We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery | [Louise Penny]

The Cruelest Month: A Three Pines Mystery

It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright.
Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruelest month is about to deliver on its threat.

It's spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees, and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life.

When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a séance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil - until one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death, or was the victim somehow helped along?

Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town, where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem.

©2007 Louise Penny; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"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." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1214 )
5 star
 (662)
4 star
 (376)
3 star
 (113)
2 star
 (42)
1 star
 (21)
Overall
4.4 (841 )
5 star
 (484)
4 star
 (250)
3 star
 (79)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (10)
Story
4.6 (856 )
5 star
 (603)
4 star
 (192)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (16)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Darwyn Toluca Lake, CA, United States 01-29-11
    Darwyn Toluca Lake, CA, United States 01-29-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    9
    0
    Overall
    "Loving this series"

    While browsing titles, I stumbled across Louise Penny and the Three Pines/Inspector Gamache novels. I was looking for something that was intriguing, but fresh. Decided to give Penny a try after reading a few of the summaries. Lucky for me. This series provides all of the mystery essentials, but is infused with an unusally great sense of fun. Three Pines is peopled with wonderfully drawn complex characters; even the best people in this hidden away village have their dark moments. In The Cruelest Month, Penny wraps up the insidious story within the stories that was introduced in the first of the series and threaded through the second, even as the wise and skillful Inspector is on the job ferreting out murderers. Cosham, as the reader, is top notch! Well done all.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindylee Ginter toledo, ohio 10-25-09
    Cindylee Ginter toledo, ohio 10-25-09 Member Since 2007

    potterygod

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    685
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Suprisingly good! An intriguing who dunnit!"

    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP United States 03-29-13
    KP United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    200
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    270
    83
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    12
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What's Cruel is That The Month Seems Like a Year"

    After being so happy with the first two novels in this series, I was disappointed that this one dragged a lot (first three quarters of book basically). It did not have the charm nor pleasantly steady pace of the first two Gamache books. Still, a nice twist at the end means I'll check out the next one in the series. And the narrator is great.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    susan York, ME, United States 11-27-09
    susan York, ME, United States 11-27-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent, authentic atmospheric, mystery!"

    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!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth McKenzie Everywhere, USA 12-26-13
    Beth McKenzie Everywhere, USA 12-26-13 Member Since 2012

    Down the rabbit hole into a ring a fire- the magic of words lifts me higher and higher.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    100
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Unexpected Depth and Profound Silliness"

    The review title is paraphrased from the reading. On my second time through listening it struck me as the perfect description for the entire series to date. I have only listened to the first three in the Inspector Gamache series, and this is my favorite. I don't like scary or gory novels, but suspense is another thing when done well and this book kept me antsy from the first chapter. Tension was added to the comfortable oeuvre that is Three Pines by the insertion of a professional psychic who holds a seance to cleanse the old Hadley house of its evil spirits. Some of our favorite neighbors believe, some don't, but all are shaken from their complaisance when one of their number dies during the attempt.

    The narrator, Ralph Cosham, also adds to the tension. Some previous reviews have mentioned that it would be helpful if there had been more space between scene changes or if the reading was faster. I think that most of the complaints were really about being caught off guard in the story, increasing personal discomfort. The scenes shift quickly, not allowing the listener to get their bearings. The narrator is clear and precise in his statements, not dragging, not speeding up, a juggernaut that keeps moving forward into the unknown and unexpected.

    Each of the first three novels has personal betrayal at the root of the mystery. The theme is expanded in The Cruelest Month and we see treachery between lovers, family members, friends and colleagues. And the extent of disloyalty ranges from a trivial gesture to sew doubt toa standoff with pistols drawn in the final conflict.

    A facet from which that unexpected depth has shone is Louise Penny's ability to talk about spiritual concepts without making them religious claptrap. Very simply, each person has their own belief system and respects each other, no matter what they think of the person's viewpoint. They civilly agree to disagree and listen anyway. I very much liked the use of the New Testament verse, Matthew 10:36, to drive home the depth of the treason. This section is where The Christ tells his disciples to go out and spread the word, but know that there will be trouble. "And a man's foes shall be they of his own household." A foreshadowing of the actions of Judas perhaps and bringing us full circle to the Easter celebration? This casual interjection of the New Testament plays perfect counterpoint to the pagan symbols of spring and the foreboding of the changes yet to come for Gamache and his friends in Three Pines. Who would have thought that a couple of baby birds (robins and ducks) and a handful of eggs (chocolate, wood and real) could create such suspense, portend such calamity and make Ruth be nice all in the same story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah CONCORD, NH, United States 07-14-13
    Deborah CONCORD, NH, United States 07-14-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    73
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My favorite so far"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 07-09-13
    Karen Glen Gardner, NJ, United States 07-09-13 Member Since 2008

    Likes: Cozy mysteries, esp w/cats, books on workings of the brain/autism, not-too-dark fantasy. Dislikes: Animal cruelty, torture scenes.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    92
    92
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Entertaining Cozy, some flaws"
    What did you like best about The Cruelest Month? What did you like least?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII Grants Pass, OR, United States 03-23-13
    HIII Grants Pass, OR, United States 03-23-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    239
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    249
    150
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    28
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great listen!"

    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!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Royal oak, MI, United States 03-02-13
    Heather Royal oak, MI, United States 03-02-13 Member Since 2011

    TommysMommy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    64
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Put me to sleep"
    Any additional comments?

    To be honest, I listened for about 10 minutes but I just could not stay with the story. I like Penny's books, but maybe it was the accent, maybe the narrator, but I just kept drifting off.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Snarøya, Norway 01-31-13
    Elisabeth Snarøya, Norway 01-31-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Terrible reader"

    I gave up on this book, because I just could not properly understand the reader. The text has a lot of French names and words and it got to be so annoying that I did not finish the book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 63 results PREVIOUS1237NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.