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Publisher's Summary

Chaos is coming, old son.

With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered.

Everybody goes to Olivier's Bistro - including a stranger whose murdered body is found on the floor. When Chief Inspector Gamache is called to investigate, he is dismayed to discover that Olivier's story is full of holes. Why are his fingerprints all over the cabin that's uncovered deep in the wilderness, with priceless antiques and the dead man's blood? And what other secrets and layers of lies are buried in the seemingly idyllic village?

Gamache follows a trail of clues and treasures - from first editions of Charlotte's Web and Jane Eyre to a spiderweb with a word mysteriously woven in it - into the woods and across the continent before returning to Three Pines to confront the truth and the final, brutal telling.

©2009 Louise Penny (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Featured Article: Best Mystery Series—Listens That'll Take You Right to the Crime Scene


While a standalone mystery is great when you're in the mood for a one-and-done, sometimes you want to feed your craving with an entire mystery series—knowing there's a world and characters you can keep coming back to for the satisfaction of solving crimes. With audiobooks, you get the added bonus of sinking deeper into the setting, clues, and suspects as the story is performed for you, so you'll feel like you're alongside detectives, ready to bust a case.

What listeners say about The Brutal Telling

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Compelling fifth trip with Inspector Gamache

This is the 5th book in the Inspector Gamache series. It's a complicated, slightly unfinished and not completely believable story written in an extraordinarily compelling way. A remarkable range of characters continues to be developed until it seems that each would be recognizable in the street walking by. We learn more about each, motivations, inner conflicts, and small pleasures. The insights ring true with a gentle kindness. When I read the first novel, I found the side trips that the author likes to take about art or poetry, or history or.....to be rather distracting but I have come to enjoy each twist and turn of these byways. This one tours the totems of the Queen Charlotte Islands in British Columbia, provides some insights into the inner world of antique dealing, relates the chaos in Berlin after the fall of the wall and more. I could not stop listening, listened immediately to some parts for a second time and have moved on to the sequel which will reportedly tie off the loose ends from this one.

16 people found this helpful

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Intricacies of human nature

Wow. One of my favorites from the Gamache series. Louise Penny is an avid observer of the human heart and condition. Her stories build intreging characters and their complex human characteristics to get behind the real meaning of day to day choices and behavior. She weaves her stories by building on these characters, their joys and sorrows and SIN! Louise would not call these sins, but that is what they are... So real, so thoughtful, so easy to see yourself as one of these. All laid on top of a simple, believable plot. I love Penny's writing and always chose her books like choosing to sit with a friend. If I just can't decide what to read next, I simply pull out another Louise Penny book. Oh, and I adore the narrator too!

11 people found this helpful

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Not Quite Right

I love this series as a whole. Chief Inspector Gamache is a noble, admirable character and Three Pines nestled in a valley seems a happy, simple place to abide. But this story did not add up and did not rise to the level of the previous books. This series explores in a thoughtful way what leads a person to murder another human being. But in this book, it felt contrived, less artful and unresolved. Despite what the inspector said or the evidence uncovered, he never really made the case for the guilt of the accused. I still enjoyed listening ... learning about the Haida Gwaii, the Queen Charlotte Islands, and its centuries old totem poles.

7 people found this helpful

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Is it me?

Is it me or was this story confusing? Too many layers and loose analogies. It felt like notes for several stories not yet sorted out and developed.

6 people found this helpful

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Another impressive Three Pines mystery

Paired with Ralph Cosham's narration, these are books I'm going to listen to over and over again. They bring me a sense of comfort like a Mister Roger's show did when I was a kid, while also being intellectually gripping with all the little backstories and history woven in there.

4 people found this helpful

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Love Louise Penny!

The series is wonderful, and I'm learning some French! Great story telling. I love the twists and turns. I love the character development. Excellent read.

4 people found this helpful

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Gamache Doesn’t Disappoint

Once again, an engrossing story, twisty mystery, and this time with a bittersweet solution. On to the next murder in the very macabre Three Pines.

4 people found this helpful

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Familiar

I've read a number in this series in between more hard boiled mysteries, and they are like a hot cup of cocoa! The characters don't vary much, and there is a lot of detail about meals eaten and cozy village scenes. Considering that the author keeps talking about how idyllic the small town is, there are an awful lot of murders there. I know - it's fiction - and I do suspend my disbelief for a few hours. I will likely come back to the series when I need another break from the hard stuff.

3 people found this helpful

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  • AC
  • 07-16-19

Victim never leaves home, murderer tries to scare victim away by leaving threatening items in one room cabin?!

I listened to this as I’m listening to all the books in order. However, the Inspector seems as though he is not qualified for his position. His theory is that one of the clues found in the victim’s one room home is from the murderer - who tried to scare him using this clue. However, the placement of this clue would require the victim to actually leave his home - which he doesn’t do. Maybe this is lazy detective work setting up for the next story, but it could have been executed much better.

2 people found this helpful

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Another good book

I am really happy to have another book and I love these characters and the stories

2 people found this helpful