Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

by Louise Penny

Paperback, 2011

Call number

MYST PEN

Collection

Genres

Publication

Minotaur Books (2011), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages

Description

An obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it? Although he is supposed to be on leave, Chief Inspector Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder.

Media reviews

Library Journal
[T]his is brilliantly provocative and will appeal to fans of literary fiction, as well as to mystery lovers.

User reviews

LibraryThing member BookAngel_a
'Bury Your Dead' is the sixth book in Chief Inspector Gamache's Three Pines series. I've read them all, and this is the first one I've given 5 stars. The books really do get better as the series progresses.

There are three plot lines in this novel, starting out independently and growing together toward the end. First, we have Gamache visiting his mentor in Quebec City. He's recuperating from something terrible involving him and his agents, leaving many wounded, and many dead. The reader does not know what happened. This is gradually revealed through a series of flashbacks throughout the book.

Second, Gamache stumbles upon a crime scene in Quebec City. The investigator recognizes him and asks for Gamache's help as a consultant. There is a lot of history brought in, because the death has to do with the search for Samuel de Champlain's burial place. As Gamache studies this crime, he is finally able to discuss the tragic investigation, his injuries, and the loss of life. It's the beginning of his healing process. He learns to 'bury his dead'.

He also comes to accept his imperfections. Instead of dwelling on his own mistakes, he learns, as does the rest of his team, that he can be a great Chief Inspector even though he is not always right. (A lesson that all perfectionists do well to learn).

The third thread stars Inspector Beauvoir. Gamache quietly sends him back to Three Pines to recuperate, but also to re-open the case from "A Brutal Telling." He's not 100% satisfied and realizes he may have made a mistake. We get to know Beauvoir better, and Beauvoir realizes he may have mis-judged the people of Three Pines.

I gave this book 5 stars because it is, as they say, 'the complete package'. It contains mystery, love, friendship, death, sadness, regret, jealousy, revenge, forgiveness, reunion, history, mistakes, apologies, joy, and healing. Penny keeps it real, no sugar coating, magic, or happily ever afters. Just real people with real emotions.
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LibraryThing member TadAD
I'm sure there will be many synopses of the plot among other reviews, as well as a few spoilers, so I'll just leave it that Gamache has gone to Montreal to try to recover from an investigation gone horribly awry (no, not the one in The Brutal Telling).

Not only has this series not wandered off into inanity, as have so many other "good first books," it's gotten better with age. The first few were good (with a minor dip at the fourth), but these last two have been wonderful. Penny is not afraid to be daring with her characters, to step outside the comfort zone of a cozy and make them suffer, to make us dislike them a little and then, sometimes, to rescue them...even to kill them. Unlike the flat characters of so many mysteries, I find the individuals who inhabit these pages human.

Bury Your Dead is much less a murder mystery than are the previous five. Oh, there's a murder all right…but it's much less center stage. This one is about loss and grief and trying to cope with both. She takes a couple of her characters and gives a deeper look into who they are and it's very well done.

Is there anything I can find disappointing? Not really. Perhaps that there's less of the town of Three Pines in this book than in most of the stories (though certainly more than in A Rule Against Murder). On one hand, I missed having it around throughout the book, right in the foreground, with Ruth and Rosa stalking and waddling around. Yet, on the other hand, I'm appreciative of the fact that it would get a little silly if all of the crimes were set there and a well-behaved town with a tiny population suddenly became the murder capital of the free world.

Strongly recommended if you like mysteries, but definitely do not start with this one—read the books in order.
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LibraryThing member lauranav
I have enjoyed all of the books in this series. While we learn more about the characters in each one, and discover a few things in later books that change how we see a few things in the earlier books, none of them really had to be read in a specific order. But this book should really be read after #5, The Brutal Telling. We certainly learn things in this book that you shouldn't know the first time you read that book. That said, I now think I will re-read The Brutal Telling with this new perspective.

Before the story begins in Bury Your Dead, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his homicide team at the Surete are involved in a shoot-out for some reason. The details of how that came about and what happened that day come out because it isn't something easily forgotten. Gamache is resting and recovering physically, emotionally, and mentally. Part of that involves replaying his decisions that got him to this point and part requires telling the story to someone.

He goes to Quebec to visit his former superior and mentor. While there he is doing some reading into historical events of Canada and Quebec. This takes him to the English Literary and HIstorical Society. Then a body is found in the basement of the Lit and His. Gamache certainly speaks better English than the local police investigator so he is asked to help the first day. Of course, he gets interested and continues asking questions and following clues.

