Wednesday, November 4, 2009

172 - Still Life; Louise Penny





Still Life by Louise Penny is the first book in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. A cozy mystery series with a bit more substance than your typically cozy mystery.

In this story the residents of the Village of Three Pines, located in southern Quebec, are shocked to learn that 76 year old Jane Neal has been found dead. Jane was a retired school teacher, and an amateur local artist. Initially, her death appears to be accidental. It appears that her death was caused by an old fashioned hunting arrow, and after all it was hunting season. But, what happened to the arrow, and why isn't anyone talking? Is it a coincidence that Jane is dead just days after she entered one of her paintings: "Fair Day" into the local art show? What really happened to Jane and why?

My Thoughts: I loved the setting of this book; the village of Three Pines is so scenic and quaint. The coffee shop/bistro was a locale, I could picture myself enjoying a coffee at and just hanging out. Chief Inspector Gamache is a quiet gentle man, with a precise way of getting to the bottom of things. Accompanied by his loyal assistant Beauvoir, along with a newbie on this case: Agent Yvette Nichol(irritating and arrogant), the investigators turn up several possible suspects. I loved the way that the story was told from multiple viewpoints. Most of the characters are likable, flawed or quirky, and through the author's terrific writing style, I felt like I got to know most of the characters fairly well. I discovered this series by reading book #5 first (The Brutal Telling) and loving it, so I decided to go back and read the series from the beginning; I'm glad I did. This book is recommended.

21 comments:

  1. I wouldn't mind spending some time in Three Pines. :)

    Great review!

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  2. Still LIfe sounds like a lovely book. (How do you read so much? I'm way behind in my own reading!)

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  3. Oooo! I just read The Cruelest Month and loved it. I also plan on going back and reading the whole series. She seems a bit like a modern Agatha Christie to me. Good characters and good plots.

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  4. A new cozy author to add to my list. First time I've heard of the series set in Quebec.

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  5. Wow, I really want to go back and start this series too. The Brutal Telling was just a wonderful mystery and I like Louise Penny's style of writing. The setting as you say, is so easily imagined. I'll see you at the coffee house!

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  6. The fact that book #5 was good enough to make you want to go back and start the series from the beginning says a lot! Sounds good.

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  7. Glad you enjoyed the first one, too, Diane! :)

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  8. I still have this on my TBR list. I really like these kinds of mysteries. Maybe I'll get a chance over the holidays.

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  9. I loved this book too and can't wait to read some more of her books in this series. I know what you mean about the setting ... I could totally imagine myself there too!

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  10. I have heard that the inspector Gamache series is good, but had not yet read a review of any of the books. I am glad you really liked this one, and will be taking a closer look at it now. Thanks for the great review!

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  11. I haven't heard of this series, but I like the multiple points of view angle. It is fascinating to see how differently people view the same events.

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  12. As soon as I get my review books done I'm grabbing The Brutal Telling!!! I will then start at the beginning with Still Life!!

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  13. I read The Brutal Telling too and loved Three Pines! I haven't picked up any other Inspector Gamache books yet, but it is just a matter of time. Thank you for confirming that I need to pick one up!

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  14. I have this one checked out from the library so I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to reading it now :)

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  15. Hmm, that sounds like a really good mystery! That's really what I need right now. I'll definitely look it up.

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  16. I always enjoy cozy mysteries. I did add The Brutal Telling to my list as a reminder -- but I usually always start with the first book in the series. So, thanks for this review.

    For the cozy mystery challenge, I really enjoyed the Agatha Raisin mysteries by M.C.Beaton. I will visit her again, also.

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  17. I love the title and I'm going wish list it. Thanks for the highlight!

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  18. I've read the first two books of this series and have the third on my tbr pile. They're excellent books from an excellent author.

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  19. I'm so glad you liked this, because I just bought it on recommendation from Jen at Jen's Book Thoughts.

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  20. I think we are two peas in a pod. How surprised I was to read that you did the exact thing I did - recieved book 5 for review, fell in love with the whole thing and went straight to book 1. I am holding off on rushing through the rest of books.

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