The Cruellest Month

by Louise Penny | Mystery & Thrillers |
ISBN: 9780755328963 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 7/16/2019
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, July 16, 2019
I've been enjoying Penny's "Three Pines" series very much indeed, and was glad to find this fair-condition UK-edition softcover of the third book in the series in the charity-sale bin at Hannaford's, for another release copy.

This book, set almost entirely in Three Pines, explains some of the unpleasant history of the old Hadley house, which has a different role to play in later books. Here, it's a rundown place bearing ghosts of still earlier tragedies, and is the setting of a seance that results in a horrifying death-by-terror...

This book reveals how foul-tempered poet Ruth acquires her pet duck, Rosa, and provides a look at many of the Three Pines residents, some of whom seem to be a bit too tame compared to the way future volumes reveal them to be. It also includes many demonstrations of artist Peter's poisonous jealousy of his wife's talent, with some really wrenching scenes of the way in which a trusted, beloved person can subtly undermine one's confidence. (Granted, Clara should learn to be more sure of herself - but her husband has more experience, and for now she trusts his judgement.)

The actual mystery in this one has some rather common motives, yet the details get pretty convoluted, with red herrings a-plenty and lots of personal secrets coming to light. The investigation does highlight Gamache's methods - and brings his relationship with his prickly, highly-logical lieutenant Beauvoir to a new level. (Beauvoir is one of my favorite characters, though his nature means that he does not have a comfortable life.)

Also uncomfortable: agent Nichol, a very foul-tempered young woman with, apparently, no impulse control at all, who's brought along in what seems to be an attempt to keep Gamache's enemies in the force from having things their own way. [His success in ousting a corrupt police official has left him with lots of enemies, some of them allies of the ousted one and others willing to believe that Gamache's motives weren't pure. This results in some very nasty rumor-monging against Gamache and his family, and with spies placed among his team - but who are the spies?]

For a series that's often rather light-hearted, there's a lot of pain in its characters' pasts, and quite a bit that's inflicted on them in the story.

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Beacon St. Ext. in York, Maine USA on Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (7/17/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library, Beacon St. Ext. in York, Maine USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library with the cute reading-cat sculpture; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in Maine here.]

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