Meanwhile, he asks someone to return to Three Pines to make sure he didn't miss anything in the case solved in The Brutal Telling. So, we do indeed get to spend time with Clara, Myrna, Gabri, and the ever wonderful Ruth Zardo. It is winter, there is lots of snow and ice and life goes on.

I believe these books get better as the series progresses. There were moments of pain and sorrow, descriptions of life in snowy, wintry Canada, and some great humor as well as the English and French try to communicate. Definitely meets my expectations for a great book!
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LibraryThing member tututhefirst
She's done it again! Louise Penny has given us an intricate, suspenseful, and exquisitely written novel about her main character, the urbane, humane, well-educated, loving and highly competent Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. In this one, she has moved the primary setting away from the village of Three Pines (where four of the five previous novels were set) to Quebec, where Gamache is recuperating from wounds suffered at the beginning of the book, and where he becomes involved in both a modern day murder, and the search for the remains of Samuel de Champlain, missing for nearly 400 hundred years.

The opening scene gives us only the barest of details about Gamache's wounding. Penny chooses to string the reader along through a series of flashbacks during the entire book before we get the whole story. So, there are three different mysteries for the reader to follow. But WAIT!! Gamache also decides that he may have made a mistake and arrested the wrong suspect for a murder committed in book #5 The Brutal Telling, so he sends Jean Guy Beauvoir back to Three Pines to unofficially re-open the investigation and see if he could have been mistaken.

With any other author, trying to weave these four different mysteries into a coherent story, and trying TO READ this melange would have been impossible. Penny however presents us with a tour de force- a magical, seamless, well-paced, and elegantly written group of vignettes that emerge as a single tremendous read. I was stunned when I realized what she was doing, as I read, and read, and read.....I could not put the book down. As if these four sub-plots weren't enough of a treat, she also gives us a subtle, but enchanting history of Quebec, and weaves in a presentation of the current situation with separatists and those who favor a united Canada.

The only caveat I have for others is that it is probably better to read at least The Brutal Telling first, if not all the others. She has certainly backfilled enough that it isn't absolutely necessary, but it would also limit the depth of the enriching experience the reader has from this book. I'm not sure where she can go from here, but the emotional growth of the two main characters, Armand Gamache and Jean Guy Beauvoir, that we see in this story portend well for future works.

The change of setting was refreshing: I've never been to Quebec, and certainly want to go now. The quiet return to Three Pines was even more comforting. It's still a place we'd all like to live. And Louise Penny is still the author we most want to have on our nightstand as Canadian blizzards howl outside our window.
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LibraryThing member cbl_tn
I'm always torn when I read one of Louise Penny's novels. I want to finish it as quickly as possible to learn the answers to the mysteries central to the book, yet I want to linger as long as possible in the world she's created. As much as I love Three Pines, I was even more enchanted by the Quebec City of Bury Your Dead -- its blend of Old World and New World charm, of French and English culture. The murder's setting in a historical society's library and the connection to a historical mystery about Champlain, combined with the atmosphere of Quebec City, make this a favorite book in a favorite series.

The books in this series are part police procedural, part psychological mystery, and part village cozy, and this one is part historical mystery. Yet Penny's books transcend genre. Her writing doesn't feel formulaic. Her books are not so much about death as about life -- the value of others' lives and of one's own. Gamache's respect for life is a key to his success as an investigator. He observes, questions, and meditates until he identifies the person among all the suspects who values his or her own life so far above others that he or she is willing to kill to preserve it.

Penny's respect for her readers is evident in her spare writing style. She knows her characters intimately, and she shows us their thoughts and emotions without wordy descriptions. She doesn't need a lot of words to communicate the story. She knows we'll understand. And we love her for it.

If you're new to this series, please don't start with this book. It is inseparably connected to the previous book in the series, The Brutal Telling, and that book should be read first.

This review is based on an advance reading copy provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program.… (more)
LibraryThing member cyderry
It's hard to believe that the Three Pines series could keep getting better and better but in Bury Your Dead Louise Penny has excelled beyond the previous books in this series. Rarely, do I stay awake into the wee hours of the night because I simply can't go to sleep without finding out the ending of a book. This one kept me up.

