The Cruelest Month

The Cruelest Month

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Series, Book 3

eBook - 2008-03-04
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"Many mystery buffs have credited Louise Penny with the revival of the type of traditional murder mystery made famous by Agatha Christie....The book's title is a metaphor not only for the month of April but also for Gamache's personal and professional challenges---making this the series standout so far." --Sarah WeinmanWelcome to Three Pines, where the cruelest month is about to deliver on its threat. It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. . . When some 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? Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sreté du Québec is called to...
Publisher: New York: St. Martin's Press, 2008-03-04.
ISBN: 9781429939812
Branch Call Number: eBook Overdrive

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c
cknightkc
Sep 12, 2019

THE CRUELEST MONTH is the third installment in this mystery series, and so far it’s my favorite. Once again author Louise Penny returns to the enchanting Quebec village of Three Pines, where (no surprises here) another murder has taken place. With this book, I felt myself connecting more with the characters than I had with the previous 2 books. Penny further develops the charming and eccentric villagers as well as the members of the Surete investigation team. And there’s the mystery itself (which is well-plotted), or should I say mysteries? Not only does the honorable and wise Inspector Gamache solve the murder, but he also settles (somewhat for now?) a conspiracy against him within the Surete itself. No doubt I will return to this evolving and intriguing series with Book 4 after a short break.

rb3221 May 09, 2017

The star Gamache takes on a mysterious murder during a seance in a haunted house in a tale full of jealousy, anguish, secrets and lies. All the regular Three Pines' characters are present and getting better with age.
The secondary plot has lots of tension as Penny and thereby Gamache try to finally resolve the Arnot case. There is some closure with some of Gamaches' team but who can he trust. Does the Arnot plot finally end or is there more to come?
A good solid novel and especially recommended if you are a Gamache fan.

l
lasquires
Dec 19, 2015

Need a way to list a series in order, book 1 to latest. EG The Three Pines Mystery Series.

n
novabrite
Aug 07, 2015

I like Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and enjoyed the book, it had some nice surprises in the end.. However, I do think going back to Three Pines was a little overdone and appears it will continue in book #4....

d
DorisWaggoner
Mar 20, 2015

This one was an odd mixture of the hilariously funny, the tremendously fearful (Why DO people want to scare themselves to death, anyway?), and the deeply profound. That's not a surprising mix for Penny, but it all seemed ratcheted up this time around. Add in the plot on Gamache and its outcome, and some of it was almost too much to bear. So not my favorite in the series. Yet, I will be chuckling for a long time over certain scenes--no spoiler alerts here, you'll have to read it for yourself!

t
tocch101
Dec 17, 2014

A good read that keeps the characters interesting and fun.

r
Roundcat
Sep 28, 2012

This started out with a description of Three Pines that was cloyingly perfect; however, the evil unearthed by a visiting practitioner of Wicca, in addition to a plot against Gamache, make a good/evil contrast that has numerous twists and turns that involve the villagers and Gamache's team. I went from boredom to avid interest very quickly. Great read!

g
gardening_girl
Aug 17, 2010

This book was very entertaining. Quite a few funny bits and easier to read than the previous book in the series (Dead Cold). I look forward to reading more about the Inspector and residents of Three Pines.

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c
cknightkc
Sep 13, 2019

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire…
— T. S. Eliot, The Waste Land
The Epigraph

c
cknightkc
Sep 13, 2019

“..,Gamache knew it was the only way he could find a murderer. He listened to people, took notes, gathered evidence, like all his colleagues. But he did one more thing.

He gathered feelings. He collected emotions. Because murder was deeply human. It wasn’t about what people did. No, it was about how they felt, because that’s where it all started. Some feeling that had once been human and natural had twisted. Become grotesque. Had turned sour and corrosive until its very container had been eaten away. Until the human barely existed.” - p. 82

c
cknightkc
Sep 13, 2019

“Gamache knew people were like homes. Some were cheerful and bright, some gloomy. Some could look good on the outside but feel wretched on the interior. And some of the least attractive homes, from the outside, were kindly and warm inside.

He also knew the first few rooms were for public consumption. It was only in going deeper that he'd find the reality. And finally, inevitably, there was the last room, the one we keep locked, and bolted and barred, even from ourselves. Especially from ourselves.” - p. 171

c
cknightkc
Sep 13, 2019

'April’s like that, isn’t it?’ said Gamache…..

‘Unpredictable, you mean?’ said Peter. ‘Difficult month.’

‘Sunny and warm one day then snow the next,’ agreed Gamache. ‘Shakespeare called it the uncertain glory of an April day.’

‘I prefer T.S. Eliot. The cruelest month.’

'Why do you say that?'

‘All those spring flowers slaughtered. Happens almost every year. They’re tricked into blooming, into coming out. Opening up. And not just the spring bulbs, but the buds on the trees. The rose bushes, everything. All out and happy. And then boom, a freak snowstorm kills them all.’

Gamache had the feeling they weren’t talking about flowers any more.” - p. 247

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r
rogebc_0
Sep 30, 2018

This one involves an Easter death and a "haunted house" in Three Pines.

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