I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
I am a real fan of this series already, but this book is by far the best. The expected inclusion of several new characters is amped up by surprising revelations about some of the "regulars" in the series. I am anxious to hear the next book to learn how the citizens of 3 Pines handle the change of balance in their community brought about in this story. Yes, these are "cozy" mysteries, but this story is more complex and compelling than you might expect.
Wonderful narration, i didn't want it to end. louise Penny has created another wonderful story involvong the \three Pines residents. Miss Marple's village in Quebec!!
Among the best of the nearly 100 audiobooks I've listened to. Great story with a relaxed pace. Very thoughtful and insightful observations woven into the story arc of a mystery. Great setting in this idylic Quebec hamlet with very interesting characters each of which have their own human backstories...makes you want to read the series to find out what's what with each. Chief Inspector Gamache is a blend of Poirot and Holmes with a comforting charm. Narration was perfect. I may read the ones that Ralph Cosham narrated first.
Very much so as there are several possible endings and though there are twists, the author did not have any convenient tricks or hidden aspects - it's all there for the listener to consider.
The voices and the pace of the story - there are many times that art is being described and he brought the pieces to life with his inflection and tone.
The scenery of the places described - very Canadian. And the poetry. Really enjoyable listen.
I can't imagine anyone not loving this book - as addictive as Grisham but as thought provoking as any 'fine' literature.
Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.
I guess the most important thing to know about A Brutal Telling is that unlike the previous books in this series, it doesn't follow the unwritten rules of cozy mysteries. Readers of this sub genre may never have seen a list of those rules but we know them. They include things like it is ok for a certain amount of suspending disbelief to be required so that a cozy mystery series can exist. Otherwise it would make no sense that the same people from a small village keep getting involved in murders. Main characters are not victims or murders – you can spot potential victims or murderers at the beginning of a book usually. And the further into a series you go the stricter the rules get, ie you might die in book 2 but you will not turn into a murderer in book 6 for example. When I initially listened to this book, it didn't fit the mold for me, and as I was not expecting that it bothered me. As a result the dynamic of the series changed for me for the worse. I can understand an author’s desire especially after several books in a similar setting to move on, but I was not ready to let go of Three Pines as it was so I was unhappy with the ending and had to hold on and see if it improved in the next book. (Since I did listen to this a while ago I know the answer is that yes it does.) It's hard to really explain my objection without any spoilers. Doing my best. Beyond that it was standard Louise Penny fare. There was a rather annoying “fable” that carries over from the prologue to get discussed at length and over and over throughout the book. And characters have long, (to me) unintelligible discussions about art, but her characters always do that. All that aside it was another interesting mystery from the series.
I am a thriller / action lover. This pure mystery book was such a surprise. I loved it. Normally I would get bored and move on ... not with this fantastic story. The reader was great with the main character, BUT not so good with other characters. You could not distinguish between the characters, or even if they were male or female. I would suggest you make a list of the characters so that you can keep them straight. Other than that, sit back and enjoy one fantastic mystery.
Louise Penny writes in a beautiful style.. I love her prose and her pace. The character development is complex, rich and satisfying. I find Ralph Cosham to be a brilliant narrator for these stories. He makes the characters come alive and his tone and style is perfect for the cerebral and bucolic nature of the Three Pines series. incidently, I would love to visit Three Pines but for such a small and lovely village,it is getting to be a bit dangerous!
I started reading this series with The Beautiful Mystery, which is actually the eighth (and at the time I'm writing the most recent) of the books. After finishing it, I immediately turned to the first book in the series and was a bit disappointed to find that an element of the ominous tone that hung over Beautiful Mystery was in Still Life as well, and that it continued into A Fatal Grace. A loved the plots and the richly developed characters but felt a bit uneasy about that backstory that haunted Gamache.
It was enjoyable to learn more about the principal residents of Three Pines in the next two books, which also had satisfying plots. But with The Brutal Telling Penny has given us her most complex psychological tale of the first five, existing on its own with no intrusions from Gamache's past hovering in the background. Not as disturbing as a Ruth Rendell psychological thriller, thankfully, but a thoughtful exploration of how human failings can intrude on even the most idyllic circumstances.
Ralph Cosham's narration has been pitch perfect in all these books and I look forward to the rest. I harbor the suspicion, however, that The Brutal Telling may remain my favorite.
I enjoyed the return to Three Pines and its characters, but found the narrator's voice very old-fashioned. Although he handled the characters and dialogue well, as the story wound on with endless repetition, I found his tone almost that of a fifties radio drama.
No. While the premise is intriguing, it's got too many unresolved, impossible strands.
Say something about yourself!
The author really draws you into the characters and the plot, very good performance by the reader. So good I am starting this series at the beginning.
To much jumping around just to slow not interesting.
All the character's sounded the same.