Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

Author: Louise Penny
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #6
Format: Paperback
Genre: Murder-Mystery


As Quebéc City shivers in the grip of winter, its ancient stone walls cracking in the cold, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache plunges into the strangest case of his celebrated career. A man has been brutally murdered in one of the city’s oldest buildings – a library where the English citizens of Quebec safeguard their history. And the death opens a door into the past, exposing a mystery that has lain dormant for centuries . . . a mystery Gamache must solve if he’s to catch a present-day killer.


In this her sixth outing starring Sûreté du Quebéc Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the author, Louise Penny, does an outstanding job of weaving not one, but three complex stories together without missing a beat. Not only is Bury Your Dead a terrific read, featuring a cast of compelling characters fully fledged with their foibles and personal nuances, but the stories themselves are page turners.

Recovering from his almost fatal injures from a mission gone wrong, and coming to grips with a “terrible, terrible mistake,” he believes he made, Chief Insp. Gamache takes leave from Montréal to visit his old boss and friend, Émile Comeau (retired and living in Quebec City) for what Gamache hopes will be a chance to find some quiet time for reflection. However, he is soon deep into not only another murder but one that comes attached with another perplexing mystery from Quebéc City’s past. A minor plot thread about the mystery of where Quebéc City founder Samuel de Champlain is buried. And believe me when I say, this was a fun thread for me to follow along, while off-setting some of the more heartbreaking, and somewhat dire thread of what happened to the Chief Inspector (and his subordinate, Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir) that brings him to the City.

Listening silently to the voice of Agent Morin in his mind, all the while sorting through his pain, grief, and choices made, the Chief Inspector is invited by the local Quebéc City police to consult when the body of Champlain-fanatic and Francophone, Augustin Renaud, is discovered deep in the bowls of the very staid, and very English, Literary and Historical Society. Plunging him into two mysteries: who killed Renaud, and did the crazed fanatic discover the true resting place of Champlain?

This is my first Louise Penny novel, and not to be my last. Happily, I’m glad it was this one I chose off the shelf first, given the previous five are set in the small confines of the village life of Three Pines. Bury Your Dead being set, for the most part, here, in the city I live and have come to love so dearly: Quebéc City. On the one hand, it was fun to read about all the familiar places I myself visit regularly, and then got to see in a wholly other light, and a joy to see Penny bring Quebéc City to life, on the page, while delicately tip-toeing through the summing political intrigue that’s never far from both surface and bubbling over here, in this vibrant city.

If you love richly detailed characters, plot lines that twist, weave, merge, converge, set around not only murder, but a number of intriguing mysteries, then Bury Your Dead is most definitely for you.

A must read if ever there was one!

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