The Cruelest Month (Book 3)

Book 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.

Cultural Reference Discussion

Join us in a discussion around a creative work of cultural significance from this book.

Cultural Inspirations from The Cruelest Month

Gamache took the bread to the long pine table, set for dinner, then returned to the living room. He reflected on T.S. Eliot and thought the poet had called April the cruelest month not because it killed flowers and buds on the trees, but because sometimes it didn’t. . . .

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The Nature of the Feast Archive

In 2016, we cooked our way through the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a recipe from the world of Three Pines and opened a discussion around that recipe. The archive of the recipe and discussion can be found in The Nature of the Feast Archive page.

The Real Place Archive

In 2015, we (virtually) visited some of the real places that inspired Louise Penny in writing the Inspector Gamache series. Every two weeks we posted a new essay, photos, and opened a discussion about a real place that is the inspiration behind a fictional place in each of the books. The archive of the place and discussion for THE CRUELEST MONTH can be found in The Real Place Archive page.

The Re-Read Archive

In 2014, we hosted a re-read of the Inspector Gamache series, books 1–10, guided by questions from longtime Gamache fans and guest bloggers. We have an ongoing discussion currently underway in The Bistro, and you can find the archive of the re-read for THE CRUELEST MONTH in The Re-Read Archive pages, which includes a video from Louise.