I love ALL of Louise Penny's books and Ralph Cosham's narrations. I usually give 5 stars, but this is the first one where I thought --without a spoiler-- that the murder plot line wasn't probable (murderer's motivation) and that Beauvoir's private relationship, developed in some depth in The Beautiful Mystery, got wrapped up head-spinningly fast with a bow on top at the end. Such an important part of B's life deserved more handling, such as a plot line in a next book, rather than throwing it away by giving it such short shrift in this book and tacking the resolution into the ending.
Although I've loved just about everything else E. Hoyt has written, this novel seemed very different from the others. It didn't feel like it should be part of the Maiden Lane series. The way Maximus spoke to Artemis was so melodramatic it distracted me and took me out of the story. It might not be the narrator's fault since the writing called for it. My all-time Hoyt favorite is Scandalous Desires, with Mickey O'Connor and Silence Hollingbrook. BTW, I e-mailed Hatchette Audio to ask why Ashford MacNab isn't narrating these books anymore, and they said they couldn't comment on contractual issues. I ran across the fact that Ashford M. has a pseudonym, Polly Lee--just found 25 books on Audible!
The Cruelest Month is wonderfully spooky, but I think my favorite part is the way the Sûreté du Québec's cruel manipulations of Gamache unfold. I'm listening to the whole series a second time (third for some of the books) IN ORDER. It is a brilliant series, and for me has gotten better with each successive book. Ralph Cosham’s narration is enhances the books tremendously. I love the way Louise Penny writes complex parallel and intersecting plot lines. Although the author states that the books are meant to be stand-alone, I disagree. I read Bury Your Dead (book 6) before The Brutal Telling (book 5), and found that Bury Your Dead had given away the ending of The Brutal Telling! My favorite character is the complex, surly, needy Beauvoir.
Yes, but only a VERY CLOSE friend! The sex is so graphic, I'd want to be sure the friend wouldn't be offended.
When they are all in the kitchen giving the dog a bath in his tub, then Micky walks in.
Too many to choose from.
I know not everyone likes the narrator, but to me she is the PERFECT narrator for this series. Her narration is quiet, deliberate, and somber, which reflects the seriousness of the character (and her entire family) as well as the atmosphere of the whole book. She complements the atmosphere created by the author. Her Irish accent is fantastic.
Sometimes you have to be patient until your ear grows accustomed to the narrator, but this time it was impossible. The narration is rushed and impersonal, with little inflection unless she speaks in a character's voice, for which she has to slow down a little. It made the story kind of embarrassing, if you know what I mean. I'm a long-time audio book reader (since tapes!) and this is the first book I've ever listened to that has destroyed the story. I read "Shameless" first so I know the writer is great.
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