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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
3,1112121,816 (3.85)636
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)

  1. 62
    The No. 1 Ladiesʼ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (sarah-e)
    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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  3. 21
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    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
    The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie (sturlington)
    sturlington: Cozy mysteries set in villages.
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    I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  6. 00
    Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell (VictoriaPL)
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» See also 636 mentions

English (207)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All (212)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Woman is killed with arrow in small Canadian town. Interesting plot and characters with Chief Inspector Gamache on the trail of the killer. ( )
  addunn3 | Jan 12, 2017 |
A lovely, atmospheric and cosy mystery...easy to read, a real treat! ( )
  APopova | Jan 2, 2017 |
I almost didn't finish this one. Didn't care for it. I did like Gamache and the French Canadian town (though didn't find it very realistic). But the writing really bothered me. It's overwritten. Way too much telling and too much unnecessary detail. And sometimes specific details bothered me. Like, um, your best friend’s just been murdered and you’re looking up your husband’s bathrobe??? And did you ever hear of anyone whose back could blubber? (‘Toast?’ Peter ventured next morning to Clara’s blubbering back.) Chalk on a blackboard to me. Then there’s the dog, Lucy, who has God beliefs. Hmmm.

And I knew whodunnit far too early in the book.
( )
  toniclark | Dec 22, 2016 |
A very quick read. OK, once I got into it, I couldn't put it down until I was done. I liked that the major characters had mixed attributes - some mostly good, others mostly bad. I didn't guess the who-done-it, but it didn't seem like the author was intentionally misleading - just leaving details out until in the course of the story they became clear.

I will read more by this author. Another of her books was recommended by a friend, and while looking for that, I came across this. Which is good, this is the first one of the series.

Edited to add a favorite quote from page 166 of the edition I was reading.
A retired psychologist is telling the inspector some thoughts about loss:
"Life is loss. But out of that comes freedom. If we can accept that change is inevitable, if we can adapt, then we are going to be happier people." ( )
  CarolJMO | Dec 12, 2016 |
Very pleasing. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (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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Epigraph
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)
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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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