The Cruellest Month : Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines

  • by Louise Penny
  • Narrated by Adam Sims
  • Series: Chief Inspector Gamache/Three Pines
  • 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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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- Bodiccea

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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- M. Milesi

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-08-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK