Neile's Reviews > Still Life

Still Life by Louise Penny
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Jan 20, 12

Read in January, 2012

I'm picky about the mysteries I read. I'm not a reader who reads mainly for plot, which is the main point of mysteries in many ways. I read for character, and often find that mysteries feel thin to me. This book was pressed on me by a friend, and because she'd recommended another mystery series that I love (the Maisie Dobbs series), I was willing to give this a shot even though it took me a while to get into this book. The main character here may actually be the (fictional) village of the setting, Three Pines, though it is a town full of wonderful characters, and the Chief Inspector and his team who come to investigate a murder there are also intriguing characters, though they are still more opaque to me than the villagers.

I like how this is set in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, a place I had heard of but know little about, a mostly Anglo-Canadian enclave in the midst of Quebec. Louise Penny has a fine eye for the subtle places where the cultures rub along together well and where they hit snags. I also loved how the author gradually lets us in deeper and deeper into the characters and their lives and how I found myself at some point suspecting nearly all of them, at least for a moment. It was done with a very light hand, so it didn't feel manipulative at all. I also liked that she hinted at the Chief Inspector having already had a lengthy career, and despite his current stature, one that had had both victories and failures, as most people's careers do.

I will definitely read more in this series.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Steve I agree and like your review, but also have followed up your Maisie Dobbs suggestion, a series I was not familiar with.

Neile Steve wrote: "I agree and like your review, but also have followed up your Maisie Dobbs suggestion, a series I was not familiar with."

I hope you enjoy Maisie Dobbs. There was one I found much weaker than the others (The Mapping of Love and Dean), but that didn't stop me from enjoying all the rest of them so far, including the volumes that followed.

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