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3.0 out of 5 starsFun storytelling, but a serious flaw...
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2018
I've really enjoyed the world and the characters that Louise Penny has created in her Chief Inspector Gamache series, but I feel she needs to be called out for her persistent fat shaming in these books. Anytime she introduces a character who is overweight (which is often), she can't resist referring to that character as "massive" or "huge." And she doesn't drop the mockery; later references often refer to how the character takes up so much room on a sofa or struggles to reach over his/her "girth" to grasp something. Many of her characters are quirky and very likeable, but she doesn't seem to want the reader to forget how fat they are. This is present in all the books and it becomes distracting. I love the pace, the tone, and the detective work in these books, but sheesh...quit it with the blatant hostility toward larger folks.
I have listened to these books on audible and read them through paper and kindle. 12 books is not enough. I did not read them in order and didn't have any issues with that. It made it more interesting that way. Am now going back and going in order again. After a long day, it is great to escape into Three Pines.
**Please help and select if you thought this was helpful!!
1.0 out of 5 starsUnintentional Order - from Kindle main screen
Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2019
Kindle has this policy where they'll advertise embarrassing books or titles you'd never want to read on their readers when they are not in use. To unlock the kindle and remove the ads, users have to pay a $20 fee.
My kindle was in my purse and this book was displayed. Something brushed against the screen and I made an accidental purchase. I'm bummed out because there's a 7-day return policy on E-Books.
How does that even work if you don't know you've bought a book? I'm not hyper managing my account. I'm reading a book - I'm not flipping back to the main screen to see what other books may have arrived. I'm working through my selection of choice -- page by page.
Yeah, it's only a $10 purchase - it's not going to kill me. However, on principle - the idea of having to PAY to unlock the kindle is absurd, even more so when paying somehow prevents unintentionally purchasing books.
Would it just be possible to look at my account and see I've never read this book and give me my money back so I can buy something I want to read? That would be super great. Thanks!!
Louise Penny's books, set in Québec, have such a sense of place that they could not be set in Ontario, British Columbia, or the Maritimes. Once again in The Cruelest Month, the almost-fairy-tale village of Three Pines is the setting for a murder case and Gamache and his team return to solve it. But besides the murder -- which at first looks like something supernatural -- Gamache is dealing with the continuing blowback from what we might call an Internal Affairs case that occurred before the first book in the series. Whom can he trust among his team and his colleagues? This mystery was, for me, harder to solve than the murder of Madeleine Favreau in Three Pines. I was pretty sure who the murderer was, but the continual harassment of Gamache and his family had one surprise for me at the end. Gamache is a bit of a philosopher and fits well in Three Pines, where nearly every character has something important to say about life, art, or love. I came late to the enjoyment of Louise Penny's work, and that's a good thing because I still have nine books left to read. Very highly recommended.v
As usual, Louse Penny delivers an excellent read. She's truly a superior writer. But I found this book frustrating. As with all the Penny mysteries I've read so far, there is the mystery at hand and simultaneously the meta-mystery that spans the whole series (the Arnot case). Perhaps its my slow reading pace, or the fact that I was actively reading two other books at the same time, but I found the number of red herrings thrown in on the Arnot case very confusing in this book. Who is a friend of Gamache? Who a traitor working against him? This book takes attention. I don't recommend approaching it as i did. Give it your full attention and I think you will be richly rewarded.
5.0 out of 5 starsLouise Penney’s Most Sparkling Writing
Reviewed in the United States on September 20, 2018
In a literary landscape of detective murder mystery’s where the protagonist is hard bitten, atheistic and cynical, and holds these values as virtues, it has always been refreshing to come across another Louise Penny novel. She infuses Her books with grace, friendship and life’ joys. Both her settings and her style can best be described as pastoral—As far as you can get from the gritty LA or New York most readers are familiar with. In this book her descriptions of the scenes sparkle, and the conversations between her characters are remarkably alive, witty and consisting of a great deal of the kind of subtext that you find in conversations of close friends. The quality of writing is a very high – – I came across more passages that I immediately wanted to read out loud to someone than in any of her other books I have read. This is a wonderful thing to come across these books, and I plan on reading as many as I can as long as she will write them.
5.0 out of 5 starsChief Inspector Gamache visits Three Pines to solve an unusual death at an Easter Seance
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2019
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is back in Three Pines to investigate an unusual death at an Easter seance. Penney a skilled mystery writer whose characters grow with each story provides a deeper view of the Inspector. Gamache is a strong and compassionate leader who has a gift for identifying and developing the best in people who are outcast because of their unique characteristics. The village of Three Pines draws you in with the beauty of its architecture as well as the exceptionally creative inhabitants.
