Friday, July 2, 2010

The Cruelest Month

by Louise Penny
New York: St. Martin's Minotaur, 2008 (2007).

The third book in the Three Pines series promises to be different from the others from the very first page. As Easter approaches, the villagers are preparing for an Easter egg hunt, and a Good Friday seance that Gabri is going to spring on his unsuspecting guest, a psychic. The first seance breaks up rather lightly. Clara, Myrna, Monsieur Beliveau and the other participants decide to hold another at the old Hadley place because of the resident evil that seems to be in its very foundation. But when one of the participants in the second seance dies, Inspector Armand Gamache is called in to investigate.

I do not normally read books involving seances (too easily scared, I suppose), but I honestly think Louise Penny could get me to read almost anything in order to find out more about the wonderful people who live in Three Pines. Reading this series has kept me so riveted that I hardly know what to say when I've finished, except that I'm utterly satisfied. I love these characters, who seem very human to me because of the author's attention to human emotions - the best and the worst, what makes us noble and what drives us to kill. I can't recommend it highly enough.

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