Tuesday, September 29, 2009

THE BRUTAL TELLING by Louise Penny (Minotaur)

If you haven't yet  discovered Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series, you are in for a treat. The Brutal Telling, Penny's latest outing, returns to Three Pines, a picturesque  village in Quebec. The novel opens with the telling of a tragic mythical tale which weaves its way through the novel.

Olivier, the charming and successful bistro owner, is rudely awakened to the news that the body of an unknown man has been found in his restaurant. Threatened by the eminent opening of a rival spa and inn, Olivier and his partner, Gabri, are for the first time unsure  of their business and friends in Three Pines. Chief Inspector Gamache and Inspector Beauvoir set up homicide investigation headquarters in the old Railway station.

The return of such memorable characters as poet Ruth Zardo and her sweater wearing duck Rose, is like meeting up with old friends. Clara and Peter Morrow continue their artistic pursuits. Havoc Parra and his family keep secrets about their Czech community. The investigation takes Gamache beyond Three Pines and Montreal to the Queen Charlotte Islands on the Canadian Pacific Coast.

Louise Penny's stories are told in the traditional Agatha Christie mystery style. With the setting as  much a character as dear Inspector Gamache and his team. I personally recommend Penny's series be read  in order for all the intricate back stories to fall in place. Louise Penny's characters, settings, multi-layered plots, and beautiful prose are always a joy to read. Thank you, Ms Penny.

--Karen Kiley

Karen is one of the driving forces in mystery at the Cary (NC) Public Library. This is her first review, but I hope she'll write many more!


Spyder said...

Way to go Karen!!

K M Britt said...

I will have to read this one. I love Agatha Christie's style.

Sandi L. said...

Louise Penny's books are sooooooooooo good. The only bad thing is I read quickly through them. I can't put them down! The characters and the setting make this series a winner. Read them from the first one!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Terrific review, Karen!!!!
this is one of my favorite series, and I agree - better, I think, read from the beginning.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Wonderful review, Karen! Hope you enjoyed writing it...and that there are more to come!