Probably my favorite of the series thus far, Bury Your Dead is a bit of a departure from the formula Penny used in past installments. Typically, there is a murder in the small village of Three Pines and Armand Gamache, Chief Inspector of the Surete, is called in to investigate. For this story, however, Gamache stays in Quebec City. He is visiting with his mentor and friend after an investigation gone wrong where he lost an officer. He is pulled into a mystery when a body is found in a library and the local police ask for his assistance. Gamache is also struggling to accept that ‘character X’ was guilty of the murder for which he was convicted in book five. So, he sends his second in command back to Three Pines to get to the bottom of the questions left unanswered.
What makes this series special? The characters. While Penny is a good storyteller, I believe her real strength lies in building characters that are relatable because they are imperfect and flawed. Ruth Zardo is the perfect example. She curses at her friends regularly, is a horrible hostess, drinks to excess and is generally unpleasant. However, she is there when needed. And, after six books we know that she isn’t just what you see on the surface.
An excellent installment in a great series. 5/5 stars.