First Sentence: "All of them? Even the children?" The fireplace sputtered and cackled and swallowed his gas. "Slaughtered?"
As the seasons are changing, so are lives in the village of Three Pines. The body of an unknown man of a stranger is left in the bistro and antiques store of Oliver and Gabri. Chief Inspector Gamache must identify the victim as well as the killer uncovering secrets and lies along the way.
Quite different from the previous four books, this feels to be a transitional book, both for the author and the characters. As with all Ms. Penny's books, it is wonderfully written. One of the magical things about her books, is that you can read them as simple mysteries, or you can take the time to realize all the depth and layers that exist therein.
She is an author who makes you want to read passages aloud to others because they are so well done. You can tell that Ms. Penny loves her characters and the setting yet knows neither is perfect. They convey both the best, and the worst, of all people.
I love Penny's sense of humor; it is wry, subtle and brilliant. One character talks states that "I decided since I turned fifty, I needed to get into shape." She smiled fully then. "Or at least into a different shape. I'm aiming for pear rather than apple." She patted her stomach. "Thought I suspect my nature is to be the whole orchard."
Ms. Penny is a very descriptive writer of places, people and animals. She brings everything to life, without ever being cute or maudlin about it. She has a clear love and respect for all living things.
Three Pines and its residents are undergoing significant changes. I'll admit I shed a few tears at the end of this book. I am anxious to see where the road, and author, takes them.
THE BRUTAL TELLING (Pol Proc-CI Gamache-Canada-Cont) - Ex
Penny, Louise - 5th in series
Minotaur Books, 2009, ARC Trade Paperback - ISBN: HC- 9780312377038