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Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache…

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

by Louise Penny

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3,2192281,724 (3.85)650
Title:Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache Mysteries, No. 1)
Authors:Louise Penny
Info:Minotaur Books (2008), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:My Book Reviews
Tags:mystery, gamache, novel

Work details

Still Life by Louise Penny (2005)

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English (223)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All (228)
Showing 1-5 of 223 (next | show all)
I like Inspector Gamache and the mystery definitely kept me guessing - I loved the clue that gave it all away. One of the interesting aspects of the story was how narrative can be so far from the truth - everyone thought they "knew" someone because of a persistent narrative, despite the actual experiences that people had with that person. ( )
  tjsjohanna | May 17, 2017 |
Loved, loved, loved this book. So different and so engaging. Well-written. I want to read all of her books. ( )
  bcrowl399 | May 9, 2017 |
For my last day off of the holiday season, I did next to nothing except sit in a chair with a dog on my lap, reading this excellent series debut mystery novel. For those of you who haven't already discovered Three Pines, Quebec, and the talents of Chief Inspector Gamache, may I recommend that you give this book a try. It's a traditional whodunit, dun very well indeed. A retired schoolteacher, the beloved Jane Neal, is found dead of a wound from a hunting arrow in the woods near the village. Could it have been an accident? Why was she out walking without her dog? The entire community comes under scrutiny, and naturally, many secrets are revealed, including why Miss Neal, in all these years, had never invited a single person into any room of her home except the kitchen. Just enough red herrings, and no ultimately dishonest false clues of the sort that make a reader cranky. Surprising bits of humor, and delightfully witty banter among some of the friends in the "cast".
Review written January 2011 ( )
2 vote laytonwoman3rd | May 5, 2017 |
I loved this cozy little murder mystery in this cozy little town, Three Pines, Quebec. Loved the quirky residents, some of which had been there from 3 to 80+ years. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec with his team, arrive to solve the murder of 80 year old spinster Jane Neal a well loved and respected leader, teacher, mentor. Along the way quite a few secrets are brought to light. But the love of this small community never waivers in its support of one another. 4.2 stars ( )
  Dannadee | May 4, 2017 |
Both my sister and a good friend recommended that I read the mysteries of Louise Penny; so I decided to start with her first Chief Inspector Gamache novel. I was not disappointed.

The mystery is set in a small town in rural Canada. The narrative introduces Armand Gamache of the Sorete du Quebec. The mystery proper begins with the discovery of the body of Jane Neal, a middle-aged artist, near a woodland trail used by deer hunters outside the village of Three Pines. Upon first investigation it appears she was the victim of a hunting accident. Soon Gamache, an appealingly competent senior homicide investigator, is summoned. He is able to determine that this was not an accident but the woman was most likely murdered. The narrative continues as clues are slowly uncovered while the residents of Three Pines are introduced. Some of them come under suspicion while the suspense builds with each piece of new evidence.

I enjoyed the author's development of a variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. She also introduces the bilingual, bi-cultural aspect of Quebecois life as well as arcane aspects of archery and art to deepen her narrative. Most of all there are memorable characters whose relationships make the mystery more compelling as they and their interrelationships are gradually revealed.

This is a mystery filled with intriguing insights that develops a good foundation for further exploits of Armand Gamache. I would recommend this author's first novel, which was the runner-up for the CWA's Debut Dagger Award in 2004, to all readers who enjoy a good mystery. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 30, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 223 (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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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.
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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