The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (#3 Armand Gamache)

The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)

The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

Published: 2008

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The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny is the 3rd in the Armand Gamache detective series.  I say that, yet find myself thinking it is really the Three Pines Series, as the town itself is the setting, and more murders seem to occur in this small village than in any other I’ve discovered.  And yet I still want to live there. Hmmm…

It is Easter in Three Pines, and at the bistro, Gabri has convinced his B&B guest to hold a seance.  It is a bust, but Psychic Jeanne Chauvet feels there is too much happiness at the bistro for this to work.  Someone suggested the old Hadley place, and two nights later the seance resumes, resulting in the death of Madelaine Favreau.  Can someone actually be scared to death?

Enter Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who quickly determines it was murder.  But how can this be, when everyone loved the victim?  Needless to say, someone didn’t.  Slowly the list of possible suspects grows.  It seems everyone has secrets.

Meanwhile, the old Hadley house is not the only thing still haunting Gamache.  The Arnot case is being resurrected,  and it is now affecting his family.  With a traitor in his midst, he can no longer let this slide.

I love this series.  The humor is consistent, and the plot has enough twists that determining the killer is a challenge.  The characters are wonderful, and I love how they are developing with each book.  The relationship between Clara and Peter is uncomfortable for me.  Clara is so naive, and Peter so cruel.  I love Ruth and Rosa.

Really good series.

Re-Read: November 2016

Favorite Quotes from The Cruelest Month:

“Like most women she owned a fun-house mirror that one day showed her fat, the next slim.”

“You need to learn to say:  I don’t know.  I’m sorry , I need help and I was wrong.”

He reflected on T. S. Eliot and thought the poet had called April the cruellest month not because it killed flowers and buds on the trees, but because sometimes it didn’t. How difficult it was for those who didn’t bloom when all about was new life and hope.”

“Our secrets make us sick because they separate us from other people. Keep us alone. Turn us into fearful, angry, bitter people. Turn us against others, and finally against ourselves.”

 

About the Author:  Louise Penny is a Canadian author, born in Toronto, but presently living outside of Montreal.   She was a journalist and radio host for CBC.  Her awards for writing keep coming.  Her beloved husband Michael Whitehead, the former head of Haematology at Montreal Children’s Hospital, passsed away in September of 2016.  He had dementia.

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