I like this much better than the last, despite writing an article about April being magical! I am often impressed by <b>Louise Penny's</b> orchestration of a philosophical conclusion to mystery cases. In <b>Louise's</b> first and this third novel, a valuable observation comes away with us. I dislike her use of animal death to imbue emotion and Gabri's behaviour, too preposterous to believe but easily give four stars. This is a complex, standard mystery. What's bizarre for someone so gifted, is accepting misconceptions about nature. In <i>"Dead Cold"</i>, the effects of a mild -10 Celsius were exaggerated.
A well-told story is more important than details but with verification easily gleaned, credibility weakens for people who live among birds, bears, and frogs. Geese bite to defend eggs. Birds dive-bomb people and pets. Forest residents consider bears the least reason for keeping candy inside! Small critters are nearer. Most absurdly, <b>Louise</b> attested bears would seek chocolate the following Easter! When a bear depletes something, he leaves. There is no mentality that a store will be refilled. Other bears could visit, or attractants might persist. Frogs are the most lulling sound. <b>Louise</b> used them as a cacaphony to keep characters awake and declared them loudest in spring. Only peepers and maybe the boreal chorus frog emerge. The volume increases later!
I admire how this series thrives without a protagonist. "<b>The Cruellest Month</b>" settles four things. Jean-Guy, Isabelle, and Yvette solve a case while Armand tracks his saboteur. The foreboding Hadley house is tackled by the community. In concert, Clara determines whether she is someone with a hobby, like Odile, or if she is talented. Some readers felt the police mole overtook the novel. It furnishes a second mystery that belongs here but Armand (I loathe surname appellations!) did not enter for sixty pages. I was so riveted by all four threads, I read until my spouse's alarm awoke him! My third outing with authors usually decides if I will be a fan. I am eager to own <b>Louise's</b> next story.