Louise Penny’s ‘Bury Your Dead’: A Chief Inspector Gamache novel


A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery

If you’ve never read anything in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series, there’s something you need to know. This review is of the sixth book in the series. You will find no spoilers in this review. However, if you are new to Chief Inspector Gamache and company, start at the beginning with Still Life and work your way up to this one. This will both allow you to avoid reading spoilers in the later books and, at least as importantly in my opinion, allow you to learn the characters’ characters (did you get that?) in the same order Penny did. I believe you would have a very different relationship with some of the important characters if your first meeting involved only the full brunt of their superficial aspects rather than the nuanced introduction you receive when reading the series in order. It’s up to you; but I’m confident you will thank yourself for starting at the beginning.

The first books in this series were set primarily in and around the cozy, if somewhat murder-prone, fictional village of Three Pines in Quebec, Canada. Bury Your Dead gives the weary village residents a break. There is no fresh murder in Three Pines. Instead, Penny introduces us to some new characters during Inspector Gamache’s recuperative stay in Quebec City. Recuperative stay? Well, yes. While faithful readers were off killing time between books, Inspector Gamache was busy as ever executing his duties. In the course of things, something went horribly amiss. So, when we meet up with Gamache again in Bury Your Dead, he is in recovery mode. Unfortunately for the Inspector, someone forgot to deactivate the devil’s GPS and murder finds him even in Quebec City. Bury Your Dead dishes up one fascinating dollop of Quebec history, two murders, three four mysteries, and too many red herrings to count.

Penny is a devastatingly good mystery writer. You see this in the lyrical writing, the reticulating plot lines, and the vibrant descriptions that bring it all alive. But! The trait that really sets Penny’s books apart is their grounding in “the good.” All the traditional elements of a mystery are there, but Penny’s spin on them, woven quietly throughout each book, suggests an unflappable hopefulness about the world. Sure, you’ll meet characters who make terrible decisions with heart-rending outcomes. But this author just never takes the easy way out of a tricky situation, and doesn’t let her readers off the proverbial emotional hook either. Where others write characters you love to hate, Penny writes characters you hate to love. But you will love them, because Penny’s particular skill is in her portrayal of humanity. She presents characters as essentially good, but inherently fallible. If that sounds a bit heavy, relax. While you will meet complicated characters who are sometimes torn between emotions, who struggle to figure out how to do the right thing, and who sometimes fail, along the way they visit fascinating places, share what they learn, and eat decadently. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s also the judicious use of congenial snark.

* I am grateful to Ann-Marie Nieves of Get Red PR, Louise Penny, and Minotaur Books for providing me with a review copy of ‘Bury Your Dead.’  Many thanks!


I’m excited to be able to give away a brand new hardcover edition of this new release. Entering the giveaway is simple. You just need to enter a comment here telling me why you want to win. You can earn one additional entry for each of the following: following biblioden on twitter, like or share biblioden on facebook, tweeting about the giveaway. That’s five possible entries in all. Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Entries must be received by midnight Tuesday, October 12 and the winner will be announced Wednesday, October 13. And as you enter, please remember I need to be able to contact you if you win!

*Coming soon: Interview with Louise Penny!*

53 Responses to “Louise Penny’s ‘Bury Your Dead’: A Chief Inspector Gamache novel”
  1. Heather says:

    This sounds like a good series! I’d like to win because I’m a sucker for well-crafted mysteries and I love Quebec, Canada!

  2. Marcella says:

    I LOVE this series. An e-mail friend suggested her first book to me last spring and I have thoroughly enjoyed every one so far. The author is so good at crafting distinct and believable characters. Looking forward to your interview with the author! And, it’s good to see you back posting again.

  3. Kim Fenner says:

    I love to read and sometimes find it hard to find new authors. This series sounds like it is right up my alley. Thanks for the giveaway. (I saw your post on OLS!).

  4. Laura L says:

    I would like to win because i love to read.,

  5. Laura L says:


  6. Laura L says:

    i tweeted

  7. Carol Wong says:

    I love Quebec, Will never forget our family rooming with a family there and the wonderful food there. Would love to read this book.


  8. Carol Wong says:

    Louise Penny’s ‘Bury Your Dead’: A Chief Inspector Gamache novel: http://t.co/fmrHw7J

    I tweeted My name on Twitter is Carolee888


  9. Carol Wong says:

    I posted this contest on FB. My facebook name is Carol Naomi Wong,

    Thank you for this giveaway.


  10. Carol Wong says:

    I posted this contest on FB. My FB name is Carol Naomi Wong.


  11. Nicole C. says:

    I want to win because this sounds like a great book!

