The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny
My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
This is the third book in Louise Penny's Three Pines/Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series. In this installment, spring has arrived in Three Pines and the residents are getting ready for the annual Easter egg hunt. When it's discovered there is a psychic as one of the guests at the B&B over Easter, the wheels are set in motion for a séance at the Old Hadley House to rid the house of its evil spirits. When the séance results in one of the guests being 'frightened to death', Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec returns to Three Pines with his team to investigate whether there is a murderer to blame.
When I picked up this book I was thinking that for such a quaint, perfect little town, there sure is a lot of bad luck in Three Pines. Then I found myself laughing at Inspector Beauvoir's blunt observations, thinking to himself how the English & this place don't make sense:
"And what was with this case? Didn't anyone die a normal death in Three Pines? And even their murders weren't normal. Couldn't they just haul off and stab each other, or use a gun or a bat? No. It was always something convoluted. Complicated. Very unQuébécois. The Québécois were straightforward, clear. If they loved you they hugged. When they murdered you they just whacked you over the head. Boom, done. Convicted. Next." p. 79
The murder investigation plot of this book pretty much followed the same formula as the prior two books. A murder happens, Gamache & team arrive at the scene, interview all involved, we get to see our favorite characters & personalities, meet a few new ones, and determine that the murderer could be one of several people - all of which kept me interested. But I thought the more intriguing part of The Cruelest Month had to do with the side story involving dissent in the ranks with Chief Inspector Gamache and the Sûreté. Who can be trusted & who can't? That was the part that really kept me turning the pages.
This is my ninth book read for the 8th Annual Canadian Book Challenge.