For those that follow the series, this book is set several months after the ending of The Brutal Telling and we are informed that Olivier has been convicted of manslaughter and is in prison, and that Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as well as several of his team are recuperating from a deadly attack for which we have no specifics at the beginning.

This is a multi-level story intricately woven together so that the reader is drawn deeper and farther along without realizing the tug to reach the end will completely engulf them. First we have Armand Gamache staying with his old mentor in Quebec City incognito. When he is recognized at the scene of a suspicious death, the officer in charge asks for his assistance and reluctantly, Gamache agrees. Next, we have Gamache questioning himself and the conviction of Olivier in Three Pines so he sends Inspector Beauvoir to the tiny village to reinvestigate off the record. Lastly, we have the mysterious attack which injured and killed members of the Sûreté du Québec. Who was killed, who was hurt, how badly- are the questions that are constantly running through the reader's thoughts as the story evolves.

To answer any or all of these questions in a review would only detract from the thrill of reading this book for yourself. The majestic writing of the anguish and fear of the Chief Inspector and his desire to continue on after his ordeal only add to the reader's respect and admiration for the character and his gentle spirit.

I have been blessed with the sheer pleasure of reading every book where Armand Gamache appears as the central character and hopefully, I will continue to be blessed in the future with more books by Louise Penny. They are all sensational! I couldn't give it less than 5 Stars!
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LibraryThing member lit_chick
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is on leave and in Quebec City visiting his venerable mentor, Emile Comeau, when the body of a local historian is found in the basement of the Literary and Historical Society. Augustin Renaud had been for decades obsessed with finding the remains of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Quebec. Problem: Champlain discovered Quebec some four hundred years earlier, and died shortly thereafter. A fanatic, Renaud was a thorn in the side of the Lit and His Society, the Champlain Society, and Quebec City’s Chief Archeologist. No shortage of suspects then, and ample motive. When Gamache is called upon by local police to assist with the murder investigation, he discovers that a series of historical journals, in particular one volume from 1869 which is missing, is likely to hold the key to Renaud’s murder. As always, Gamache is an astute of observer of human behaviour:

“Gamache nodded. It was what made his job so fascinating, and so difficult. How the same person could be both kind and cruel, compassionate and wretched. Unraveling a murder was more about getting to know the people than the evidence. People who were contrary and contradictory, and who often didn’t even know themselves.” (226)

Two story lines run parallel to the central mystery. Jean Guy Beauvoir, also on leave, is in Three Pines where Gamache has him revisiting Olivier Brule’s conviction in the death of the “Hermit” whose remote cabin was discovered to have been full of valuable artifacts. But why, I wondered, were both Gamache and Beauvoir on leave? This couldn’t be coincidence – something had to have gone wrong on the job. Indeed – and this mystery is addressed in the final story line. Brilliantly, Penny reeled me in for over three hundred pages, bit by bit divulging the answers to my questions. Up front, we learn that the two Sûreté officers are rehabilitating from serious injuries sustained in a recent mishap which left several officers dead, and several more injured …

Louise Penny’s Three Pines series just keeps getting better! I want to quit my job, hole up in my house, and read the rest of them sans interruption. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member nyiper
Absolutely incredible!!! This is the sequel to The Brutal Telling---just exactly what anyone who read it would want!! This is an amazing book---Louis Penny pulls so many different things together. It's an emotional read. I love these characters, having followed them through all of her books but this particular book just made me want to insist that everyone read the two books---just a wonderful overlapping of mysteries that inter-relate. I can hardly believe that she didn't have this book planned out as she wrote the first one. This feels like her best book yet!!! i am a Louise Penny Fan from the beginning and I can hardly wait for the next book she writes.… (more)
LibraryThing member bell7
Inspector Gamache is taking a leave of absence from the Surete, after an incident that scars him, both physically and emotionally. He is the old city of Quebec, spending time with his old mentor and browsing the shelves of the Literary and Historical Society, a library that keeps a collection of English historical materials. When a man fixated on Samuel de Champlain is killed in the basement of the "Lit and His," Gamache helps the local police with their investigation. Meanwhile, he has daily received letters from Gabri, friendly, but insistent that Olivier did not kill the hermit.