  12. Alicia Webster says:

    I want to win because I read The Brutal Telling by the same author and I loved it.
    Alicia Webster

  13. Shannon says:

    I love to read.

  14. randi oaklief says:

    OK, now I have to go to the library to see if I can find Still Life. I hate to start a series in the middle!

  15. Renee G says:

    I love mysteries and thrillers and especially am delighted when I find a series that I like. I think I’m going to have to start with the first one and see how these shape up.

  16. debp says:

    I like a good mystery, and I have heard nice things about this book. I would like to read it.

  17. evelyn says:

    sounds great

  18. Pat says:

    I like to read mysteries, but have never read this author. Sounds like some good reads!

  19. angie says:

    I love new books. This looks like a good one.

  20. I want to win because you made the story and Gamache sound so durn interesting. I enjoy reading mysteries, but lately haven’t found one that has kept my attention beyond a few chapters. This one sounds like I can go the distance. And, if I get hooked, I’ll be okay about starting over from the first book. I can always pretend I’m reading a very long flashback.
    P.S. Thanks for stopping my blog earlier.
    Su-sieee! Mac
    This and That. Here and There. Now, Sometimes Then.

  21. JAMES P LYNAM says:



  22. DarcyO says:

    I’ve read The Brutal Telling and want to find out if Olivier will be cleared. Please include me. Thanks for the chance.

    dlodden at frontiernet dot net

  23. Belle says:

    I LOVE the Inspector Gamache series – I’ve been looking forward to this one. You’re absolutely right, too, about reading them in order; it’s really lovely the way Penny has developed his character. He’s one of my favorite series detectives.

  24. Sue Farrell says:

    I would like to win because I like mysteries that keep going for a whole series and I’d like to find another new author.

  25. Vicki Wurgler says:

    I love mysteries and she writes characters you hate to love that all makes up a wonderful read. I’ll have to check out this series

  26. LeAnn says:

    I have never read anything by Louise Penny. I think I just found a new mystery series to read.


    sunshine9 at imon mail dot com

  27. beth shepherd says:

    I would love to read this
    Thank you

  28. Diane Baum says:

    I’d like to win, because I love mysteries

  29. Julie says:

    This book sounds really good and I’d love to win!

  30. Julie says:

    I liked on facebook.

  31. Julie says:

    I’m a follower on twitter.

  32. Ed Nemmers says:

    For my neighbor, Yolanda, who loves mysteries!

  33. ewhatley says:

    Thriller is my fave genre. I’m not familiar with this author but now will search for the first five in this series. Thanks for the tip.

    ewhatley at embarqmail dot com

  34. loni says:

    The book sounds very interesting and I am always up for a new book and author!

  35. Michelle B says:

    I would love to win because i love these types of mystery books sounds like a really good book

  36. This looks like a great series!

  37. following on twitter

  38. tweeted!

  39. following on FB (Jennifer R.)

  40. tallcapp says:

    I am always looking for new mystery series as I totally enjoy the development of what is usually the main character along with the mysteries.

  41. Carol G says:

    I haven’t read any of them, but will probably start looking for them. I would like to win this one since I like to own most of the books I read.

  42. lknott says:

    This is one author and series I have not read. Your review is quite enticing! I would enjoy this read if won and share with others! Only problem is I then have to buy! the rest of the series!!! Thanks!

  43. susan says:

    this book sounds good, I love mysteries suelee1998 @ gmail.com

  44. Liza says:

    I’d like to win because I’m always thrilled to find a new mystery series to sink my teeth into.

    Thanks for the chance to win!


    ejm6x (at) yahoo (dot) com

  45. Julie B says:

    I would like to win because I need a good mystery right now to keep my mind occupied!

  46. Melissa R says:

    I would love to be entered thanks!

  47. Amy says:

    I’m so excited that Louise Penny has come out with a new Inspector Gamache book! I loved The first book and the third. I still have a few to read (#2 & #4) but I’m excited to read about the Inspector in a world other than Three Pines! He’s such a gentle, thoughtful man he’s almosy out of place in the world of chaos and murder, ie. crime! But he brings back order and helps people feel safe. I’m a huge fan of Louise Penny’s books!

    Thank you for offering this book in a giveaway. Please enter me in your contest!

  48. DEBIJOT says:

    I would love to win this because I love a good mystery.

  49. DEBIJOT says:

    follow you on twitter – debijot

  50. DEBIJOT says:

    like you on fb – deborah t

  51. Deborah Wellenstein says:

    I have not read anything about this author, but I sure would like to. Thanks!

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carol N Wong and Maggie Towson, Laura R Lambie. Laura R Lambie said: Louise Penny's 'Bury Your Dead': A Chief Inspector Gamache novel: http://t.co/Zlyrjt9 […]

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