Bridget's Reviews > The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
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's review
Apr 25, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2013-reads
Read on April 01, 2013

Oh how I wish I lived in Three Pines! Though people are always being murdered there ...

This is another story of the small Quebec community of Three Pines, nestled in its own lovely spot, a couple of hours away from Montreal. The townspeople are familiar, and you can picture them and the village in your mind. This book begins on Good Friday, when - as a lark - a group of people gather for a seance, which is not successful at all. Someone suggests that they try again, but in another location - the Hadley House, which is currently empty but has a notorious reputation as a place where others have died, and terrible things have happened. A person visiting the town for relaxation, who is also a practicing Wiccan, is talked into conducting both seances.

During the second attempt, the participants are nervous and scared to begin with, and then it turns out that someone at the table drops dead!

Enter Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the quiet and approachable disposition and sharp mind, who is sent to investigate once it's determined that the cause of death was poisoning. Gamache knows these people, knows the Hadley House, and he and his team dig in to the case.

At the same time, a Montreal tabloid newspaper is publishing derogatory stories about Gamache and his family. The attacks escalate, and Gamache finds himself trying to solve and murder, and find out who is giving information to the paper and why. It's clear that it stems from the "Arnot case" which involved another office in the Surete (police force). The reader learns that members of Gamace's team may be directly involved ... or are they?

I enjoyed this book as much as I have enjoyed all the others in the Armand Gamache series. Louise Penny has created a fascinating detective and a bucolic location for him to carry out his investigations. The mysteries are as cerebral as they are mysterious, and Gamache is such a great character.

I can't wait to read the next one!

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