The fourth Louise Penny Three Pines mystery, A Rule Against Murder, wasn’t my favorite. It didn’t take place in Three Pines, and it seemed to lose some of the momentum building throughout the first three books.
Never mind all that. The Brutal Telling, Three Pines #5, is excellent. We’re back in Three Pines, with all of its old familiar faces, and we’re forced to consider of one of those old friends might be a murderer. How well do we really know anyone?
The victim is a hermit, hiding in the forest in a cabin he built himself, accepting visits from only one companion: Olivier Brulé. Olivier hasn’t told anyone about his secret visits to the cabin, so when the Hermit’s murdered body turns up in the bistro, he decides to pretend not to know who he is, just like the rest of the town. But this is just the first of many lies, and Olivier keeps creating a more and more tangled web (perhaps one with the word “woo” woven into it, but you’ll have to read the story to learn about that). Still, does that make him a murderer?
Only Armand Gamache and his team, Inspectors Beauvoir and Lacoste and the new kid, Agent Morin, can figure that out.
On a side note, you’ll learn more about Canada, particularly Canadian art, in this Three Pines mystery. At one point, Gamache makes a trip to the Queen Charlotte Islands, or Haida Gwaii, in British Columbia — a place that I’d never heard of but that sounds (and looks) stunning. Adding to my “maybe someday” list.
Book #9 in the Mystery and Suspense Challenge