My sister has this habit of keeping books so she can read them over - not usually the whole thing, but portions here and there, reading the beginning, or a favorite chapter, or the ending over again. Now that I've finished Bury Your Dead, I understand a little better why she would do that. The story lines - the historical and current mystery Gamache works on, Beauvoir's story, and the revelation of just what happened to cause Gamache to take a leave of absence - are intricate and perfectly paced. I experienced a range of emotions following these characters, coming the closest I have in years to crying over a book. I want to start all over again to tease out the details and start to understand the chronology of some events that are given out piecemeal, in an order dictated by what I need to know about the characters and their choices rather than a time frame. An incredibly satisfying read that will stay with me a long time, Bury Your Dead is, in my opinion, the best of this series so far.
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LibraryThing member brenzi
It has been a pleasure watching Louise Penny grow as an author over this past year. I started the Three Pines series last January and was happy to find a cozy mystery series that I thought I would stretch out over a couple of years. I knew from other reviewers that the books were better and better as you progressed through the series and I could see that improvement occur as I read each entry. But her latest book, “Bury Your Dead” is an outstanding literary effort, as well as a fantastic mystery and it’s really hard not to note the skill improvement.

In this book, Penny weaves together three separate plots, each well-developed and each laden with suspense. That’s far different from the earlier entries which pretty much concentrated on one plot line although some of them referenced earlier scenarios that played a role in the narrative. But the sophistication of this book is unparalleled. Tense drama with lots of suspense and this was the first time that I, personally, would put a Penny book into the “can’t put down” category.

The Chief Inspector and his right hand man Jean Guy Beauvoir are recovering from wounds suffered in a recent investigation gone wrong. While recuperating at the home of a friend in Quebec City, Gamache is asked to assist in a case of the murder of a fanatical historian, who has dedicated his life to searching for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel deChamplain. At the same time, Gamache asks Beauvoir to re-open an investigation of a previous case in Three Pines. Three plots, three settings and an absolutely fabulous look at the history of Quebec combine to produce a very erudite mystery. Keep ‘em coming Ms. Penny. I’ll keep reading ‘em. Very highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member porch_reader
I was thrilled to receive Louise Penny’s Bury Your Dead, the sixth book in the Armand Gamache Mystery Series, as an Early Reviewer book. I tremendously enjoyed the first five books in this series and was anxious to see if Penny could continue to exceed my expectations. I was not disappointed.

All of the elements that I’ve come to expect from Louise Penny are back in Bury Your Dead. For me, there are two main reasons why this is my favorite mystery series and Bury Your Dead is among my favorite reads of the year. First, the characters are complex and genuine. There is no black and white, no truly good guys, no truly bad guys (and that is somewhat unusual in a series that features its fair share of murderers). The characters are for the most part sympathetic – I love spending time with them. But they all have faults and fears, and this is what makes them interesting.

Penny is also a master of plot. She introduces clues and uses misdirection skillfully. Her stories pull me along until she reaches a conclusion that is both surprising and inevitable. Amazing!

So far, this review reads a lot like all of my other reviews of the Amand Gamache series, but Penny has clearly reached a new level in Bury Your Dead. It seems as though we get to know a character or two better in each book. In Bury Your Dead, the focus is on Armand Gamache. Gamache is thoughtful, wise, and considerate, but he is clearly human. In Bury Your Dead, he visits his old mentor in Quebec City after an investigation has gone terribly wrong. As Penny gradually reveals what happened, Gamache’s sadness and regret is so intense that it is almost overwhelming. Near the end of the book, I read with tears streaming down my cheeks.

This may also be the most intricately plotted of the books. Through flashbacks and reflections, we learn about the investigation that Gamache has just completed. In the meantime, Gamache’s second-in-command, Jean Guy Beauvoir, visits the village of Three Pines to follow up on an old investigation. Unsurprisingly, a murder occurs in Quebec City during Gamache’s visit, and he is called in to assist. Penny weaves these stories together masterfully – sometimes moving from one to the next within the same chapter.

Clearly, Penny is a skilled mystery writer, but after reading Bury Your Dead, I am reluctant to constrain her to that genre. This is among the best novels that I’ve read recently. I recommend it highly.
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LibraryThing member atheist_goat
Impossible to put down and very, very hard to read.

I have read, and loved, the previous five Louise Penny mysteries, and I wouldn't recommend picking this one up unless you have done so. Of course, if you have done so the emotional wringer this one puts you through will be that much greater.

