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Still Life / A Fatal Grace / The Cruelest Month

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1-3)

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  1,371 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets—and facing a few enemies of his own. With nine books in the series and more to come, this boxed set of the first three books—Still Life, A Fatal Grace, and The Cruelest Month—introduces not only the engaging series hero ...more
Paperback, 960 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Minotaur Books
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 ·  1,371 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am crazy about mysteries and thrillers ever since I discovered Nancy drew at 14 and so I have covered most of the authors Agatha Christie,Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins,Caleb Carr ,Tana French ,Imogen Robertson ,JO nesbo , Gillian Flynn,Camelia Lackberg, Stiegg Larsson,Umberto Eco,Alan Bradley's Flavia De Luce and even Earle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason novels.However,the first time I read "Still Life" ,the first in the series ,I fell in love with Louise Penny's style of writing and of ...more
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, reviews
I just finished Still Life,A Fatal Grace and The Cruelest Month and am totally hooked. I love the writing style of Louise Penny and the magical Three Pine setting for her village mysteries. But they are so much more. There are of course the quirky characters that inhabit the village, the requisite murders and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache who solves them with his equally quirky team "You must listen and watch"as you sip cognac by the fire in the bistro after a satisfying meal.(The food sounds ...more
Ellen Rohwer
Sep 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
A friend recommended this mystery series based in Quebec, and I've enjoyed devouring the first three books.

Penny skillfully wraps each mystery in humanistic themes established through poetry, literary references, and the physical environment. The murders themselves are always impractical and implausible, so leave any police-procedural preferences parked at the door, and enjoy the characters and the story.

Oh, and the descriptions of the delicious food in every chapter adds a lot of fun. I am
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult
This is my third Louise Penny book and I really like them. The plots are intrigue and tightly woven. I never can guess the murderer before the end of the book. I also have a lot of guesses, and it's fun to keep wondering. I'm sure that I will read more books by this author-- a very good read. **stop here for spoilers*** Armond Gamache is once again investigating a murder. He uses people on his team that others reject, misfits. He learns that he should accept himself, and finally he does give ...more
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Still Life is the first book of this series. Since I had read one of the series before, I wanted to start at the beginning of the series in order to engage with the characters. As a first book, Ms Penny's writing style had not developed to the level I found so attractive. Knowing it improved with each book, I stuck with it. I highly recommend the series.
Jeff Keener
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just read the three books in the last month and they are some of the best mysteries I have ever read. I loved the character development and the book comes alive in you mind because the description of locals and people are so good. I fell in love with Three Pines!
Jan Trzeciak
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved all 3 of these!
Adrienne B
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love love love Louise Penny books and Inspector Gamache. If you are looking for a new series to start Still Life is a wonderful place to start. Still Life begins the series of Canadian detective novels whose hero is Chief Inspector Gamache with his sidekick Jean-Guy Beauvoir. The series is mostly set in the small Quebec village of Three Pines where lives weave together and there is more than enough murder to be uncovered.
Bridgit Strachan
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've loved all of her books. She is a beautiful writer and her characters are quirky and eccentric with a bit of "normal" thrown in... They come alive. By the time I finished her second one I felt like I was leaving good friends. Be sure to read them in sequence.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I actually read these 3 books individually but in order and still am entranced with Gamsche and his cohorts. Ms Penny has created both colorful characters like Ruth and her duck Gabri and Olivier Clara and Peter as well as very imaginative mysteries. I adore the character of Gamache and have not been so caught up in a series as much in quite a while. He is thoughtful heroic but has his own secrets and foibles. Will be sad when I finish all his stories
Mary Coley
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first read Louise Penny years ago, but didn't tackle the series in order. Now I am. This first book in the series made me fall in love with Gimache, and with the Canadian village of Three Pines. As a mystery writer myself, I picked up on clues that other members of my book club did not, but there were many surprises. The descriptions of the residents, and of the locale put me right there, salted with humor and wit throughout.
What an excellent start to the Detective Gimache series.
Laura Shows
I LOVE the Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny. The first one I read is #8: The Beautiful Mystery. I loved it so much, I immediately read the rest of the books in the series. Now, I'm waiting for the next one to be released in August. So, I went back to the beginning of the series and started with #1: Still Life. However, her writing then was not as good as it is now. But, I don't care; I love her that much. I will read the next 6, too, while waiting for the new one to be released.
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Great New Series

Louise Penny has created a great new homicide detective, picking up Agatha Christie themes. I like the way she is able to weave together a couple of different narratives and keep both interesting and alive. Moreover, she does NOT waste a lot of a reader’s time with a character’s personal issues and problems that have nothing to do with a good story.
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read Louise Penny, you are missing one of the best mystery writers of the time! Set in Canada, Inspector Gamache is an intelligent crime-solving detective who seldom uses his gun. The characters are amazing individuals--just what you hope to find in your own home town.

Start with Still Life and you'll read the entire series!
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: armand-gamache
Interesting writing with well-done characterizations. The mystery was pretty easy to figure out, but the town of Three Pines, the villagers, and the cops made it a very enjoyable read. Unfortunately, I could not get the first 'Three Pines' book, so I started on the second. The spoilers in the 2nd book will kind of negate the mystery of the first book when I finally get it. :/
David O.
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant and affecting series

I purchased the first book on sale from Audible and quickly bought this box set before even finishing the narration (which was excellent btw). The mysteries are good but the characters are magnificent. She had a set touch in the crafting and depicting each and every one. These are people you want to spend time with.
Susan Ovans
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Really enjoying this series of traditional mysteries set in a small town in Quebec. The characters are engaging and Chief Inspector Gamache has an intriguing back story that's cleverly unveiled over the course of these three novels.
Teresa Hiatt
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Captivating series

At the end of every book in the series, I'm grateful to know there is another book ready for me to read. Now, I have to add a trip to Canada to my bucket list and find Three Pines.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. As usual Louise Penny gives us a glimpse of a beautiful but deadly village in Quebec on the day after Christmas. Her Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels puzzle, intrigue and keep you reading until the final page.
Patricia B Scott
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great to start at the beginning of Three Pines. I love the development of the characters and the village of Three Pines. Gamache is such a wonderful person, friend, husband, co-worker.
Thanks Ms. Penny may Gamache live forever.
Apr 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Only read Still Life so far. Good little mystery but I felt like I often had to go back and re-read stuff because some of it was a little hard to follow, especially the dialogue (wondering who said what).
Aug 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So happy to discover this series!
Mary K Cooley
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really love the entire series - thoughtfully written mysteries with well rounded characters.
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Well written book...just not a fan of the genre !
Sarah Edman
Aug 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Another interesting book about the unique lives of friends in the small town of three lines in Quebec.
Willa Campbell
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louise Penny's character development and complex plots will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Marilyn Gayle
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Love this series.
Dec 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
Just don’t like murder mysteries. I am sure if you do it’s a good one.
Debbie Short
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First 3 were goodreads take a break and thy 3 more

Similar but not boring or repetitive
Enjoyed the flow of the dialogue and found myself wanting to visit this town
Lisa deProphetis
Great combination. Went fromOne book to the next

Great read. Lots of twists and I love getting insight into the French Anglo cultures of Quebec. Compelling character development
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LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of fourteen Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Penny has won six Agatha Awards and five Anthony Awards, and has been a finalist for an ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
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