Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Brutal Telling

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Author: Louise Penny

Narrator: Ralph Cosham

Published: Blackstone Audio, 2009

Format: 11 compac discs, 13.5 hours

Genre: mystery

Obtained: passed along to me

Summary:  A stranger's body is found in the local bistro / antiques store in the close knit community of Three Pines in Canada.  Chief Inspector Gamache and his colleagues are called to investigate.  Who was this person?  Where did he come from?  Why was he murdered? Who committed the murder?

Thoughts:  This was a book on compac discs that my mom passed on to me after she was done with it.  It is the fifth book in the Three Pines mystery series.  I had never read any of the books in this series before.  I will definitely have to go back and start from the beginning.
     I really enjoyed this book on cd.  The narrator was wonderful and just seemed to have the perfect voice for this story.  He read at a good pace, and with good expression.  Even though he had somewhat of a soothing voice, I still remained engaged throughout the book.
     This was a slow moving, intricately plotted mystery that had depths and layers.  Not only was the mystery a good one, but the well developed, colorful characters had their own problems that needed to be sorted out.  As I read I wondered which of these issues were somehow related to the murder.  The author has a wonderful way of expressing character's emotions and showing what motivates characters to do what they do.  She also has a terrific way of showing relationships between the characters.  There were many suspects. The Chief Inspector hit dead ends and had to back up or look at things in different ways.  With all these things, and more going on, the author was able to bring everything together smoothly.
     There were just so many positives to this book.  I just loved the setting, especially since small town mysteries are my favorite.  Also, the author weaved food, antiques, music, art, and literature into the story, really involving all the readers senses.  The protagonist, Chief Inspector Gamache, is an easy to like character and all the characters seemed like real, everyday people. Although this book was not a "cozy" mystery, it was not extremely violent.  The setting and author's style of writing gave it that cozy feel.  There was also bits of humor added throughout the book.
     This book could be read as a stand alone, but I really got the feeling throughout that I was missing out by not reading the four previous books in the series.  If you are looking for a series that is not a "cozy" mystery, but that is not all blood and violence, this is a good one.  If you are looking for more to a mystery novel than just the mystery, I'd recommend this book.  This is not a quick read, but it did hold my attention throughout.


Company: Tea Forte

Tea: Caramel Nouget

Obtained: gift

          This Caramel Nouget tea is included in the Noir Single Steeps Sampler, a collection of robust black teas.  I love robust black teas.  So, I am really enjoying this collection.  The pouches that the pre-measured tea come in are high quality and easy to open.  I also really like that they are pre-measured for 12 ounces of water rather than 8 ounces, which is just not enough for me.
     Caramel Nouget tea is composed of organic black tea, organic orange peel, natural caramel flavor, organic marigold flowers, and natural hazelnut flavor.  The thin black tea leaves have long yellowish leaves mixed in along with chunks that look like orange peel.  The scent of the leaves is sweet caramel.  I poured 12 ounces of water that had been boiled over the tea leaves and let this steep for 3 minutes.  The liquid was a striking reddish orange and smelled delicious- a blend of black tea and sweet caramel.  I do want to note that there were many small tea leaves in the liquid even though I used a fine sieve.
     The taste of the tea was of strong black tea with a slight sweet caramel flavor.  There was a slight astringency to the aftertaste.  Although I would definitely describe this tea as robust it gave me a comforting, cozy feeling.  Also, the tea leaves that were in the liquid sank to the bottom of the cup and I did not notice them again until I got to my last sip.  This would of course make a wonderful dessert tea, but I believe it could be enjoyed anytime.  I recommend sipping it while enjoying a good book.


  1. I have wanted to try this series so I am glad you liked this one!

  2. Glad you enjoyed this. I have been wanting to read her book Nature of the beast, which is also part of a series. I hear she's a great author 😊

    1. Have you read the others? There are some threads that seem to run through the books. I feel like I need to go back and start from the beginning!

  3. I love this series!! It's definitely one I think is better reading on order though.

    1. That's what I was thinking. Thanks for the confirmation!