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Publisher's Summary

It's Easter, and on a glorious Spring day in peaceful Three Pines, someone waits for night to fall. They plan to raise the dead....

When Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surete du Quebec arrives the next morning, he faces an unusual crime scene. A séance in an old abandoned house has gone horrifically wrong and someone has been seemingly frightened to death. In indyllic Three Pines, terrible secrets lie buried, and even Gamache has something to hide. One of his own team is about to betray him. But how far will they go to ensure Gamache's downfall?

Coming soon: Book 4 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, The Murder Stone. It's the height of summer, and the wealthy Finney family have gathered at the Manoir Bellechasse to pay tribute to their late father. But as the temperature rises, old secrets and bitter rivalries begin to surface. When the heat wave boils over into a mighty storm, a dead body is left in its wake. Chief Inspector Gamache, a guest at the Bellechasse, finds himself with a building full of suspects. With the hotel locked down, the murderer is trapped. But a cornered predator is always the most dangerous of all....

©2007 Louise Penny (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The Cruellest Month

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Overall wonderful series but this one's too turgid

Any additional comments?

Don't get me wrong - I love Inspector Gameche and have really enjoyed the series so far. Like many other readers, I feel like I know Three Pines and I want to head back there this afternoon for a good rich cup of coffee. Louise Penny has done a bang-up job of creating a place so rich and real - this isn't an easy thing to do. And I'll certainly read the next in the series.

Now to my complaints about this entry in the series: the story is startling to cross over into magical realism and is doing so with a very heavy hand. A house is hulking on the landscape, evil emanating from it like stink lines. Evil and Good are Big Players in the unfolding of the plot (capitalization intended). Gameche becomes ever-more saint-like whilst his enemies are psycho-bad, harbouring grudges based on the thinnest and most ridiculous motivation. It reminded me a bit of "The Stand" by Stephen King. I enjoy some Stephen King but it just doesn't seem a fit for Three Pines. Even the minor characters are struggling with the dark night of conscience.

One of the thing I have loved so far is the utter believability of the characters. This book starts off good and then starts wringing its hands and speaking in tongues. Here's hoping she dials it down a notch in future entries.

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Excellent story, as always, but the performance?

If you could sum up The Cruellest Month in three words, what would they be?

Excellent story! Louise Penny is, as always, interesting and engaging.

What didn’t you like about Adam Sims’s performance?

Adam Sims was not sufficiently trained in pronouncing French words, which are essential in Louise Penny's writing. Every time he pronounces the psychic reader's name, I cringe, since he pronounces it in its masculine form, and the psychic is a woman... It's the kind of error that good audio editing should have caught and corrected.

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  • Moonmum
  • 02-09-17

Riveting

Addictive listening. The inhabitants of Three Pines, the inspector and his team leap out and assume a life of their own. Brilliant narration by Adam Sims as always. Have every intention of listening to the whole series.

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  • DM
  • 01-27-22

getting too dark

Its too dark, Getting to be more about revenge against Gamache rather than the current investigation.
I want to return it, but that option seems to have been removed from the audible website, I will need to be more careful about future purchases

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  • Fee
  • 01-06-21

Better and better!

This was so enjoyable. It’s so well written, likeable characters and Adam Sims, wonderful as ever. The end of each book, so far, has the start of the next in the series (some with different titles). I’m not keen on this in audiobooks nor actual books. It’s disappointing when you think you have a certain amount left to enjoy only to find you’re suddenly near the end!

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  • Carôle
  • 11-14-20

The Plot Thickens!

This is a SUCH a great series! Not only interesting and thought provoking, but cerebral on an academic, poetic level! I would REALLY like a copy of Ruth’s book of poems (but might give Odeille’s a miss)! It would be nice if was eventually made available to buy…

The house has taken on its own character and I like that other character’s personalities are also revealed there too! Onward to the next one.

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  • kilshanny cottage
  • 10-30-20

Another fantastic tale!

Wow! What a rollercoaster ride.
Penny keeps you guessing until the very end as to who the murderer is.
But the true wonder is Three Pines and its people.

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  • Adrianne
  • 03-20-19

Disappointed

I love the Gamache series written by Louise Penny! However; I am deeply sad to admit, I cannot listen to this narrator. Perhaps it is just that I loved the way Ralph Cosham became Chief Inspector Gamache and the other characters in the stories, but I don’t think it is. When Mr. Cosham passed away and Robert Bathurst was brought in as the new reader, I could transfer to his style fairly easily.

I did try to adapt to this narrator but found I could not concentrate on the reading to the point of being extremely agitated.

I have most of the series as read by Mr. Cosham before his passing, but was looking to purchase the ones my library was missing. Instead, I had to look for a library to borrow his versions.
I purchase audiobooks because I enjoy listening to them more than once. This particular one will never be even heard once! I am grateful for library versions with Mr. Cosham safely contained with in.

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  • Svenja O’Donnell
  • 04-08-22

Shame about the numerous French mispronunciations

Engaging story but what a shame the narrator couldn’t pronounce French names properly (this is essential to the book). Keeps calling a female character “Jean” not “Jeanne”, giving her a man’s name which is incredibly cringey…

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  • Mr J Doughty
  • 03-04-19

A little convoluted but still a good read!

Having read the two previous books in the series moving to the audiobook was perhaps a difficult transition and I found the narrator a little irritating - this may not be wholly fair! The storyline was not as good as the first two in the series, more complex, but still very enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-27-20

Love Gamache series

I love this series, interesting characters with twists and turns. not too heavy and a little bit funny. I recommend it to anyone new to crime

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  • Ozziegiraffe
  • 11-26-18

Brilliant

Another brilliant Inspector Gamache story. For a while the continuing second plot seemed disturbing and unnecessary, but it certainly develops the characters.
I’m glad I’ve visited Canada, and understand the references to Tim Hortons.