Monday, March 07, 2011

Penny masterful storyteller in Bury Your Dead

Book 25:  Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny

My admiration for the novels of Louise Penny increases with every book that she writes.  

With each novel, there are six now, Penny's mastery of her characters, plot, pacing, setting and the demands of the genre has grown and developed until it is clear that she is one of the finest mystery writers working today.

Her 2010 release, Bury Your Dead, is testament to Penny's mastery of the mystery. Indeed, she doesn't give the reader only one mystery to unravel in her newest work, but three.

As the novel opens, Penny's principal character, Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Sûreté du Québec, is visiting an old friend in Quebec. It soon becomes clear that Gamache is recovering from physical and psychological wounds suffered in a devastating attack in which Gamache's second-in-command Jean Guy Beauvoir was also injured and other Sûreté officers killed.

The story behind the attack, which haunts Gamache, unfolds through the course of the novel.  Naturally, Gamache is also reluctantly caught up in a murder in Quebec.

The third storyline involves Jean Guy who is sent to the village of Three Pines to reopen the murder investigation of the Hermit, who was killed in Penny's preceding novel, The Brutal Telling.

From Quebec to Three Pines, from the present to the past, Penny skillfully interweaves the three story lines into a single compelling story of singular skill and artistry.

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