If you have never been to Québec City, you will feel as if you have once you've finished this book. Penny paints such rich descriptions of this beautiful old city, the narrow cobblestoned streets of the old walled section, lined by stone buildings, charming restaurants and cafés, brimming with Canadian culture. The city is as much a character in this story as the humans. Also ever present is the tension between English and French, with continuing strong separatist feelings among some of the population. Woven through the plot is a good deal of very interesting history - I was unaware (or had forgotten?) that the remains of Samuel de Champlain, founder of Québec, have never been discovered, his resting place still a mystery. This figures prominently in the story. Penny has also developed her characters so very well, I feel as if I already know Gamache. He is a man of integrity and great wisdom, the type of man I would greatly respect if I knew him personally.
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walking tour available, following the steps of Gamache in Bury Your Dead. Wouldn't that be fun?
I don't want to give away any more of the plot, you'll have to trust me when I say this is a cleverly written book/series worth reading.The one thing that has stuck with me from Bury Your Dead are the four short sentences which have remained with Gamache throughout his career- he learned them from his Chief when he was a young agent, and passes them on to each of the agents now under his command: "I'm sorry. I was wrong. I need help. I don't know." All phrases that we often find difficult to say, but no doubt our lives would be made a lot easier if we could say them more often... Food for thought...
Although I was assured I could read this as a "stand alone" rather than starting and reading the series in order, (and I did certainly enjoy it) I do want to go back now and read the previous five, in order. Do any of my local reader friends have the first one, Still Life that you'd be willing to loan me?
One thing I know for sure, I'm craving a café au lait, some fresh baked croissants and a return trip to Québec City.....
My favourite game is called "How many chapters can I read in one night?"