February 2009 Indie Next List
“This is the fourth book in the utterly charming, utterly compelling series featuring Quebec's Chief Inspector Gamache. In this one, he and his wife visit an isolated resort for their wedding anniversary, becoming embroiled in the inner workings of a more-than-dysfunctional family. Penny's gorgeous prose and stunning skill with character development take this book to the top of the genre.”
— Robin Agnew, Aunt Agatha's Ltd., Ann Arbor, MI
“What happened here last night isn’t allowed,” said Madame Dubois.
It was such an extraordinary thing to say it stopped the ravenous Inspector Beauvoir from taking another bite of his roast beef on baguette.
“You have a rule against murder?” he asked.
“I do. When my husband and I bought the Bellechasse we made a pact....Everything that stepped foot on this land would be safe.”
It is the height of summer, and Armand and Reine-Marie Gamache are celebrating their wedding anniversary at Manoir Bellechasse, an isolated, luxurious inn not far from the village of Three Pines. But they’re not alone. The Finney family—rich, cultured, and respectable—has also arrived for a celebration of their own.
The beautiful Manoir Bellechasse might be surrounded by nature, but there is something unnatural looming. As the heat rises and the humidity closes in, some surprising guests turn up at the family reunion, and a terrible summer storm leaves behind a dead body. It is up to Chief Inspector Gamache to unearth secrets long buried and hatreds hidden behind polite smiles. The chase takes him to Three Pines, into the dark corners of his own life, and finally to a harrowing climax.
About the Author
Louise Penny worked as an award-winning journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation before leaving to write crime fiction. Her first Three Pines mystery, "Still Life,""" won the New Blood Dagger from the British Crime Writers' Association and the Arthur Ellis Award from the Crime Writers of Canada. In the United States, it received the prestigious Anthony and Barry awards at Bouchercon 2007, as well as the Dilys Award for the book that the members of the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association most enjoyed selling. It was also named one of "Kirkus Reviews"' top ten mysteries of 2006, and the Best of 2006 on the online community DorothyL. Penny lives in a small village south of Montreal with her husband, Michael, and three golden retrievers. Visit Louise on the Web at www.louisepenny.com.
Acclaim for the Award-Winning Chief Inspector Gamache Mysteries
“If you don’t give your heart to Gamache, you may have no heart to give.” --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“With its small-town hominess, the Canadian village of Three Pines draws the reader into its quaint traditions.Who wouldn’t be charmed by the dramas of a community where Easter egg hunts and socials at the bed and breakfast are the most exciting events? Yet it is Penny’s fastidious, cultured, and smart Inspector Gamache who makes [The Cruelest Month] impossible to put down.” --People
“The cozy mystery has a graceful practitioner in Louise Penny.” --The New York Times Book Review
“Expertly plotted… 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 twenty-first-century version of Hercule Poirot.” --Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Mystery readers who want more than puzzles and thrills look for serious purpose and literary value, and Canadian writer Louise Penny provides both in spades--and hearts.” --Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Penny’s plotting has been compared to Agatha Christie’s...in these wonderful books full of poetry and weather and a brooding manor house, and people who read and think and laugh and eat a lot of really excellent food. Move over, Mitford.” --The Charlotte Observer