Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Author:  Louise Penny
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Published:  2008
Personal Rating:  4.25/5
Yearly Count:  128

Just for entertainment, the villagers of Three Pines, Quebec, perform an event-free seance.  Due to the lack of excitement, they decide to venture to a bigger venue - the Hadley House, to rid it of evil spirits.  Instead of bringing back someone from the other side, they unfortunately send one of their own.  Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team are called in to investigate whether it was a natural death or if it was murder.

One aspect that I really enjoyed about The Cruelest Month was the subplots.  Gamache's personal life was explored more, as well as other main characters.  I was not all that thrilled with the main topic of the book - seances, evil spirits, witches, etc.; however, the mystery was a good one to follow.  And, ultimately, my final thoughts on the book are higher than the second book in the series, A Fatal Grace.  

  I am very fond of Penny's style - cozy mysteries with substance.  I read, somewhere, that Penny's writing resembles Agatha Christie.  Being that I've only read a few pieces of AC, I'm no expert, but from what I have read - there definitely is a similarity.  With AC's popularity and success, that's one huge compliment to Louise Penny!


  1. This sounds sooooooo good. The only part I definitely wouldn't like is seances. I love the spirits, withces and all that jazz but talk to me about a seance and I shut down. lol. They creep me out.

  2. Dar ~ There is not a lot about seances, witches, etc., but it's there. This series really has remained strong. I look forward to the next one.

  3. I was so looking forward to this book as I've enjoyed Still Life and A Fatal Grace a lot but I just couldn't get into it when I picked it up a few months ago. I think I just wasn't in the mood. I need to try it again because I love Gamache and I do think Penny's style is great. I've only read a few Christie's too but I agree, there is something there.

  4. Iliana ~ I definitely have to be in the right mood to read this type of book (same with the Maisie Dobbs series). So hopefully that was what was hanging you up.

  5. I'm intrigued! Sounds interesting but I'm up to my eyeballs in mysteries right now....

  6. Anonymous7:47 PM

    Glad you enjoyed this one, Joy. Louise Penny's next book came out today in the UK and Canada. My copy is on its way because I can't wait for the US release in January.

    I thought this one answered a lot of questions about Gamache and some of the storylines that had run from book to book.

  7. Ladytink ~ I know the feeling. :)

    Kay ~ You are too funny! I'll be waiting for January . . . or later. I think I've listened to all of these, so I'll wait for the BOCD. I hope you enjoy it! And, thanks for stopping by. :)


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