The Brutal Telling (Book 5)

Book 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.

Cultural Reference Discussion

Join us in a discussion around a creative work of cultural significance from this book.

Cultural Inspirations from The Brutal Telling

“In the letter she said that her father had said something to her. Something horrible and unforgivable.”
“The Brutal Telling.”
“That’s how she described it.”

If you’ve read Louise’s fifth novel in the Inspector Gamache Series, you’ll recognize this scene, in which Clara Morrow explains the phrase “The Brutal Telling”. The phrase was first used by the Modernist Canadian painter Emily Carr to describe a horrific falling out with her father. . . .

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The Nature of the Feast Archive

In 2016, we cooked our way through the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a recipe from the world of Three Pines and opened a discussion around that recipe. The archive of the recipe and discussion can be found in The Nature of the Feast Archive page.

The Real Place Archive

In 2015, we (virtually) visited some of the real places that inspired Louise Penny in writing the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a new essay, photos, and opened a discussion about a real place that is the inspiration behind a fictional place in each of the books. The archive of the place and discussion for THE BRUTAL TELLING can be found in The Real Place Archive page.

The Re-Read Archive

In 2014, we hosted a re-read of the Inspector Gamache series, books 1–10, guided by questions from longtime Gamache fans and guest bloggers. We have an ongoing discussion currently underway in The Bistro, and you can find the archive of the re-read for THE BRUTAL TELLING in The Re-Read Archive pages, which includes a video from Louise.