The mystery in this is not as developed, nor as central to the plot, as in the previous books in the series. It's not intended to be - this book is really about the toll death takes on survivors and communities. The horrible loss of an officer, and the attempt of two of the survivors to cope, is the main theme, but it is surrounded by characters trying to come to terms with the death of historical figures, of ways of life, and even the loss of pets. There is a beautiful brief scene in which our hero and his dog meet a man whose own dog died a few days earlier, and that is when I gave up and just started crying.

It's not a breathless whodunit, and anyone looking for that will be disappointed. Nor does it focus on the delightful village of Three Pines - it's set in Montreal - or, for the most part, the villagers we have come to love. It's about the aftermath of a mystery, really, and it's heartbreaking.
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LibraryThing member thornton37814
If you have not already read Penny's previous novel, The Brutal Telling, you need to do so before reading this book. This review contains a spoiler for The Brutal Telling.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his second-in-command Jean Guy Beauvoir are recuperating from injuries sustained in a terrorist/hostage situation. Gamache goes to Quebec City to visit his retired mentor Emile Comeau. He visits the Literary and Historical Society's Library on most days. When the body of a man obsessed with locating Samuel de Champlain's remains turns up dead in the library's basement, Gamache joins the investigation in an unofficial capacity. Meanwhile, Gabri, from the village of Three Pines, sends Gamache daily letters which are forwarded to him in Quebec City, which ask "Why would Olivier move the body?" Gamache finally gives in, calling Beauvoir and asking him to secretly reopen the investigation. Interwoven throughout both stories are the memories of that horrible terrorist incident.

The author has done an excellent job weaving three stories into one. The characters are well-drawn. There are so many layers to this novel. I really could not put the book down. I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning just to finish it! Louise Penny has written what may be her best novel to date.

The review is based on an advance reader's edition provided by the publisher through LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program with the expectation that a review would be written.
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LibraryThing member jmchshannon
Louise Penny continues her Inspector Gamache series with Bury Your Dead. In her latest installment, Gamache is no longer the comforting police presence but rather a man struggling to battle his demons. Bury Your Dead is really almost three stories in one, as it continues a mystery that was at the heart of The Brutal Telling while branching out to a new mysterious death involving the Anglos and the Francophones of Quebec. Tying the two mysteries together is the tragedy that decimated Gamache’s confidence and health, seen in flashbacks as he comes to grips with his actions and inactions that led to the deaths of several of his officers.

Inspector Gamache continues to impress with his patient perusal of facts and insightful questions that get right to the heart of a mystery. However, the shaken and fragile Gamache now presented is a surprising figure, all the more so because it is not the self-assured inspector that readers have come to know and love. There is something immensely sympathetic about this extremely capable man fighting his misplaced guilt and anguish at the loss of life of those under his command that makes him even more likable because it highlights his humanity as opposed to his almost supernatural deductive reasoning.

Speaking of the murders, the death of a Francophone historian in the farthest basement of the Anglo Literary and Historical Society pits the two factions against each other and introduces the reader to the very real sense of disconnection Quebec feels towards the rest of Canada. At the heart of the murder is the mystery of the missing remains of Samuel de Champlain, something that remains unsolved today. Ms. Penny uses Bury Your Dead to educate readers about the importance of the Father of New France and the ongoing but much more subtle battle that continues to this day between the French and the English. The historical elements are every bit as fascinating as the murder mystery itself.

Also playing a large part of Bury Your Dead is the continuation of the mystery in Three Pines from the book XX. After the costly mistakes made in the still-unknown tragedy from which Gamache is recovering, he second-guesses his actions and conclusions drawn from that case, even though the case has already gone to trial and a jury has found Olivier guilty. This second-guessing forces him to request Detective Beauvoir, another familiar face and recovering from his own injuries from the tragedy, to go back to Three Pines and look at the case from a new angle. In true Gamache fashion, he eventually gets his men and learns something about humanity in the process.

Bury Your Dead is as much about forgiveness and recovery as it is about finding a murderer or two. Gamache must find a way to forgive himself for his mistakes that cost the lives of some of his men but ultimately saved more. Beauvoir must recover from more than just his physical injuries if he hopes to fulfill his superior’s request. The English and the French Quebecoise each made their own mistakes over the years that require forgiveness and their own recovery. It is an interesting plot in which the murders take a back seat to all of the healing that needs to happen among the key characters.

