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Our Reader's Guide to The Brutal TellingA Body in a Bistro, A Treasure in the Forest, and A Tale of Murder Beyond the Pale.
A Body in a Bistro, A Treasure in the Forest, and A Tale of Murder Beyond the Pale.
The village in Quebec where Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Gamache novels are set is home to a bistro, a bookstore, a bedand-breakfast, and a boulangerie. Tantalizing aromas seem to waft from every room, and friendship warms the homes of the eccentric collection of people that populates the town, a potpourri of escaping urbanites, artists, carpenters, and an outlandish poet with a pet duck.
And yet, as Penny's fifth novel unfolds, it isn't long before murder disturbs the tranquility of the community watched over by the graceful trees that give Three Pines its name. One Sunday morning, the body of a stranger is discovered on the floor of the town's commercial and spiritual center: the bistro run by Olivier Brulé and his partner, Gabri. The victim appears to be a stranger-but is he? The answer to that question, and to the more pressing mystery of his killer's identity, soon rests in the hands of Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec.
Arriving in Three Pines, a town of old friends and, sadly, new suspects, the commanding yet kind Gamache deploys his crew of detectives to gather evidence in the apparently clueless case. Each discovery-a corpse that won't stay still, a house whose restoration can't erase the aura of its haunted past, a log cabin located deep in the woods that holds an astonishing collection of priceless artifacts-ties another enigmatic knot in the intricate web of secrets and deceptions Gamache must unravel.
Tellingly blending the social pleasures of a cozy with the escalating terror of a psychological thriller, Penny traces Gamache's investigation as it expands to encompass cultural treasures that range from pieces of the fabled Amber Room to the china of Catherine the Great, from a first edition of Jane Eyre to the violin of the great Czech composer Bohuslav Martinù, from the modern art of the museums of Montreal to Haida totem poles on the mist-enshrouded Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia. With breathless anticipation, the reader follows Gamache as he pursues the shocking and brutal truth hidden in the heart of a seemingly loving community.
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Watch our exclusive interview with Louise Penny
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