Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny
Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny is the 6th in the Armand Gamache (Three Pines) Mystery Series.
There are a number of events going on in this book, all with the recurring theme of “burying your dead”, or letting go of the past.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is the head of the Homicide Division of the Surete du Quebec. Often these books center on crime in the small village of Three Pines. This book does as well, as a continuation of Book 5, where Gamache arrested one of the residents of that small town for murder. Olivier was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Gamache is now having second thoughts, and has sent his most trusted colleague, Beauvoir, to investigate. Beauvoir will have to put his own feelings aside, and try to prove Olivier innocent. He will also have to put his own problems aside, as he is still healing. He will learn a lot in Three Pines, and not just about the murder.
Gamache is in Quebec City, staying at the home of his retired “mentor” and friend. He too is still healing. He is taking leisurely strolls with his pup Henri in the middle of the night to fight his insomnia, and during the day he visits the English Literary and Historical Society Library to relax and read. But still he is haunted. Recovery is slow, and he blames himself for so much, questions his past decisions, and worries about mistakes. Gamache, too, will learn more about himself.
When the body of Augustin Renaud, the man who is responsible for digging up half of the city trying to find the remains of the “Father of Quebec” Samuel de Champlain, is found in the basement of the library, Gamache is asked to assist. Renaud and his obsession with Champlain has made him many enemies, but who would hate him enough to kill him?
And in the background, Beauvoir and Gamache are still struggling with the physical and emotional wounds of a rescue attempt gone bad, of 4 dead policemen, of a terrorist cell no one knew about. The memories are still fresh, the wounds still painful, and yet both continue to do the job they love.
This is a very emotional book. Louise Penny makes you feel for the characters, for their struggles, their hopes and dreams, and you feel their heartache, their pain, and shed tears of your own. That is what makes her books great!
Favorite Quotes from Bury Your Dead:
“It’s a blessing Madame Gamache and I had at our wedding. It was read at the end of the ceremony.
Now you will feel no rain
For each of you will be shelter for the other
Now you will feel no cold
For each of you will be warmth for the other
Now there is no loneliness for you
Now there is no more loneliness.
Now you are two persons, but there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
To enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon this earth.
…the four sentences that lead to wisdom. “I’m sorry. I was wrong. I need help. I don’t know.”
“There’re a lot of reasons for murder, Chief Inspector, as you know.”
“Actually, mon Père, I’ve found there’s only one. Beneath all the justifications, all the psychology, all the motives given, like revenge or greed or jealousy, there lies the real reason.”
“And what’s that?”
“Fear. Fear of losing what you have or not getting what you want.”
“How far away the shore must seem when you’re on thin ice.”
“Not everything buried is actually dead,” said the archeologist. “For many the past is alive.”
Re-Read: January 2017
About the Author: Louise Penny is a Canadian author, born in Toronto, but presently living outside of Montreal. She was a journalist and radio host for CBC. Her awards for writing keep coming. Her beloved husband Michael Whitehead, the former head of Haematology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, passed away in September of 2016. He had dementia.