The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (2007, Headline Book Publishing, Great Britain)
The Cruelest Month, the third installment of Louise Penny’s much-beloved Chief Inspector Gamache series treads the familiar woods and shops of the village of Three Pines, and brings back all of our favourite characters to solve a freaky murder involving a creepy old house and an Easter séance. As Gamache and his investigative team work to undercover the identity of the killer, Gamache is forcibly confronted with the violent demons of his past. Although this sub-plot has been an undercurrent in the previous books, things boil over and revelations abound in The Cruelest Month, adding to the drama and urgency of the case at hand. As always, I’m awestruck with the clever way Penny builds her books – her gift of pacing and characterization is positively criminal (see what I did there?).