Once in a great while I read a book I can’t stop thinking about. I finished listening to The Brutal Telling: A Three Pines Mystery by Louise Penny about a week ago. Pieces, parts and chunks of the story continue to invade my thoughts. As a result, I can’t help but think that Louise Penny’s works will survive the test of time that more popular, mainstream writers enjoy today. Although, Penny is getting to be that popular. What sets her work apart is her lyrical prose and multilayered storylines. I have been fortunate in having read the previous Three Pines Mysteries in order and have come think of the characters as people I actually know. I read for an escape and even though the bodies are piling up in Three Pines like cord wood, thanks to Penny’s wonderful work, I still look forward to an escape to her world. Perhaps it is because her works are a search for goodness rather than evil.
The Brutal Telling is about the murder of a hermit who lived in the woods with a cabin full of valuable art and artifacts unbeknownst to everyone except the town’s antique dealer who has reaped the rewards of helping the hermit through the years. But that is just the main plot. As with the other Three Pines Mysteries, Penny weaves an intricate web of story lines which are every bit as interesting as the main plot.
Ralph Cosham is the narrator of the unabridged version and does a superb job of breathing life into Penny’s great characters.
I highly recommend this book and eagerly await the start of the next in the series, Bury Your Dead. Fortunately, I don’t have to wait for it. I’m a bit behind in my reading so I have Bury Your Dead as well as another waiting for me.