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 wood ...more
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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
With the encouragement of several of my Goodreads friends, I finally decided to pick up Still Life, a novel I bought 3 years ago. I don’t know why I waited so long to dust it off, especially since it has won multiple awards, but I can tell you it won’t take 3 years for me to read book 2 of what I believe will be a highly enjoyable series.
Some readers called this a cozy. I respectfully disagree; I think this story is more in the category of literary mystery. There is so much depth. The s ...more
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
I’ve seen this book and others in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series pop up so many times in my friends’ reviews and lists. And yet, I hesitated to read it for some time sinc ...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
Louise Penny lost her husband Michael this year. Her loss was so apparent in her latest offering, The Great Reckoning. As I turned the initial pages of this first book in the series, Still Life, I came upon the Acknowledgements that almost made me weep:
"This is for my husband Michael, who has created a life for us full of love and kindness. He allowed me to quit my job, pretend to write, then gave me unstinting praise ev ...more
I really enjoyed the setting, a small town in Quebec, and I became quite attached to several of the characters. They were quirky and a couple verged on going over the top but overall the author held it together.
An easy, comfortable read with just a bit of bite to it to keep it interesting. Consider me hooked on the series:)
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
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.
✓ Interesting characters...more
✓ Plausible fo
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
Still Life, first Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery, which was published in 2005, refers not just to a painting, but to the way some people live their lives. Rather than actively pursuing their hopes and dreams, they wait for good things to come to them.
Miss Jane Neal was possibly one of those people for much of her life. She fancied herself an artist, although none had ever seen her work. In fact, ...more
Inspector Armand Gamache is called to quaint little Three Pines outside Montreal-- so t ...more
The mystery starts ...more
Jane Neal, 76 years old and a retired school teacher, is found dead in the woods over the Can ...more
I tried this book in an attempt ...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
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 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
I think this is the first book I have read that is set in Quebec. That alone intrigued me. But reading about Inspector Gamache and his methods was a lot of fun.
I thought the writing at times was lyrical. And I loved how Gamache was able to just find out mo ...more