Picks and Pans Review: The Cruelest Month

updated 03/31/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/31/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Louise Penny |

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In this latest addition to Penny's Three Pines Mystery series, Inspector Armand Gamache of Quebec returns to solve the murder of a Three Pines local who appears to have been "frightened to death" during an Easter Sunday séance. The more Gamache investigates, however, the more it seems a simple scare wasn't the whole story. 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 Month impossible to put down.

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