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The Cruellest Month by Louise Penny
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The Cruellest Month (2007)

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (3)

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English (76)  French (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 76 (next | show all)
The parallels in this Gamache outing are strong and deft. I enjoy the depth of emotion that is present in these novels--it sets them apart from others in the genre. The hero Gamache is more like a classic epic hero, flawed and vulnerable, than a contemporary policeman. I like the way Penny is developing this character, as a leader who inspires devotion among his colleagues and the members of the Three Pines community in which he finds himself over and over, yet who also finds himself on the wrong end of a professional vendetta that he seems powerless to overcome. The latest Three Pines murder investigation is somewhat overshadowed by the spectre of this old business that is lurking in the background, but the parallels, which I mentioned, create cohesion between the two storylines. Both are affected by jealousy, which is depicted here as a supremely destructive emotion. And deception abounds: who is a friend, and who is an enemy? Or perhaps they are one and the same? Maybe because I'm reading more mysteries lately I am better at reading between the lines and figuring out the solution before the big reveal. I didn't figure this one out completely, but I had it pretty close. The reason I will continue reading the Gamache stories is because, while the background conflict did reach a climax here, a big question, namely, the fate of Gamache within the police force, hangs in the balance. I will come back to find out the answer to that one! ( )
  karenchase | Aug 20, 2015 |
Yet another in the Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series...he's an old shoe, rather like Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti. Both excellent investigators, good with people, likable. And effective. ( )
  VictoriaJZ | Aug 16, 2015 |
In another story of Chief Inspector Gamache of the surete du Quebec, the reader is taken to the colorful, wintry village of Three Pines, a forgotten village like a Canadian Brigadoon (without the singing.)

The story opens as the villagers are getting ready to celebrate Easter and having an Easter egg hunt. Then they decide to celebrate Easter and the renewal of life, with a seance. It is to be at the Timmer Hadley house which brings up bad memories for at least one villager.

The headlines of the paper the following day after the seance is that a woman is scared to death at a seance.

Gamache is sent to investigate and he must find if there is a crime and then find a possible murderer, all the while where is office is filled with intrigue and the prior superintendent is serving time in jail thanks to Gamache's diligent work. However, this man had friends and they aren't the type to forget Gamache's actions.

Even in his own family, there are things he must deal with with his daughter and son-in-law living in Paris and Gamache's wife, wanting to spend more time with them. ( )
  mikedraper | Jul 29, 2015 |
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 |
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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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Epigraph
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire . . .
- T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
Dedication
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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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.)

HEADLINE EDITION:
IT'S EASTER, AND ON A PERFECT SPRING DAY IN PEACEFUL THREE PINES, SOMEONE WAITS FOR NIGHT TO FALL. THEY PLAN TO RAISE THE DEAD...
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?
Haiku summary

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.

» see all 6 descriptions

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