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Most Helpful Favorable Review
8 out of 10 people found this review helpful.
posted by Ronrose on September 8, 2010Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Missing the Joy
This was a good read, but not a wonderful read that I had come to expect from Louise Penny. In the past, l wanted to find myself lost in 3 Pines. Or Quebec.
The characters may be more realistic, but...
posted by Anonymous on February 7, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2011
6th book the Chief Inspector Gamache series
'Bury your Dead', won numerous awards in Canada and other countries for being the 'Best Crime Novel' in 2010 and consequently became profitable for everyone in the business. Browsing reviews from different sites before I finalized my thoughts, I discovered most readers' qualified it as extraordinary; the best in the series'.seems I am one of the few to question this assessment.'OMG did I dislike one of Louise Penny's cosy novels? What did I miss?
I agree with those saying that Louise Penny ran out of ideas in this one, after creating so much murder and suspense in Three Pines she seems to have lost focus and direction in this one. The action moves to Québec City, dead of winter, Carnival time, where we learn the loveable Inspector has suffered a traumatic event. Initially I wondered, did I miss something, where, when and how did this event happen?
This latest instalment is a rather quiet introspective story that intertwines three plots:
1) Inspector Gamache while in recovery mode decides to spend some time with his mentor in Québec City and rehash some of his memories that still haunt him and try to tie up some loose ends. While there, he stumbles upon the Lit& His Library/Museum at the time when a body is discovered in the basement. Naturally our Québec 'Columbo' takes the reins of the investigation, an investigation that brushes the delicate aspects of history between the French and Anglo communities.
2) While in flashback mode Gamache rehashes the events of a deadly police investigation that went terribly wrong. A deadly raid that always comes back to haunt him.
3) Another case that has also haunted him over time is brought to the forefront. He was never happy with the outcome and asks Jean Guy Beauvoir to revisit the case with the hope of answering some of his unanswered questions. It is a step back in time covering the events in the novel 'The Brutal Telling'
The author hopscotches her way between plots that are not linked in an awkward manner making it very hard to follow, even with a full background of the previous novels, I found it a challenge. MS. Penny passion for Québec can be overwhelming at times, French terms and expression add atmosphere to the prose but may not have full effect if not understood. Gamache wandering the cobble stone streets of the Old City munching a baguette or a croissant spells tourist rather than a native of the province in my books'.The pacing pussyfoots all through the story, the only serious action surfaces in the last pages with Gamache's step by step recount of the botched investigation.
This was a tedious read, a disappointment. I preferred when Inspector Gamache focused on one case at a time
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 11, 2010
Louise Penny is not for me
This book was sent to me to review, and if I hadn't felt an obligation to do so, I might not have finished it. This was a difficult read for me for several reasons. First and foremost, it is the sixth book of the series and I didn't feel that Louise Penny made much of an attempt to engage first time readers with her characters. Of course it didn't help that there were three stories, two evolving concurrently, and the third, a case that keeps being relived, which gravely injured both Gamache and his second in command, Beauvoir. Both are currently on medical leave and neither can let go of the failed rescue mission that nearly killed them. It is this past case that is probably the most interesting part of the entire book. Unfortunately, Penny chooses to painfully drag this story out as both characters deal with the aftermath differently. The combination of stories creates multitudes of characters and case details of which the reader needs to keep track.
Louise Penny's writing style is often compared to Agatha Christie, and I see the comparison, but not necessarily in a good way. She has a florid style of writing that seems too whimsical for a thriller genre. For example, "She was grateful he hadn't said murder. It was too shocking a word. She'd been testing it out in the safety of her own head, but wasn't yet ready to take it out in public."~ (pg 35) Does anyone really think like that?!? To me the elegance comes across as unnatural and dated. Penny also has a habit of jumping points of view from character to character. Most authors reserve those kinds of shifts for chapter breaks, but Penny will do it several times a page, sometimes within the same paragraph. It's tiring.
I also found some of the plot points outlandish. I understand that Gamache would be asked to assist with the case as a courtesy, but to let him single-handedly conduct his own investigation while never checking in with the lead investigator on the case? That sounds a little bizarre. I won't spoil it for anyone who wants to prove me wrong, but the resolution of this mystery was fairly straight forward and not horribly mysterious. There is also tons of history entrenched in this storyline which, while well researched, bogged down an already over laden story.
The secondary story is actually the central case of book five in the series. There was some disappointment in it's resolution among her fans, and perhaps with the author herself because she has Gamache send Beauvoir, to unofficially reopen the case. Beauvoir is also on medical leave and this angle seems a little farfetched as well. I believe that Beauvoir would do anything the chief asked, but I can't fathom how far things went without going through official channels. Both Beauvoir and Gamache seem to like to grandstand their case results in front of an audience of suspects too (very Agatha Christie). I can see this as plausible in some situations to draw a suspect out, but the long speeches seemed a little cliché.
I cannot speak for the rest of the Gamache series, not having read it, I can only speak for this as a standalone novel. This book tried to be too many things: an history lesson, a psychological profile, a rewrite, a mystery, an example of elegant prose. I can see where this award winning author's work would have a solid fan base. However, I don't think I'm her target audience.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 15, 2012
A fascinating world to inhabit
Louise Penny just keeps getting better and better. In a small village she has created a world. And in this world unfold all the great themes of the human condition--loss, greed, friendship, loyalty, jealousy, forgiveness. I hope she will allow us to inhabit Three Pines for many years to come.
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Posted October 23, 2010
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