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Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
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Archives > May 2018-Final Thoughts-**Spoilers Allowed**-Still Life

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message 1: by Phrynne, Mystery lover! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phrynne | 3960 comments Mod
Final thoughts (and reviews if you like) on Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1) by Louise Penny Still Life by Louise Penny


Kerri_M | 698 comments Just finished - and 4 ★ from me.

This was a re-read for me. I first read probably about 10 years ago, and looking back at my "Librarything" listings, I can see I only gave it 3 stars at the time. I was a bit surprised to see that, because I remember enjoying it, and putting the series on my TBR list right away.

Why 3 then and 4 now? I thought about this a bit.

I think that maybe it was because I found the large cast of characters confusing on first read. Now having read more of the series, I am much more familiar with all the Three Pines village characters, and the writing style of Louise Penny.

Lots of characters, without a lot of backstory for most of them, and you wonder why some of them are there, and then they disappear not to be heard of again - no nice wrap up for all of the characters at the end.

I actually enjoy this aspect of this series of books, but perhaps on first read it was just a bit too hard to follow. Who knows, but happy to upgrade to a 4!

(PS: two years ago I made a commitment to myself to stop "re-reading" because I wasn't reading enough new books. But I have been secretly wanting to re-read this series, and jumped at the opportunity because of this challenge. Thanks to all those who voted for it! Of course, now I feel I can give myself permission to re-read the rest of the series ☺


message 3: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brenda | 9895 comments Mod
Good for you Kerri! Glad you enjoyed it - I have it coming up soon :)


message 4: by Phrynne, Mystery lover! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phrynne | 3960 comments Mod
I read it at the beginning of 2017 and have continued with the series since then. I gave this first book four stars partly because I really liked the main character Armand Gamache. This was my review
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 5: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brenda | 9895 comments Mod
It was actually your review that made me decide to read it Phrynne :)


message 6: by Phrynne, Mystery lover! (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phrynne | 3960 comments Mod
I am pretty sure you will enjoy it Brenda:)


message 7: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brenda | 9895 comments Mod
I think so too - I'll get to it soon :)


Kylie H | 929 comments Just finished and surprised myself by giving it 5 stars! Loved the characters in this and can't wait to read more. There was a great thread of humour through the book that offset the morbid storyline. However...after the basement snake thing, I think I will be having nightmares tonight. Eek!


Rowena Holloway | 54 comments Kylie wrote: "Just finished and surprised myself by giving it 5 stars! Loved the characters in this and can't wait to read more. There was a great thread of humour through the book that offset the morbid storyli..."
The snake scene was creepy, that's for sure, Kylie. At least it was revealed to be all in her imagination!


Rowena Holloway | 54 comments Thanks for choosing this for May's read. Louise Penny has been on my radar for a while but I'd never taken the next step.

So how do I feel about this book? Not sure. 3 stars.

I loved the English/Quebecoise insights, and the humour between the group of friends had me laughing out loud. I was also intrigued by the characters, especially the young offsider who just doesn't get it. Right up until that last moment when she's looking through the window and it seems she might finally understand what Gamache has tried to teach her, I was hoping she'd come through.

I found the head-hoping hard to get past. There were one or two scenes where it hopped so quickly between Gamache and his deputy or between the two artists that I had to go back and read to see whose head I was in. There were also so many characters that one or two seemed to get lost (at least in my head) overwhelmed perhaps by the stronger ones. Still, the characters who did stand out were excellent and well drawn.

Overall, it's a little too 'cosy' for my liking, but I would definitely read another Penny when I want something lighter than the usual thriller. I had stopped reading Cleave's Red Bones to read this in time for book club and I was very happy to get back to it and to move on to Blue Lightning.

Probably a case of reading the book at the right time for me!


Rowena Holloway | 54 comments Kerri_M wrote: "Just finished - and 4 ★ from me.

This was a re-read for me. I first read probably about 10 years ago, and looking back at my "Librarything" listings, I can see I only gave it 3 stars at the time. ..."


A first time read for me and I'd agree with your assessment Kerri :)


message 12: by Phrynne, Mystery lover! (last edited May 13, 2018 01:23AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Phrynne | 3960 comments Mod
If you decide to continue with the series you may well find that you fall in love with Three Pines and it’s characters. That’s what happened to me:)


Kerri_M | 698 comments Me too Phrynne.


Rowena Holloway | 54 comments Phrynne wrote: "If you decide to continue with the series you may well find that you fall in love with Three Pines and it’s characters. That’s what happened to me:)"

I'm sure that's true. I seem to be in a gritty mood at the moment. Have been binge watching The Killing too (US version). Probably time for a change of pace LOL


message 15: by Heather (last edited May 15, 2018 12:30AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Heather | 42 comments I gave it 4 ★
A gentle read. More about life in the village than the actual crime.
Chief Inspector Gamache reminded of other French speaking detectives like Commissaire Adamsberg or Commandant Verhoeven
quiet and reflective with a food obsession.


Kylie H | 929 comments Heather wrote: "I gave it 4 ★
A gentle read. More about life in the village than the actual crime.
Chief Inspector Gamache reminded of other French speaking detectives like Commissaire Adamsberg or Commandant Verh..."


Hi Heather,
I think that is what I enjoyed about it too. It was a book that you could recommend to anyone and they would like it. A lot of current crime novels can be quite confronting and expose a part of society we would rather not see (and I do enjoy these books too but am just getting over one about child trafficking). But this book I will be loaning to some friends and my mother, as I know they will enjoy it too.


PattyMacDotComma | 606 comments I read this a few months ago because so many people said how much they enjoyed visiting Three Pines and I wanted to know why. Now I know, and I enjoy it as much as anyone. I’m working my way slowly through the series, so I can holiday there every now and then.

I can enjoy some dark, psychological thrillers, but I’m not usually fond of grisly horror. People do get murdered here, but the warmth of the fire and the wine and cheese keep bringing me back. My review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 18: by Rob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob | 635 comments Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this book. It was full of memorable characters whose company I wanted to spend time with.

It was refreshing to find a character as amiable as C.I. Armand Gamache. He just, quietly got the job done.

The lack of graphic violence, sex and four letter expletives was also refreshing.


message 19: by Brenda, Suspense lover! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brenda | 9895 comments Mod
Thoroughly enjoyable! I'll definitely be continuing the series - our detective is worth following :)

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 20: by Li'l Owl (new) - added it

 Li'l Owl | 1064 comments Still looking forward to this series! The problem is that I've recently decided to read series back to back so I don't forget what happened in the last one! Putting this one as a to start next pile as I'm in the middle of several already! So little brains so many series! 😊


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