Saturday, March 6, 2010

Review : The Cruelest Month

Author: Louise Penny
Format: audio book 11.7 hours, 416 pages
Characters: Inspector Armand Gamache,
Subject: murder in a small town
Setting: fictional village of Three Pines, Quebec
Series: Chief Inspector Gamage
Genre: mystery, police detective
Source: public library audio b
Challenge: Support Your Local Library, Thrillers and Suspense

This not the final book in Louise Penny's wonderful Chief Inspector Gamage series, but it is the final one for me to read to be caught up.  While they are understandable on their own, given the choice, I would have preferred to read them in order.  In fact, that is one of my goals for later this year or next year, to read them back to back in order...hopefully before her next book BURY YOUR DEAD comes out later this year.

Of course, reading this one, now the fifth I done, I still put the book down and long to go and live in Three Pines.  But I ask myself why?  Why on earth would I want to live in a town where there are so many murders?  Where old women roam the street talking to ducks?  Where secrets seem to be hidden in every crack of every ancient building? 


Because all of these people seem to care. They care about the earth, the animals, themselves, their lovers, their neighbors, and most of all they care about their village--its history, its current state and its future. Who wouldn't want to be part of this? And who wouldn't want to stop by Olivier and Gabri's bistro every evening for a glass of wine, a poetry reading, a book discussion, or simply to watch the sunset, or the rain fall?

These are genuinely gorgeous books. They soak us in the warmth of this village. We know these people. They're our friends now, and we want them not to have to endure any more sorrow. But we know that life deals out sorrow with happiness and that's why we keep returning. They're real to us. And we want to be part of it. Penny's ability to write clear prose exploring human emotions and darkly buried secrets and terrors is special. She is in a league with Agatha Christie, P.D. James, and Donna Leon.

If you haven't read her, be sure to get these so you can be caught up when the 6th on comes out in the fall.The first in the series is STILL LIFE and it's every bit as good as this one.

"You may go now...I have wine and scotch and all the books I could want to read."-- I have to go back and double check which character said this, but I loved this quote. Whoever it was was sitting in the bistro by the fire...


  1. I still have Still Life sitting in my TBR many books, so little time...I broke my normal rule and went on to read another in the series, The Brutal Telling, which I liked a great deal. But I must get back and read the first.

  2. This sounds good - I have not read any of these!


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