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The cruelest month : a Three Pines mystery

by Louise Penny.

Book list For such a small, pleasant place, the Quebec village of Three Pines has a surprising amount of big-time crime. In the third Armand Gamache novel, the Surete Chief Inspector is once again confronted with a baffling mystery, this one coming after an Easter séance results in murder. The thing about the Gamache novels is that while the crimes are intriguing, the people are downright fascinating not just Gamache himself, who manages to be completely original despite his similarities to Columbo and Poirot, but also the entire cast of supporting characters, who are so strongly written that every single one of them could probably carry an entire novel all by themselves. Readers familiar with the preceding two novels in the series Still Life (2006) and A Fatal Grace (2007) will be champing at the bit to get their hands on this one, and those who haven't yet met Armand Gamache will wonder what took them so long. Pair this with L. R. Wright's Karl Alberg series, starring a Royal Canadian Mounted Police sergeant and his librarian wife.--Pitt, David Copyright 2007 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Library Journal An impromptu seance at a haunted house turns deadly, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache finds himself hampered by an unlikely killer and his own investigative team in this third case by Arthur Ellis Award winner Penny, who lives in Montreal. Five-city tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Chief Insp. Armand Gamache and his team investigate another bizarre crime in the tiny Quebec village of Three Pines in Penny's expertly plotted third cozy (after 2007's A Fatal Grace). As the townspeople gather in the abandoned and perhaps haunted Hadley house for a seance with a visiting psychic, Madeleine Favreau collapses, apparently dead of fright. No one has a harsh word to say about Madeleine, but Gamache knows there's more to the case than meets the eye. Complicating his inquiry are the repercussions of Gamache having accused his popular superior at the Surete du Quebec of heinous crimes in a previous case. Fearing there might be a mole on his team, Gamache works not only to solve the murder but to clear his name. Arthur Ellis Award-winner Penny paints a vivid picture of the French-Canadian village, its inhabitants and a determined detective who will strike many Agatha Christie fans as a 21st-century version of Hercule Poirot. (Mar.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal The Quebecois village of Three Pines (first introduced in Still Life and Fatal Grace) is once again the scene of a perplexing murder, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team have caught the case. Madeleine Favreau, a cheerful and well-liked village resident, collapsed and died at an impromptu seance at a local house thought to be haunted. The cause of death is pronounced a high dose of ephedrine and fright. But Madeleine wasn't dieting, so who slipped her the ephedrine? Gamache is an engaging, modern-day Poirot who gently teases out information from his suspects while enjoying marvelous bistro meals and cozy walks on the village common. His team is an unlikely troupe of departmental misfits who blossom under his deft tutelage, turning up just the right clues. Penny is an award-winning writer whose cozies go beyond traditional boundaries, providing entertaining characters, a picturesque locale, and thought-provoking plots. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 11/1/07.]--Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.