Bury Your Dead - Louise Penny
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is visiting an old friend in Quebec city, taking time off after a recent major case. Gamache tries to lose himself in the library of the literary and historical society, but winds up investigating a murder instead. Augustin Renaud, a well known researcher of Samuel de Champlain (the founder of Quebec) is found buried in the society’s basement, and Gamache must dig deeper into the past of the city while also coming to terms with recent events.

Bury Your Dead is largely a historical mystery, dealing with the victim’s search for the remains of Champlain as a driving force for the murder. In turn, Penny relates this to continuing tension between the English and French-speaking communities in Quebec. Although Canadian history plays a large role in the story, Penny provides plenty of background to make the story just as accessible to non-Canadian readers.

The novel is very character driven, and the reader gains a great deal of insight into the motives of the victim, the suspects, and Gamache himself. Throughout his investigation, Gamache is haunted by the loss of a subordinate during an operation, the details of which are slowly revealed as the story progresses. Consequently, Bury Your Dead is as much about dealing with grief and guilt as it is about solving a murder.

A secondary plotline follows Inspector Beauvoir revisiting the events of The Brutal Telling, as he too comes to grips with recent events. Although it may help to be familiar with the events of the previous novel in the series, enough background is given that new readers will not be lost.

Despite covering a multitude of topics, Penny combines all the plotlines perfectly, and the reader never feels lost. With both strong characters and compelling mysteries, Bury Your Dead is simply a great read, even for those new to the series.

A review copy was provided through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.