I didn't really expect much when I first started listening, it started out a little slow, but when this story gets going, it's wonderful. I won't say that the who dunnit was a huge mystery, but the motivation behind the murder had a great psychological foundation.
The Cruelest Month is my first book by Louise Penny and it is wonderful. The narrator is excellent with outstanding French accent. However, there is a major plot line in this novel that is covered in the first two books. I recommend reading the books in order. I am going back and listen to Still Life and have a wonderful journey with the Chief Inspector Gamache and his team.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I do love this series, so I'm biased. But I think this particular book in the series needs to be listened to twice. The first time you listen you want to know what's going to happen. The characters are so real that you're transported to Three Pines. I can see every one of these people. I finished the book and immediately listened again. The second time it was to really examine the writing and to see how Louise Penny constructs these books to make them so appealing. They are so well crafted. I really appreciate her skill as a writer. And I very much appreciate listening to Ralph Cosham. I can't imagine a better narrator.
If you've not listened to any of these books, I wouldn't start with this one. Though each book can stand on its own, it's really nice to start with "Still Life" and get the background on each character.
This was my first Louise Penny book but it will not be my last. The author sets the scene beautifully with excellent, artful, subtle descriptions of everything from the Quebec woods to the brie dripping off crisp French bread. The story is intricate but not too complex, the characters have depth and there is also some comic relief and profound philosophy, all in a good mystery. The narrator was well chosen and a pleasure to hear.I will miss his accent till the next time!
“Favorite authors- Nevada Barr, Craig Johnson, Louise Penny. Narrators, Marguerite Gavin, Barbara Rosenblat, George Guidall, Ralph Cosham.”
Set in a small Canadian village. I laughed all the way through. A drunken Poet Laureate with a foul mouth, a cafe owned by a gay couple, a bookstore owned by an obese black psychologist, 2 artists who remind me of the Odd Couple and a gentle Chief Inspector with a dry wit. Not politically correct but definately funny and without malice.
With almost 800 books in my library, I am an experienced listener. I appreciate a well written good story. I am pretty critical of trash.
I have read three of Louise Penny's books. The more I read the more I enjoy them. I find getting to know the characters and continuing story line adds interest and depth to her stories. I went back and listened to this one again with a much greater appreciation. I am impressed with her character development and penetrating insights into human nature. I don't ever feel as if her writing is superficial or predictable. She does not rely on contrived suspense to capture her audience, but cultivates an interest in the characters. And I must say teases me with her descriptions of cozy fires and good food - I am living in Hawaii and miss it.
My only complaint of the listening experience is that the unusual names, French Canadian, combined with the narrators excellent accent sometimes makes it difficult for me to follow. I guess I am familiar with Tom Dick, and Jane. The Narration is excellent, it is my ears that are not used to French. I could follow the story much better in hard copy, but I do love the narrator and the listening in bed, in the dark. It is such a luxury. So I am fine with listening to a book more than once, or repeating a minute or two.
If you are not interested in exploitive violence, car chases, authors who are thematically trapped, and don't mind being reminded of a cultivated society where people eat croissants, and sit by fires, and drink cognac, then try Louise Penny.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
The third and most serious Three Pines adventure thus far. Same great writing but in my opinion this addition was missing some of the humorous appeal the first two held, nevertheless, still a wonderful listen.
Inspector Gamache and his team are trying to solve a murder that is being clouded by the fascination and mania that surround bewitchery and superstitions. Chief Inspectors suspicions are brought forward from book two of who may be responsible for the attempt to disgrace and discredit him. He is truly thrown by the lengths of betrayal that ensue for the purpose of revenge against him. Being the consummate professional that he is, Gamache, of course, keeps focus on the task at hand, uses his excellent powers of deduction and wraps it all up.
As always Ralph Cosham does a great job narrating and really brings the essence of Gamache's character to life. Louise Penny did such a beautiful job of describing the weather and foliage of Montreal in the Springtime, she captured the very existence and truly delivered a vision. It is so creative and clever how she finds a way to weave famous quotes into all of her books, it is such a treat. I look forward to enjoying the new characters, Inspector Gamache, and the next Three Pines adventure.
I so enjoy spending time with these characters in Three Pines. How I wish I lived there! This mystery has a number of layers and reveals more about CI Gamache's past. It's darker, more serious but still filled with the wit and warmth and lovely literary allusions that make these stories such a delight. Can't wait to listen to #4. I'm missing Ruth and Clara already!
Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.
This is the third Three Pines Mystery by Louise Penny. I must say that I have decided that this is a superior mystery series. The Cruelest Month was my second favorite so far - not as good as book 2, A Fatal Grace, but better than Still Life. These books certainly have faults, and in this one particularly there is some excessive drama - the detective calls everyone together at the crime scene and does this dramatic thing where he says why each of them could have done it. Oh, please! How Hollywood! I find it hard to explain exactly why I like these. I enjoy the characters and the intellectual conversations these people manage to. I like the small town atmosphere. Of course like any book set in a small town as a series continues it gets more difficult to get together a good group of suspects. She at least sticks to one victim to keep the supply available. I also enjoy the descriptions of food, usually from the local bistro. You have to wonder how people who cook these marvels end up at a B&B in the middle of nowhere - however it looks like that gets addressed in book 4. Anyway these are well done audiobooks and I think the narrator does add to the enjoyment.
I truly enjoyed this listen! Cosham's narration is fantastic. Louise Penny does such a lovely job weaving words into description and action. Don't miss this it is perfect!