Old Quebec City comes to life in all of its wintry grandeur through Ms. Penny’s beautiful descriptions. Her imagery urges readers to visit this charming city. Even with the discussions of thick parkas, wind so cold that it causes tears to spring up and then freeze on cheeks, the very real possibility of freezing to death, and myriad piles of deep snow, she makes all of Quebec, but particularly the fictional town of Three Pines and old Quebec City, immensely appealing, and the entire story is more satisfying because it.

Bury Your Dead is a very satisfactory continuation to an already-delightful series. Inspector Gamache is lovable in his quaintness and impressive in his detective skills, while the fragility he now displays only serves to make him more realistic and human. The tragedy that haunts Gamache prevents him from remaining the stereotypically aloof genius detective, and it strengthens the novel to have the most celebrated detective in Canada fallible. For a cozy mystery with a little more substance and an amazing amount of heart, one need look no further than the ever-enjoyable Inspector Gamache series and Bury Your Dead.

Acknowledgments: Thank you to LibraryThing’s Early Reader Program for my review copy!
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LibraryThing member mlnelson01
Bury Your Dead is Louise Penny’s sixth Three Pines mystery. Other reviews here before me have detailed the plots (all three), and how closely tied this book is to prior works in the series (especially The Brutal Telling, which really must be read first.) When I was offered the book as an Early Reviewer, I had never read Louise Penny. For the last four weeks, I hardly have been able to set her books down.

I started with A Brutal Telling, book five, and found it easily able to stand on its own, so read it first, please. Then I read books one and two while I waited for Bury Your Dead to arrive. By now, I have read all but book three, and am hopelessly addicted.

In A Fatal Grace, book two of the series, Inspector Armand Gamache tries to be mentor to a young agent who struggles to meet his expectations in the Surete. In a rare moment of honest and intimate conversation, the agent admits her overwhelming drive to make up for the misdeeds of an uncle who failed her entire family and caused the deaths of many. Gamache’s advice to her is three words: “Bury your dead.” His meaning was clear. Some memories are not meant to kept alive, because they haunt and hurt.

In book six, Penny has taken this theme and examined it in all its complexities. Some memories clearly are meant to be cherished and kept alive. On the other hand, obsessions with the past can damage and destroy: in Penny’s words, “while forgetting the past might condemn people to repeat it, remembering it too vividly condemned them never to leave.” Choosing which memeories are which is the subject of grief, and Penny clearly portrays the painfulness of the process. Gamache struggles to choose how he wants to remember recently fallen comrades, while the declining (and hidden) Anglo community in Quebec City clings to its history like a lifeline. Beauvoir re-opens an old, painful case while he heals from his own physical and emotional trauma. But not all wounds can be healed, and closing some opens others.

Bury Your Dead is a wonderful, thought-provoking addition to the Three Pines series. Highly recommended.

Note: this review quotes an Advance Readers' Edition; quote may vary from the final published version.
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LibraryThing member tloeffler
Armand Gamache has made a mistake. A huge mistake, which led to the deaths of several Sûreté agents, and to the injury of many more, including Gamache and Jean Guy Beauvoir. Gamache has gone to Quebec City to recuperate (physically and mentally) at the home of his former mentor, Emile Comeau, and to spend some time doing research into the Battle of Quebec. During his visit, a local fanatic is found murdered in the basement of the Literary and Historical Society, and Gamache reluctantly agrees to help the local inspector.
Meanwhile, every day, Gamache receives a letter from his friend Gabri in Three Pines, and every letter ends with a question that leads Gamache to wonder about his conclusion of an earlier case. He calls Jean Guy, who is itching to get away from his over-solicitous wife, and asks him to go to Three Pines on an unofficial basis and poke around.
Louise Penny has done it again. Once I started this book, I stayed up until it was finished. Penny puts the three stories together in a most compelling way, and, as usual, we find out more about the characters of Gamache and Beauvoir. Three Pines plays a much smaller role in this story, but all the usual characters are there, and new alliances are made. Penny has woven in some fascinating history of Quebec and the search for the body of Samuel de Champlain, one of the founders. She admits up front to taking a few liberties, but nothing major, and from one who knew nothing about that history, it didn’t seem to make a difference.
The humor, the pathos, the realness of the characters—it’s all here, and I can’t wait for her next book.
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LibraryThing member jmoncton
Face it. Genre authors don't get any respect. When a book is categorized as a mystery or sci-fi/fantasy, the assumption is that it's all about the plot; character development and writing technique are non-existent. Louise Penny is a mystery author who shatters that stereotype. The winner of many awards, her books are a complex study of humanity at its worst and at its best.

