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Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache…
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Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1) (original 2005; edition 2008)

by Louise Penny

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9432001,953 (3.86)619
Member:joannacawley
Title:Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1)
Authors:Louise Penny
Info:Minotaur Books (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Canadian procedural

Work details

Still Life by Louise Penny (2005)

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    sarah-e: The first of another fun mystery series: a lovable detective and an entertaining group of supporting characters, all against a lively African backdrop!
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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.
  4. 00
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    sturlington: Cozy mysteries set in villages.
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» See also 619 mentions

English (195)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (200)
Showing 1-5 of 195 (next | show all)
2.5 rounded down.

I had heard good things about this book so when the audio version came available at the library, I nabbed it. Unfortunately, my experience wasn't nearly as positive as many reviews had promised.

Before going into why it didn't work for me, I want to say that I enjoyed the narration. Lots of French in this book so I appreciated being able to hear proper pronunciations and a nice accent. I also found myself connecting with some of the characters and chuckling here and there or feeling some empathy for them. The mystery, itself, was sort of fun to follow. Even though I pegged the killer very early on, I didn't have much evidence. But to be fair, there wasn't much evidence to go on for that person.

Now for the things that made me groan and, at one point, move the book to my "quit but will go back" shelf. I dropped it for a couple of days but, in the end, wanted to find out why Jane had been killed.

First off, the jumping POVs drove me crazy. Some authors can make it work - I've heard JK Rowling is a head hopper with the Harry Potter series. (No, I've not read them - YET!) I don't remember it being an issue in her Robert Galbraith books or with Casual Vacancy though. Anyway, the head hopping is what ultimately made me put the book away. It still bothered me when I decided to keep going but I did my best to ignore it.

Another thing that bothered me was that some of the clues - particularly toward the end when it seemed pretty obvious how to identify the killer - were completely missed by the detectives. I understand that the reader gets more info than any individual character but it was right there.

So, I'm glad I finished the book but unless the POV switching was eliminated in later books in the series, I don't see myself reading another. ( )
  amcheri | Aug 22, 2016 |
First book of a series I think I'm going to enjoy. The main characters are likeable, and the setting (small town in Quebec) is pleasant and different enough from my life to be interesting. Of course a nasty murder unraveling yet older mysteries is not so pleasant but that's the way these things go. A plus is the investigation into the way an artist's mind works, a theme that interests me. ( )
  JudyGibson | Jul 17, 2016 |
This has everything I like so much in The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency books: a light mystery, insightful glimpses into human nature, and a touch of dry humor. Very happy I finally picked this up and now I understand why it's so popular. I'll definitely be reading more in the series. ( )
1 vote wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
This the first book in the Inspector Gamache series. I kept hearing about this on different podcasts and decided to take the plunge into Three Pines, the small Canadian village that's not on any map. I am so glad that I did. This is the perfect contemporary cozy mystery!

A well-loved retired teacher is found dead in the woods. It's reportedly a hunting accident, but Inspector Gamache smells murder. This book dives right into eccentric personalities and small town secrets to uncover the truth.

This was laugh out loud funny in several places, nail biting near the end, and completely charming. If you're looking for a fun mystery to take to the beach or to curl up by the fire with a cup of tea, grab this one!
  neverlistless | Jun 8, 2016 |
Slow paced, slightly confusing. Very few clues are given so you are reading about the relationships but not able to participate in finding the murderer. I would consider it a cozy mystery if there were a female sleuth to balance the police inspector ( )
  Bettesbooks | Jun 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 195 (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 (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Louise Pennyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Burk, DannyCover photo of townsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cosham, RalphNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Eggesvik, AstridTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kõrgvee, EdeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthews, GaryAuthor photographsecondary 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.
COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES (for the hardcover U. S. first edition): COPYRIGHT PAGE NOTICES (for the hardcover U.S. first edition):

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. For information, address St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, N. Y. 10010.

Library of Congress cataloging-in-publication data are provided.

First St. Martin's Minotaur Edition: July 2006.

First printing of first U. S. edition line: 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312541538, Paperback)

Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

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 woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, 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.

Still Life
introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces--and this series--with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:00 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the S?urete du Quebec 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 a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, 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.--From publisher description.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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