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The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny

The Cruellest Month (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Louise Penny

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1,315745,917 (4.02)312
Title:The Cruellest Month
Authors:Louise Penny
Info:Headline Book Publishing (2007), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, mystery, series, Canada, own, kindle, 2013

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The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny (2007)


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English (73)  French (1)  All languages (74)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
This is the third book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series. T. S. Elliot said that "April is the cruelest month", and this was certainly the case in the lovely village of Three Pines. A resident of the village has died at a seance, and it appears that she has been frightened to death. Can someone die of fright? That is what Inspector Gamache and his team of the Sureté du Québec have been sent to Three Pines to figure out. Penny's characters are described so well, that you can almost see them. Even the ones you are not supposed to like are described to bring about the right effect. The food and wine make me hungry. The descriptions of the scenery make me want to live there. Her descriptions of the flowers having been pummeled to the ground after a sudden ice storm, lend even more credence to the "cruelest month" descriptor. This is my favorite of the series so far. The stories seem to be getting better. And the reader of the audio version is really good.

January 2015 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
It's April in Three Pines. This one's a slow starter, with food, flowers, Easter eggs, seances, art and poetry all getting ample airtime prior to murder, and Chief Inspector Gamache a no-show for many chapters. With the murder it really takes off, though, with a good mystery and plenty of intrigue at the Surete for good measure. Jealousy the culprit here in the twinned tales of a murdered woman and the lingering toxicity of the Arnot case. Penny's generous and wide-ranging worldview is nicely on display in this story with its Christian and Pagan elements. ( )
  beaujoe | May 31, 2015 |
I read the first two books of the series and liked them. They're mysteries with some interesting character development and some neat foreshadowing to a larger story arc that seemed really promising. In this third one, however, over the course of three hundred pages Penny seems to not only try to wrap up every story arc she started, but also slip in a subplot for each one of the many regular characters she's created. The result is a boatload of insufficiently fleshed-out little stories. If they'd been fleshed out over the course of 1000 or 1500 pages, they might have been really good. At the end, every story arc is finished except for one new enemy that is rather clumsily tacked on near the end. Certainly far from a bad book, but could have been so much more. We'll see where the little town of Three Pines goes from here. ( )
  benfulton | Dec 31, 2014 |
As in the previous two books in this series, the sense of place (particularly Three Pines) is powerfully and lovingly depicted. The characters are mostly strong and convincing. The author's wit, sense of humour and turn of phrase are really engaging. However, I found the actual 'mystery' to be a fairly weak story though the events around it and the various sub-plots compensate. Also, I find it quite irritating and distracting that often we are swept from scene to scene within the space of a sentence. Perhaps it was the e-book I read but a gap between paragraphs would at least give a clue that possibly the 'he' now being discussed is a different 'he' from just a moment ago. This is a minor quibble. I am so fascinated by Chief Inspector Gamache and his troupe and the inhabitants of the village that I look forward eagerly to the next installment. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Aug 30, 2014 |
This is book three of the Chief Inspector Gamache series and it is riveting.

Spring has come to Three Pines complete with new growth and potholes. A psychic is staying over the Easter weekend at the Bed and Breakfast and Gabri has scheduled a seance for Good Friday. Some of the residents are aghast but many are intrigued and go to the bistro to take part. It doesn't quite turn out as planned so they decide to have another one in a few days but this time it will take place in the Hadley mansion which was central to two previous murders. True to form there is another death and Inspector Gamache is called in to investigate. In addition to the murder Gamache is fighting on another front. The Surete du Quebec has been undermined by corrupt officials and Gamache was instrumental in disclosing the wrongdoing. This has made him a target and his own staff has a spy.

I can see why this series is such a big hit. I can't wait to read the next installment. ( )
  gypsysmom | Jul 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chabalier, LouiseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagano, KiyomiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saint-Germain, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stumpf, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werbeck, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire . . .
- T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
For my brother Rob and his wonderful family, Audi, Kim, Adam and Sarah, with love
First words
Kneeling in the fragrant moist grass of the village green Clara Morrow carefully hid the Easter egg and thought about raising the dead, which she planned to do right after supper.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate another bizarre crime in the tiny Québec village of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy (after 2007's A Fatal Grace). As the townspeople gather in the abandoned and perhaps haunted Hadley house for a séance with a visiting psychic, Madeleine Favreau collapses, apparently dead of fright. No one has a harsh word to say about Madeleine, but Gamache knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. Complicating his inquiry are the repercussions of Gamache having accused his popular superior at the Sûreté du Québec of heinous crimes in a previous case. Fearing there might be a mole on his team, Gamache works not only to solve the murder but to clear his name. Arthur Ellis Award–winner Penny paints a vivid picture of the French-Canadian village, its inhabitants and a determined detective who will strike many Agatha Christie fans as a 21st-century version of Hercule Poirot. (Mar.)

When C.I. Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec is called to the village the next morning he faces an unusual crime scene. A séance in an old, abandoned house has gone horrifically wrong and a villager lies still, spirited away - apparently frightened to death.
Gamache soon discovers that in idyllic Three Pines not all is as it should be. Toxic secrets lie buried, and something fetid and festering has clawed its way out. And even Gamache has something to hide. He is shielding his team from a terrible truth. A powerful enemy within the Sûreté has planted a traitor amongst them. Who will betray him? And how far will they go to ensure Gamache's downfall?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312944500, Mass Market Paperback)

When a group of villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil—until one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death? Or was the victim somehow helped along?

Enter Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. He knows evil when he sees it. But this time, he’s investigating a case that will force him to face his very own ghosts...as well as those residing in this seemingly idyllic town. Are the residents of Three Pines hiding something great and sinister about their past? Or is April about to deliver on its fateful threat?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the S?urete du Quebec is called to investigate the death of a villager at an Easter seance that was held at the Old Hadley House.

(summary from another edition)

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