Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1)
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. T
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Book Rating: 4.5* of five
The Publisher Says: Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells ...more
Middling books are the hardest to review, dontchathink?
Maybe it's the recent time change (is there any point to Daylight Savings Time anymore?), maybe it's the fact that I feel like I'm swimming uphill in my nursing clinical trying to get hours in, but Still Life kept putting me to sleep. A blurb (or a review, I forget which) compares her to Agatha Christie, which I suppose could be true, only it's a version of Christie that was being paid by the word and operates only inside people's heads, whi ...more
Still Life is a traditional ("cozy") mystery set in a Canadian village Three Pines. One Sunday morning a body of 76-year old Jane Neal - a long-time resident of the village - is found. At first, it appears that Jane was killed in a hunting accident, but later we find out that quite a fe ...more
Now that we're in the star bestowal business I thought for a minute about what makes for a good book of this sort. Here’s the list I came up with along with how Still Life did with respect to it.
October -Canadian Thanksgiving weekend- Three Pines, Quebec
Victim : Jane Neal, 76 years old, retired school teacher, never married- found dead in the woods not far from her home- cause of death -shot with a ...more
Jane Neal is found dead in the woods, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache leads his troops to the picturesque village of Three Pines to uncover secrets and find a killer. This fun to read crime-mystery has many great characters that I can't wait to get to know better.....Oliver and his partner Gabri are a hoot and newbie smart-mouth Agent Nichol, well, she is something else, and then there's...more
My discovery of the charming, picturesque Canadian fictional village of Three Pines comes a few years too late, but I am glad I finally decided to pay a visit.
Before reading Still Life I only had a casual idea of what a "cozy murder mystery" was. Once you read this novel however, you can see how that moniker perfectly describes this novel and Mrs. Penny's writing style.
The title, Still Life, also describes the idyllic, low-key lifestyle the residents of Three Pines have been accustome ...more
Martha Stewart meets Agatha Christie on a very bad hair day.
I was recommended this author by a friend who is a great admirer of Ian Rankin and Stieg Larsson, so I was quite excited as I set out. Excitement soon turned to disappointment, followed by a sense of disbelief that writing so bad could be so well received by the reading public. And indeed win a prize, albeit one for novice crime writers.
The setting is an idyllic village near Montreal, populated with a cast of caricatures - aging bohemi ...more
Jane Neal, 76 years old and a retired school teacher, is found dead in the woods over the Can ...more
"In the twenty-five years she'd lived in Three Pines she'd never, ever heard of a crime. The only reason doors were locked was to prevent neighbours from dropping off baskets of zucchini at harvest time."
I love the characters so much I want to go to Three ...more
“‘I think many people love their problems. Gives them all sorts of excuses for not growing up and getting on with life.’ Myrna leaned back again in her chair and took a long breath. ‘Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead. Most of these people are very immature. They lead “still” lives, waiting.”
Still Life is the first book in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache Novels, maybe she came on strong in later books but ...more
I tried this book in an attempt ...more
Louise Penny weaves a complex plot with sure hands, repeatedly provides an interesting sense of place, and develops her characters deftly, patiently, one ingredient at a time. There is a very satisfying blend of action and reflection, and mostly intelligent detective work, set against a beautifully presented background of life in a small artists village in modern Quebec where everyone knows everyone else and one of them is a murderer.
One of the inter ...more
The mystery starts ...more
The status quo would have lingered on forever, if it wasn't for Jane submitting, for the first time in her life, one of her paintings, ' Fair Day', to the Annual Williamsburg Arts Exhibition. It was the only piece of herself that she finally wanted to share with the world.
Some judges were horrifie ...more
On a side note, what was the point of Nichol? (view spoiler)[She started out really positive and turned into an egocentric witch by the en ...more
Granted, my focus on books tend to lean to the darker side of genres, but I do enjoy a good mystery in pretty much everything I read. The only thing is the mystery aspect is usually an component of thriller, horror, sci-fi or fantasy genres I'll read.
Not cozies. Real men don't read cozies.
But is this a cozy, really? I just read an interview with Louise Penny and she bristles at the term. She says, how can the shock of a murder in a tiny village be defined a ...more
I can't say with authority that Penny's mysteries are different from other mysteries, but I can say that these books are very different from the way I thought mysteries were. The characters are complicated and human. They think deeply about their lives and they try to do the right thing. Even minor characters in this bo ...more
Armand Gamache is a methodical, experienced, brilliant detective who comes to town to solve the latest death, perhaps a hunting accident, but maybe a murder. Along with his team, he s ...more
It is a typical cozy mystery with a cast of quirky characters but I enjoyed it. After all, I usually find I read mysteries not ...more
This is the first book in the series and this tiny, charming Quebecois town (I kept thinking it was British even though Montreal is mentioned ten-million times and most everyone has a French name) has great potential. It's full of quirky characters (Mom's favorite is crabby, old Ruth. Apparently, she gets a duck later on) ...more
Now that I've taken that first "hit", I can ho ...more
This is a lovely, gentle murder mystery set in an artsy, rural, picturesque Canadian town called Three Pines. I did guess who the killer was, although there were many possible suspects. The cast of characters in the town is richly depicted. There are wonderful artist couple Clara and Peter; former Montreal psychologist turned used book store owner Myrna, a huge black woman given to dramatic entrances in purple caftans, bringing unus ...more
Penny, Louise – 1st book
Headline, 2005- Hardcover
*** Death brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his officers of the Sûreté du Quebec to the small village of Three Pines, Canada. Much-loved Jane Neal has been found dead in the woods. Gamache must determine whether her death was the result of a hunting accident, or deliberate murder.
*** Penny’s debut book is a true, classic traditional mystery. Penny has a wonderful writing voice full of introspecti ...more
She lives with her husband, Michael, and a golden retriever named Trudy, in a small village south of Montreal.
Her first Armand Gamache novel, "Still Life" won the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony and Dilys Awards.
* Agatha Award: Best Novel
o 2007 – A Fatal Grace – Winner
o 2008 – ...more