The Brutal Telling - Louise Penny
A murder has been committed in the tiny Quebec town of Three Pines, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team are on the case. However, the identity of the victim is unknown, the body was clearly moved, and the whole town is suspect. Who was the dead man, where was he killed, and why?

Louise Penny has crafted an excellent small town murder mystery. The characters are both quirky yet well rounded and very human. The story is not just about solving a case, but more about how it affects the inhabitants of Three Pines, Quebec. Penny shows how secrets can eat away at someone, and how the truth eventually catches up.

Although it functions well as a stand alone novel, The Brutal Telling is the fifth in a series involving Inspector Gamache and the people of Three Pines. Consequently, the characters and setting seem very established and some character backgrounds less developed than others. However, as there are four other books prior to this one, these may have been addressed in the earlier stories. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of character development in The Brutal Telling, and the reader never feels lost or missing prior details.

This is a fun and sometimes funny story with great characters and an excellent mystery that goes depper than just a simple murder. The Brutal Telling is a great read and definitely worth picking up.

This review was based on a review copy provided through the First Reads program.