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cherrypie

The Cruellest Month

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This is the third in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series and once again it is mainly set in the small Quebec village of Three Pines. Many of the usual characters appear and are becoming more and more familiar.  The reader is made aware of the thoughts and feelings of many of the characters.  Once again the foibles of human nature play as much a part in the content of the book as the details of the crime.  In this book however issues beyond the crime itself play a part and details of the Inspector's earlier career emerge.

 

The crime itself happens at a seance in an old house on the edges of the village. Once again the crime takes place in a room full of people but no witnesses are available and there are few clues.  Anybody present at the seance could have committed the crime apart from the victim of course!  Once again the book is very character driven and the details of the crime are clever rather than totally believable.  Being set at a seance in an old abandoned house the book is quite creepy in places but far from terrifying.

 

As I continue with this series I find myself liking many of the characters more and more.  They really are a bit of an oddly assorted bunch but then I guess that such groups of people often are.  Once again I would be happy to recommend this book but would point out that as crime novels go it really is on the gentle clever side rather than the brutal or gory!  I think that I for one am becoming addicted!

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I've just finished this and if I hadn't already read number - in the series and know how good that was I think I might have given up here. I'm not a fan of flowery writing ie sandwiches where the bread is still steaming from the boulangerie, which is both overdone and not very realistic if you think about trying to cut hot bread but that's her style and she paints a very good picture. What really got me was the subplot about the Arnot case. Gamache is just too long suffering, too noble and too ready to put up with whatever was thrown at him. For me, someone who doesn't at least contact a newspaper to threaten the editor when a libellous article has just been printed about his children, not just him, and doesn't even really talk to his family about it because he has reasons doesn't pass the credibility test.

 

I know Arnot probably hasn't gone away completely but I'm hoping we can have a bit of a rest from him and I will read on in the series.

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This was my least favourite of the series so far Viccie - I am now on number eight and they do get better.  Books five and six have been the best for me so far. RG is now reading this one but has not said what he thinks so far. The language is very descriptive but unlike you Viccie I really enjoy that and would have to say that it is one of the reasons why I read the books. As to Gamache's gentle character once again I am a fan. He does have strength which is proven later on in the series and I would love to believe that such a kind, gentle but strong man could exist. I think it would be sad to think that human nature could not be that forgiving.

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I do love the way she sets the scene CPbut feel she could be lighter on the adjectives! And as far as Gamache is concerned I don't think that not protecting your children, when they are being harmed, is gentle, it's something else and very un-parentlike.

 

I read number 6 first, which is a bit of a nuisance as it takes away the suspence of number 5, but that's what happens when you seize a book in a charity shop because you don't have anything to read, and like you, I thought it was terrific. I'm definitely not giving up on this series.

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