It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian's quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?
Although he is supposed to be on leave, Gamache cannot walk away from a crime that threatens to ignite long-smoldering tensions between the English and the French. Meanwhile, he is receiving disquieting letters from the village of Three Pines, where beloved Bistro owner Olivier was recently convicted of murder. "It doesn't make sense," Oliviers partner writes every day. "He didn't do it, you know." As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive the terrible event of his own past before he can bury his dead.
Up the stairs they raced, taking them two at a time, trying to be as quiet as possible. Gamache struggled to keep his breathing steady, as though he was sitting at home, as though he had not a care in the world.
Sir? came the young voice over Gamaches headphones.
You must believe me, son. Nothing bad will happen to you.
He hoped the young agent couldnt hear the strain in his voice, the flattening as the Chief Inspector fought to keep his voice authoritative, certain.
I believe you.
They reached the landing. Inspector Beauvoir stopped, staring at his Chief. Gamache looked at his watch.
In his headphones the agent was telling him about the sunshine and how good it felt on his face.
The rest of the team made the landing, tactical vests in place, automatic weapons drawn, eyes sharp. Trained on the Chief. Beside him Inspector Beauvoir was also waiting for a decision. Which way? They were close. Within feet of their quarry.
Bury Your Dead was a hit our First Impressions readers, garnering thumbs up from all 23 of them. Here's what some of them had to say:
Louise Penny's Gamache will remind readers of Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti. Like Leon's novels, Penny's depend on well-crafted characters and intricate plots rather than on violence and tough macho detectives (Carol G). Fans of a good mystery that keeps the reader engaged without resorting to gratuitous bloodshed will appreciate Bury Your Dead. The story is rich in characterization and setting, bringing to life tension between French and English interests in Quebec, the pain of an investigator dealing with loss of comrades, and the stark beauty of winter (Marta T). Murder mystery aficionados looking for more than a cozy or romantic mystery, who want to look into the depth of the human heart and its capacity to both wound and heal, would be well advised to look at Louise Penny's series (Nona F). (Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Full Review (1284 words).
Why Quebec Speaks French
The province of Quebec is Canada's second most populous province, after Ontario. It is the only Candian province to have French as its sole official language, and has a predominantly French speaking population with 4 out of 5 ranking French as their first language, and 95% able to speak it. Eight percent state that English is their first language, and about 40% claim to be bilingual in French and English. Most of the province's 7.5 million population live in urban areas near the St. Lawrence River between Montreal and the capital, Quebec.
So, one might ask, how did the people of Quebec end up speaking French, when the rest of Canada has English as its official language?
The story starts in 1534, ...
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