: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Carr Go Louise Penny. Rah. And if it's possible, Armand Gamache becomes even more lovable in this instalment of the series. It's unnerving, really, how much I believe that he really exists, Three Pines really exists, the whole Pennyverse is actual not virtual. The Chief Inspector is so gentle and patient and loving in his treatment of Gabri. He grieves with him. He explains the facts as he knows them to Gabri, whose denial he fully and completely understands after the ending of The Cruelest Month. Armand Gamache makes the whole agonizing betrayal-fest that is this hot poker of a book worthwhile. Oh, and Clara's art show is even more satisfying than it would be otherwise because of the way it all falls into place. That's all I can say. Plus Peter's come-uppance! After A Rule Against Murder, I actively dislike Peter Morrow; his complete and utter vitiation in this book felt *so* good. But, honestly, I don't expect that it'll last...Penny's proven she's a cruel and unusual punishment specialist, you just wait...she has some horrid shock awaiting us about Peter.... Recommended, Goddammit, because it's too integral to the series not to read. But it ticks me off to recommend it. Really, truly, it does.

  22. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    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 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 for the author and the characters. As with all Ms. Penny’s books, it is wonderfully written. One of the magical things about her books, is that you can read them as simple mysteries, or you can take the time to realize all the depth and layers that exist therein. She is an author who makes you want to read passages aloud to others because they are so well done. You can tell that Ms. Penny loves her characters and the setting yet knows neither is perfect. They convey both the best, and the worst, of all people. I love Penny’s sense of humor; it is wry, subtle and brilliant. One character talks states that “I decided since I turned fifty, I needed to get into shape.” She smiled fully then. “Or at least into a different shape. I’m aiming for pear rather than apple.” She patted her stomach. “Thought I suspect my nature is to be the whole orchard.” Ms. Penny is a very descriptive writer of places, people and animals. She brings everything to life, without ever being cute or maudlin about it. She has a clear love and respect for all living things. Three Pines and its residents are undergoing significant changes. I'll admit I shed a few tears at the end of this book. I am anxious to see where the road, and author, takes them. THE BRUTAL TELLING (Pol Proc-CI Gamache-Canada-Cont) – Ex Penny, Louise – 5th in series Minotaur Books, 2009, ARC Trade Paperback – ISBN: HC- 9780312377038

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    Disappointing Forest British Columbia, by Emily Carr, Image source digitaljournal.com 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: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), the series is starting to get a bit stale, formulaic and repetitive. Unfortunately, this often seems to happen with series Disappointing Forest British Columbia, by Emily Carr, Image source digitaljournal.com 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: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), the series is starting to get a bit stale, formulaic and repetitive. Unfortunately, this often seems to happen with series, especially mystery or crime novel series. The author hits on a winning formula that sells a lot of books, and then repeats it and repeats it until it loses its freshness (this definitely seems to have occurred with Patricia Cornwell 's Dr. Kay Scarpetta books, for example). And it's not that I don't feel a genuine fondness for the characters, including Gamache, and the lovely rural Quebec town of Three Pines. As well as for beloved Canadian author Louise Penny. The series just no longer has the impact it had in the first couple of books. It's lost something, become a bit routine. In fact, I was going to give the series a very long (maybe indefinite) hiatus after "A Rule Against Murder", but some Goodreaders talked me into reading "A Brutal Telling". The title apparently comes from something that famous Canadian painter Emily Carr said. She was very close with her father. Then they had an unspecified argument? fight? that lead her to break off all further interaction with her dad for the rest of her life. The reference here is to a "brutal telling" between the murderer and the victim. There are some flaws that are very specific to this particular book, too, above and beyond it being part of a series that's becoming a bit "meh" for me. For one thing, (and I've noticed this is becoming fashionable lately) the author practically broadcasts the identity of the murderer pretty early on in the novel. So much of the surprise of discovering the criminal is taken away. For another thing, the victim is off stage for the entire book. We never meet him when he's alive, only when he's already a corpse. And not only that, he's a recluse, so the murderer is the only person in the entire novel who's met him (or who remembers him). Since the victim was an artist, we do learn something about him through his art. It's an interesting device to have a major character we never encounter, and I don't think it really works here. There's something unsatisfying about it. We never really learn who he was. In addition, many of the loose ends are not tied up in a satisfactory way. (view spoiler)[We don't learn exactly what "Woo" means and we never find out where the victim got all the antique treasures in his home. (hide spoiler)] That said, fans of these books will find plenty to enjoy here, although some of it's in a minor key. Elderly lunatic poetess Ruth Zardo walks around with Rosa the duck in baby clothes and leaves verses for people (like poetry attacks). She insults and curses everyone, as usual. Artist Clara stands up to art dealer Denis Fortin when he insults her gay friends. Myrna's bookstore always has just the right book and she wears electric yellow boots with a pink track suit or other such colorful attire. "She was a woman of color, in every sense." Gamache gets into the suspects' minds. Etc. The audio is perfectly read by the late great Ralph Cosham, who personified the voice of this series. Now I really think it's high time for me to bid this series adieu for a very long time.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    This was the 6th book in the inspector Armand Gamache series ( I read one out of order and was chastised by a friend). I have enjoyed every book immensely. The village of Three Pines is such an idyllic setting and contrasts nicely with a murder. I always have the feeling I am coming home when I begin a Penny book. Such good friends, such great food and wine. The Brutal Telling was all that and more. It is my favorite to date.

