4 February 2011

Review: BURY YOUR DEAD, Louise Penny

Published: Minotaur Books, New York, 2010
ISBN 978-0-312-37704-552499
371 pages
Source: Local Library

Publisher's Blurb:
As Quebec City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the most unusual case of his celebrated career. A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city's oldest buildings - a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries...a mystery Gamache must solve if he's to apprehend a present-day killer.

My take:
Those who say this is a "must read" are not wrong. And neither are those who say this is Louise Penny's best novel so far aren't either.
But you do need to read this series in order! And in particular you must read THE BRUTAL TELLING  before you read BURY YOUR DEAD.

Inspector Armand Gamache is recovering from an event that happened since THE BRUTAL TELLING but I'll let you find out from what for yourself. But let me tell you that in BURY YOUR DEAD he solves no less than three mysteries.  And I learnt so much about Quebec's history! We learn too that Armand Gamache is not always right, and that he knows how to say sorry.
The whole book is such good reading. There is more than the police procedural and the writing is wonderful.

My rating: 5.0 and with that it slides to the top of my best reads so far this year.

1. Still Life (2005)
2. Dead Cold (2006)  aka A Fatal Grace
3. The Cruellest Month (2007)
4. The Murder Stone (2008) aka A Rule Against Murder
5. The Brutal Telling (2009)
6. Bury Your Dead (2010)

THE BRUTAL TELLING was the winner of the Agatha Award for best novel of 2009. and I'll be very surprised if BURY YOUR DEAD does not capture a whole swag of nominations.
BookPage, in the US, named BURY YOUR DEAD their Mystery of the Month for October 2010
Check Louise Penny's Reviews page.

Other titles I've reviewed

Louise Penny's website.

I'm "counting" this novel in the Canadian Book Challenge 2010-2011


Jose Ignacio Escribano said...

Thnaks for your review Kerrie. Although it doesn't help me to keep my TBR pile under control. Cheers.

Margot Kinberg said...

Kerrie - Thanks for this excellent review. I like Louise Penny very much, so I've been wanting to read this one. I am glad you liked it as much as you did and now more than ever I'm eager to read it.

Kay said...

Wasn't this book wonderful?? Truly her best work and I totally concur on the advice to read THE BRUTAL TELLING first. So many storylines cross over. I can't wait to see where Louise will take these characters next.

By the way, I have a Kindle book lending giveaway that I'm experimenting with on my blog. The first two books I'm planning to lend are THE BRUTAL TELLING and BURY YOUR DEAD if anyone is interested. There may be restrictions for non-US people, but it might be worth checking out. :-)

Kerrie said...

Kay, I haven't seen any Kindle books with the lending enabled icon on them.
I really don't think it will work outside US despite what Amazon says on their FAQ page about it.

However BURY YOUR DEAD is available to Australian Kindle buyers but THE BRUTAL TELLING is not

Kay said...

Yes, Kerrie, I know that apparently people outside the US can't lend books yet. That's probably why you haven't seen a lending icon. As to whether they can borrow, I'm still unclear as to how to determine that. The FAQ says that the borrower will be told this if they try to accept an invitation to borrow.

As I said, this is an experiment for me. Not all that many books are even lendable. We'll see how it goes. This may be something I can do and it may not work well at all. :-)

Kerrie said...

One thing I'm not clear on Kay is how you identify the person to lend the book to. Do you send an invitation to their email?

Kay said...

Yes. Amazon has a form to fill out and the lender puts the borrower's email address in inviting them to borrow the book. The borrower has 7 days to accept the lend. Then after acceptance, the borrower has 14 days to read the book. It automatically goes back to the lender's archive after that time or indeed after 7 days of an unanswered invite. The lender can only lend the book once, which is a shame I think.

Toni Osborne said...


"And I learnt so much about Quebec's history"

Sorry this novel twisted the history to serve a purpose, even Penny mentioned something to that effect in the first pages. The book is pure fiction. Ok the Lit and His may exist and Champlain did but events were extrapolated presumably to make the story interesting...BTW I hated the book but love your review


Blog Widget by LinkWithin