Thursday, May 15, 2014

the cruelest month

the cruelest month
armand gamache #3
louise penny
st. martin's minotaur
published 2008

Welcome 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 seance 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 thSûreté du Québec is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem.

Finally!  The Arnot case, which has been hinted at throughout the last two books has been revealed in its entirety and Armand's betrayers are exposed at last.  That's not to say the repercussions of the case are not over, but at least everything seems to be out in the open and as a reader I'm no longer wondering what it was all about.

I really want to go to Three Pines.  Even though in these three books a murder has occurred in this tiny town, it still sounds beautiful and charming.  The characters are rich and so full of life you can picture them clearly in your head.  There is so much more going on in the story than the murder Gamache and his team are investigating.

In the first books I wasn't the biggest fan of Peter Morrow, but with Clara I find myself rooting for her the most.  I think it's because Clara is truly good and honest and loves Peter absolutely.  Despite her own insecurities with her art she wants Peter to succeed.  Peter, on the other hand, while I don't doubt that he loves Clara seems to go out of his way to sabotage his wife's success.  And even when he feels guilty about it he does nothing to fix what he has broken.  I wonder if this will come back to haunt them in books to follow.

Penny has a way of weaving a murder mystery that keeps you from knowing the killer until she is ready to reveal that person.  It doesn't come out of left field like some authors write or become so obvious that you don't even care to read the rest of the book.  She just keeps you guessing until the end.

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