Bury Your Dead is three different plots carefully intertwined together. Chief Inspector Gamache is in Quebec solving a murder is an English historical society, while his detective Jean Guy is back at Three Pines looking over an old case. Both Gamache and Jean Guy are not acting in an official capacity though -- they are on medical leave because of some disaster that happened recently in the Surete. Penny cleverly intertwines these three stories, bouncing back and forth in location and time, using several different narrators to carefully build up the tension to the final reveal. I loved this book! Rarely do I give a mystery 5 stars, but this one was brilliant.
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LibraryThing member Copperskye
Rather than being all gushy and first saying how much I adored this book, I’ll step back for a minute to the first Three Pines book. I tried twice to read Still Life before deciding that maybe the audio would work better for me. Three’s a charm, it worked. I loved it and went on to love each succeeding Three Pines book in turn. The series has gotten better with each book, becoming richer and more nuanced with fully fleshed out characters and situations. I care deeply about them. (I know these people exist…if only I could find the village!) And as the six book series has progressed, A Three Pines Mystery has turned into A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery and thank goodness for that. The little town could only have so many murders and as much as I love the denizens of the village, they can get slightly cloying at times. Bury Your Dead refreshingly moves the main action to lovely Quebec City. There were actually three mysteries plus a slow, heartbreaking stream of consciousness retelling of a Surete investigation gone wrong, all masterfully intertwined. I even learned a little history and recalled bits and pieces of a trip to Quebec as a child in 1968. This is a literary mystery at its finest and I’d recommend to anyone with the caveat that the series must be read (or listen to Ralph Coshan’s wonderful narration), in order, to be fully appreciated.… (more)
LibraryThing member LibraryCin
Inpsector Gamache is in Quebec City for a vacation. While there doing some research at the English-language Literary and Historical Society, a body is found partly buried in the basement. It is the body of a man who was fanatical about finding where the body of Quebec founder, Samuel de Champlain, was buried.

I liked this main storyline, but there were two other storylines that had me confused, especially at first. In the book, Penny seemed to go back and forth between the three different storylines without any sort of transition. Would be reading about one storyline, then suddenly, am reading about a different one. It kept me quite confused at times. I also thought, at least initially, that both of these things had happened in the past - well, they had, but I thought they were just little remembrances of previous books, and I felt like I should have read the previous books before this one. I don't think they were, though.

Really, I think this could (and should) have been divided into three separate books. I liked the main storyline, but being lost and confused during the others (and, although one of the others did get interesting, I really wasn't interested at all in the third storyline), I can't say I liked this book. I will consider it “ok”.
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LibraryThing member EbonyAngel
Louise Penny has done it again. "Bury Your Dead" was a real page turner. There were stories beneath the main story and all were resolved in a manner that made each one seem like the main story. I've put Louise Penny on my list of authors to look for in the future, especially for some real mystery. I love the writing style and the way unfamiliar words in French were explained.… (more)
LibraryThing member kmaziarz
I don't read mysteries. But I do read Louise Penny. Her books, while technically mysteries, are always deeper and more satisfying than the typical whodunit. They are about people...real people, it seems. I am emotionally invested in the lives of her characters, and I would really love to move to Three Pines if it were only possible!

This sixth entry in her wonderful Three Pines/Gamache series does not disappoint. "Bury Your Dead " continues events from the fifth book while adding layers upon layers along the way. Gamache, one of the most sensitive, wise, and warm homicide investigators conceivable, has made a mistake. A mistake that cost several officers their lives, and almost cost his own. He has gone to Quebec City to visit an old friend and recuperate from both his physical and his spiritual wounds...and Gamache being Gamache, stumbles right into the middle of a murder investigation that may well be connected with one of the oldest and most puzzling mysteries in Quebec history.

Meanwhile, back in Three Pines, poor Gabri is still unable to believe that his partner committed a murder. Every day he sends a letter to Gamache, and every day that letter asks the same question..."Why would Olivier move the body?" Gamache, never fully satisfied with the ending of that case, sends his second-in-command Beauvoir to Three Pines to unofficially re-investigate the murder of the Hermit and tells Beauvoir to work from the assumption that Olivier is innocent. Beauvoir, never fully at home in Three Pines the way Gamache is, finds this a difficult task. For one thing, he's convinced Olivier is guilty! But as he continues to dig into the lives and pasts of the Three Pines residents, he becomes more and more convinced that Gabri might just be right...they convicted the wrong man.