  26. 5 out of 5

    joyce g

    Three Pines is lovely , dark and deep.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    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 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 mentioned, woven deftly into the story. I'm not sure I liked the ending on this one though.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katie Ziegler (Life Between Words)

    Absolutely the best one yet. So good. Just so, so good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    But there was no hiding from Conscience. Not in new homes and new cars. In travel. In meditation or frantic activity. In children, in good works. On tiptoes or bended knee. In a big career. Or a small cabin. It would find you. The past always did. Wow. This book is going to change the atmosphere in Three Pines. Excellent story. With an ending I didn’t think would be the culmination of the story. I thought Louise Penny was just teasing, but she wasn’t.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    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 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 her formula for telling us who the killer is. I will not share it here, because some people may not have noticed, and some may have yet to read her books. You might ask why, if I discovered the formula, did I keep reading the books? It's very simple, merely knowing the formula does not tell you the how, or the why, the killer did the ghastly deed. Gamache is not going to be every mystery readers cup of tea, as I believe this quote will show. He tells his team: This case didn't being with the blow to the head. It started years ago, with another sort of blow. Something happened to our murderer, something we might consider insignifcant, trivial even, but was devastating to him. And those resentments grow. Murders are about emotions. emotions gone bad, and gone wild. Remember that. And don't ever think you know what someone else is thinking, never mind feeling. For some people that will come across as a ho-hum platitude, and for those people, this is not the series for you. Three Pines is the village in Quebec, not on any road map, in and around which, all five of Penny's books are set. They are a community of people whom the reader of all five books knows very well. They are full bodied characters, eccentric, and sometimes very funny. He watched through the window as Myrna, Peter, Clara, Ruth and the duck Rosa got in the Morrow's car. Clearly, this is not your everyday village. This is Ms. Penny's fifth Chief Inspector Gamache novel, and some leeway should be given to any author who can go for five book in one general locale without becoming a great, crashing bore. So, I was willing to forgive her when the following line made me wince. "Every Quebec village has a vocation," said Clara. "Some make cheese, some wine, some pots. We produce bodies." Now that the throat clearing is done, here are my thoughts on this book. Louise Penny had better pick up in the next book exactly where this one left off, because while the "murderer" is arrested, I didn't believe the real murderer was put in jail. It ended with too much vagueness left in the air, questions unanswered, and no sense of true closure was brought to the end of this book. That is why I gave the book four stars instead of five. I love how Penny writes: her characters, the Chief Inspector, the denizens of the village, the beauty of deep forests of Canada, all of it, but her books up to now have ended with a clear murderer in custody. With [Book:The Brutal Telling] she stumbled at the end. If I, an avid reader and fan of her books felt cheated at the end, then what would be the reaction of the reader coming to her books for the first time through [Book: The Brutal Telling]

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