The Brutal Telling by Louise Penny
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5
2009 Minataur Books
Finished on March 4, 2019
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)
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.
So far, this is my favorite book in Louise Penny's popular Armand Gamache series. The mysteries continue to improve and impress and this unpredictable installment kept me guessing until the final page. I appreciate that Penny doesn't feel the need for a happy ending with each of her books. Her characters are flawed and fully realized and life isn't always rosy in these character driven stories. The atmospheric tension is almost palpable and I couldn't put the book down. This is a series on which I'm happy to binge!
The painter referenced in this mystery, Emily Carr, is a real person and we share the same birthday. I love her paintings and am surprised I've never heard of her.
Metchosin, 1935 Oil
Yan, Q.C.I, 1912 Oil
Totem Forest, 1930 Oil
In the kitchen Gamache’s German shepherd, Henri, sat up in his bed and cocked his head. He had huge oversized ears which made Gamache think he wasn’t purebred but a cross between a shepherd and a satellite dish.and
Not a spoon clinked against a mug, not a creamer was popped, peeled and opened, not a breath. It was as though something else had joined them then. As though silence had taken a seat.and
What came out surprised them all. A Celtic lament left the bow, left the violin, left the agent. It filled the cabin, filled the rafters. Almost into the corners. The simple tune swirled around them like colors and delicious meals and conversation. And it lodged in their chests. Not their ears, not their heads. But their hearts. Slow, dignified, but buoyant. It was played with confidence. With poise.
Agent Morin had changed. His loose-limbed awkward body contorted perfectly for the violin, as though created and designed for this purpose. To play. To produce this music. His eyes were closed and he looked the way Gamache felt. Filled with joy. Rapture even. Such was the power of this music. This instrument.and
Their main courses had arrived. A fruit-stuffed Rock Cornish game hen, done on the spit, for Gamache; melted Brie, fresh tomato and basil fettuccine for Lacoste; and a lamb and prune tagine for Beauvoir. A platter of fresh harvested grilled vegetables was also brought to the table.
Gamache's chicken was tender and tasty, delicately flavored with Pommery-style mustard and vermouth.
I think it's time Louise Penny wrote a cookbook!