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Still Life (2005)

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,8403431,651 (3.83)741
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache 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. The locals are certain it's nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.… (more)
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    y2pk: Inspector Jimmy Perez investigates murder in a small isolated community located on the Shetland Islands of Northern Scotland.
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    Thus Was Adonis Murdered by Sarah Caudwell (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: Both these mystery series are excellent examples of the quirky/cosy end of the spectrum, with extremely engaging characters, an ironic wit and good twisty mysteries.
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    Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell (VictoriaPL)
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» See also 741 mentions

English (334)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (341)
Showing 1-5 of 334 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this. The characters are so well crafted and I really loved the setting the author chose. This was a re-read for me. I read and liked it very much years ago and never carried on with the series because there was such a long wait for them at the library. I circled back and reread this hopefully in preparation to sink into more of the series. ( )
  alanna1122 | Jan 11, 2021 |
Not bad, but not great either, despite so many positive reviews. It just kind of dragged on and on, tediously. I did like Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, but the remainder of the characters didn't make much of an impression, other than many of them being quite unpleasant. I understand the series gets better after a few books, but this first one doesn't inspire me to continue. ( )
  RandyRasa | Jan 7, 2021 |
The comfort of Penny's settings draw you in and the mystery keeps you there. I listened to the audio but next one I am going to read. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
A thoroughly enjoyable mystery, in a style very similar to P.D. James. However, while I often find James' forays into side characters a bit distracting, Penny's are always intriguing and meaningful. A wonderful cast of characters and a nicely complex mystery, perfectly narrated by Ralph Cosham for Blackstone Audio. I've already started listening to the next in the series! ( )
  sdramsey | Dec 14, 2020 |
Although I love mysteries, this was more like the kind I read years ago rather than the current style. Slow moving but became interesting by ending. Characters are introduced so you have a potential group of suspects but not a lot of info about them. There is the police team with the respected detective, Gamache (humor, insight, team player) and his sidekick (Beauvoir (serious, rule follower) plus another bumbling type, Nichol (thinks she is smarter than others, cocky) : assume they will be part of series. The small town with its residents that think they know everyone well enough to believe that it had to be an accident yet accept quirky behavior as OK. Liked how the painting Jane did played an interesting twist into solving the murder. Her friend was an excellent character. Spoiler: liked how Jane's house was painted, disappointed that Nichol not following up about the will/inheritance was never brought up in ending. ( )
  kshydog | Dec 13, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 334 (next | show all)
The beauty of Louise Penny’s auspicious debut novel, STILL LIFE, is that it’s composed entirely of grace notes, all related to the central mystery of who shot an arrow into the heart of Miss Jane Neal,...
 

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggesvik, AstridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kõrgvee, EdeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagano, KiyomiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ram, TitiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruiz Jara, BeatrizTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saint-Germain, MichelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salminen, RaimoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stumpf, AndreaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tse, EdwinCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werbeck, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
This book is given, along with all my heart, to Michael
First words
Miss Jane Neal met her maker in the early morning mist of Thanksgiving Sunday.
Quotations
She also felt a stirring that suggested she didn't actually like her son. Love, yes. Well, probably. But like?
Evil is unspectacular and always human, and shares our bed and eats at our own table. (From the third verse of 'Herman Melville' by W. H. Auden, quoted by Jane Neal in chapter one)
Every year the hunters shot cows and horses and family pets and each other. And, unbelievably, they sometimes shot themselves, perhaps in a psychotic episode where they mistook themselves for dinner. It was a wise person who knew that some hunters -- not all, but some -- found it challenging to distinguish a pine from a partridge from a person. (Chapter 1)
[Gamache is talking with Myrna Landers]

'The funny thing about murder is that the act is often committed decades before the actual action. Something happens, and it leads, inexorably, to death many years later. A bad seed is planted. It's like those old horror films from the Hammer studios, of the monster, not running, never running, but walking without pause, without thought or mercy, toward its victim. Murder is often like that. It starts way far off.' (chapter 7)
"There are four things that lead to wisdom. They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean."

I don't know.

I need help.

I'm sorry.

I was wrong.

(p. 81-82)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache 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. The locals are certain it's nothing more than a tragic hunting accident, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

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