This story is the third book in the series but don’t let that stop you from experiencing this intuitive detective as each story can stand on its own and provides a glimpse into the lives of the people who live in this forgotten town. I invite you to fall in love with the people who live in Three Pines and the brilliant inspector who is drawn to this area and its unusual characters.
5.0 out of 5 starsThis series just gets better and better.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 8, 2017
This series gets better and better with each installment.
Inspector Gamache is wonderful. A real breath of fresh air, a police inspector with natural human flaws, not afraid to admit his mistakes, but with a gentle and polite manner which is so endearing. But when it comes to getting the job done and solving the murder, then make no mistake he's someone who pulls no punches until he gets to the truth.
I'm enjoying reading more about the family life, both of Gamache and also Nichol. We learn quite a bit more about her in this book - at times I felt as if she was out for all she could get at the expense of the investigative team but, as is revealed close to the end, her motives are not all they seem.....
So far in this series we have been introduced to some new characters in each book and for me this keeps a series interesting - new characters from both sides of the story (ie: residents of Three Pines, and members of the police) keep a story fresh and entertaining. A good move by Louise Penny.
This is the third book in a series starring Inspector Armand Gamache from the Sûreté du Quebec and again is set around a death in the fictional village of Three Pines.
‘Once found Three Pines was never forgotten but it was only ever found by people lost.’
Although you can read all of Louise Penny’s books as stand-alone, it is probably better to start with the first one as many of the characters develop as the series continues and to date there are ten books in the series.
It is a nice meaty book to get in to with flashbacks to a previous controversy concerning the Inspector which is explained, to an extent, as the book progresses. Louise deals with the insecurities of people’s characters, intertwining their strengths as well. The intricacies of living in a small village that boasts a set of shops, and a bistro where people gather and are looked after well by the extrovert couple of Olivier and Gabri who also run the local B & B.
It is early April, Easter weekend and eggs are being hidden to be found by the children and a séance is held by a visiting medium/psychic. A haunted house and a death follow, fear and terror and horror invade all those attending. The Sûreté du Quebec become involved as it is realised the victim didn't suffer a natural death.
Louise Penny is able to describe the village, its inhabitants, the after effects and consequences of a sudden death drawing you intimately into the village and the people who live there and we also find out more about the characters of the Sûreté du Quebec involved in the investigation.
A good book is one where the characters stay with you long after you have put the book down and this is one such book.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2017
I really admire this series, it is beautifully written. As well as being my favourite genre I also find it informative. I had no inkling of the intricacies of Quebecois/Canadian politics previously. Fascinating. Louise Penny is at her best when she mixes tragedy with diamonds of comedy as she does here. Not all her novels have the same unexpected glimpses of humour. However I am so pleased that I found this absolute gem of a writer, especially as I ran out of Reginald Hill books to read years ago. Highly recommended to a reader who likes classy crime stories written by an author of such style and quality. I am reading my way through the whole series. The novels are hard to put down.
5.0 out of 5 starsAnother brilliant Louise Penny novel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 4, 2015
This is the second time I have read this book, the first being about 3 years ago. I have decided to slowly reread the whole series, hopefully ready to read the next book when it is published. As with the other Gamache books by Louise Penny, I have thoroughly enjoyed this one & found it even better the second time round. Would have given it 5 stars first time, shame can't give more now. I know it seems strange that a small village should get so many murders but this is fiction & I like the fact that most of the characters are so familiar; it is really nice to get to know them better with each book. Though it is possible to read each book as a stand alone it is better to read them in sequence as there is also a back story that is ongoing from book to book. I found this series by buying a book from the middle of the series, enjoyed it, found there was a series but couldn't at that time find any more in bookshops, however found the rest on Kindle. I have no hesitation in recommending this book or the whole series.
I adore Inspector Gamache. He has such integrity, and is so calm, rational, kind, clever - I could go on - that it is no wonder he inspires equal quantities of love and hate in those he encounters. he would be unbearable if it wasn't for his weakness for the underdog, a gentleness that makes him vulnerable to a cruel mind, and in this third instalment, Gamache's love is tested as he is betrayed so horribly. Of course, because Louise Penny knows we love Gamache, there is a positive resolution in that Gamache has his eyes opened, but he can continue, a little diminished, perhaps, but still striving for truth and justice. Oh yes, and there is a murder, and the cast of oddballs in Three Pines are just as mad as ever. I'm working my way through the series - thank goodness Penny is prolific!