Nuanced, amazingly well-constructed, and very moving, "Bury Your Dead" might be one of the best entries in a wonderful series. I'll admit it...I cried at the very end. And once you've read it, you'll understand why!
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LibraryThing member richardderus
Dear Lousy Louise Penny,

You really know how to hurt a boy. You make, ex nihilo, people whose reality I completely buy into, whose very existence (in a well-ordered Universe) is simply necessary, and then you give them real, human flaws, and dreadfully painful pasts, and generally screw with my reality/fictionality compass.

And then you make them do yucky, tacky things. And even vile, evil ones. And somehow, throughout that process, you *don't* make me dislike them, or even judge them. You make me wince and cringe for their foolishness and then weep in anticipatory pain for the inevitable consequences of the actions YOU, Puppet Mistress of the Damned, make them perform!!

I just want to know one thing: How did you make so many people suffer these same pangs with only a few flicks of your cruel, cruel pen?

Your friend,
Little Richie D.

So if you're on the Three Pines Express, I don't need to sell this book to you. I do need to let you know a few things about it: 1) Not very much of it involves Three Pines, Clara or the bookstore. 2) The manner in which Lousy Louise stitches the three story lines together is disconcerting, and very effective most of the time; when a fourth story line is added, it becomes too much and feels like short shrift is given to some fan favorites. 3) Gamache and Jean-Guy are the primary movers in the stories, and each comes across as a multidimensional character with new and unexpected dimensions; but both are also required to do a little too much on-the-page soul searching for effectiveness, and the end result is each character now feels a little more fictional than before.

And we are ALL OVER THE PLACE all the time. I truly, truly wish we weren't given a picture that's quite so fractured. It's not quite as much fun as previous outings, but it's still head and shoulders above the vast majority of non-four-hankies-and-a-pistol books. It's a fine addition to the body of work Penny's accumulating, to be appreciated by the intelligent, thoughful commoner with nothing to prove.
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LibraryThing member LynndaEll
"Bury Your Dead" is a book I only wish I had the skill to write. The three intertwining plots cover a timeframe of almost three hundred years: an ancient mystery, a crime solved with the wrong person punished, and a recent murder - all set against a backdrop of recovery from a shootout with traumatic consequences to chief inspector Armand and his assistant. The people are real, the history and beauty of Quebec City provide an unforgettable setting for the story, and the dialog sparkles. I will add this book to my permanent library and read it both for pleasure and for studying a model of skillful writing. (I received an advanced reader's copy to review.)… (more)
LibraryThing member ethel55
This is my favorite book of the year. Penny's prose, whether inside Inspector Gamache's head or out, pulls the varied threads of this amazing story together so well. Gamache is recuperating in Quebec City, dabbling in some historical research when a murder involving another driven historian is discovered. Unofficially, Gamache is invited to participate in the investigation. In the meantime, Three Pines still flutters through his mind, with daily notes from bistro owner Gabri. Finally, he sends Inspector Beauvoir, who is also recovering from their recent case to Three Pines, to take a fresh look at who may have killed the hermit.
Although the quirky characters of Three Pines may be hard to keep up with if you haven't read the previous book, The Brutal Telling, I think you could muddle through if you had to, but would be better off for reading that mystery first.
The story absolutely wowed me. Louise Penny did a great job.
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LibraryThing member m4marya
I can count on one hand the authors that have created worlds so real to me that I find myself wondering how the characters are doing, and what has become of them since I last visited. For me this means that the author's writing and imagination must be blended so perfectly that it is a seamless creation. Louise Penny has done this in this 6th book of Three Pines. In book five she left us stunned at the outcome, why would Olivier do such a thing? I wanted to write letters of consolation to the town folk of Three Pines, commiserate with them, doubt with them, question the results. How could we doubt Inspector Armand Gamache? This thoughtful man, this caring, smart man? So, we began this book with some hesitation. Would we lose another friend?

Penny does not fail this time, though I would have wished for more on the Three Pines characters, but just as we needed to rebuild our faith in Gamache so does he need to rebuild his faith in himself. After I finished I was ready to trust again, my love of Three Pines validated, and my yearning for more Louise Penny greater than before.
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Pages

387

ISBN

0312626908 / 9780312626907
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