For those of you that follow along you may remember that I reviewed the first in the series “Still Life”. “The Cruelest Month is #3, I somehow got out of order in the series and missed the second. I have it on the shelf, just grabbed the wrong book and when I realized what I had done decided not to go back.
Cruelest Month, has Chief Inspector Gamache investigating the death of a person in what is considered the local “haunted house”. Inspector Gamache’s second in command, Jean Guy Beauvoir, can’t understand why nobody in the village of Three Pines, Quebec, dies or is killed normally. No guns, no beatings, no strangling. Something simple. In this village it’s always something strange like, scared to death.
Gamache and his team arrive in Three Pines and begin the investigation among the locals. Three Pines is what could be called an artist’s community and the includes families that have been residents for generations and many that have come to Three Pines for their own personal reasons to escape the views and opinions of the larger populations mainly from the Montreal area. Three Pines is as much as character in the series as any of the regulars.
The reader needs to be ready for a French background that may give the some readers problems with pronunciations of names and some of the script. Not to worry, it gets easier as you get into the series. Not that my french would get me anywhere but into trouble.
Louise Penny authors books that keep the reader’s interest but doesn’t scare you to the point of not being able to sleep at night. Cruelest Month contained some old fashion detective scenes from mystery movies of the 50’s. (I’ve asked you all here to expose a murderer.)
Not only the main mystery but Gamache is involved in an inside revolt at the suerte de Quebec, elite police force of Quebec. Seems after years of being the good guy and a solve rate higher than all the rest Gamache has acquired some enemies of his own. Throughout Gamache is able to keep his cool and work to solve a murder, fight off a smear campaign, and keep the peace in his own team.
I found “The Cruelest Month” enjoyable and a standalone book that wouldn’t need the series to be worth the read. Now I have to go back and read the second in the series to see if I missed anything.
Next up “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel. My oldest son gave me this to read then decided that maybe it wasn’t the best book to be reading while on a long, boat trip.
Until next time; Dearest has decided to contribute more to the blog so look forward to seeing her writings, and I will be adding my thoughts and observations on Door County and the Marinas and towns that we stayed.