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Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life (2005)

by Louise Penny

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,3962401,591 (3.84)665
  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!
  2. 30
    Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (y2pk)
    y2pk: Inspector Jimmy Perez investigates murder in a small isolated community located on the Shetland Islands of Northern Scotland.
  3. 31
    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. 10
    Bone by Bone by Carol O'Connell (VictoriaPL)
  5. 00
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (sturlington)
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    I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (BookshelfMonstrosity)

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» See also 665 mentions

English (235)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  All (240)
Showing 1-5 of 235 (next | show all)
It’s Thanksgiving in Quebec’s quaint town of Three Pines and friends are gathering to enjoy each other’s company on this holiday. One morning the body of Jane Neal, a beloved member of the community is found dead in the woods. All signs of the death lead one to believe that a stray hunter’s arrow took her life, but when the police are called in to investigate, things slowly seam to wipe away this notion.

Who could possibly want Jane Neal dead? Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is determined to get to the bottom of the case along with help from his trusted detective Jean Guy Beauvoir. As the pair get to know each member of Three Pines they determine that this community is full of just as many secrets as the neighboring big cities. Close ties between villagers over decades can sometimes hold dark, untold feelings at the core. Could Jane have been murdered by someone she considered a friend?

Louise Penny creates a modern day Agatha Christie novel in STILL LIFE by dropping the reader into a small village where no one is who they appear to be. Teamed with Chief Inspector Gamache, who parallels the famous Hercule Poirot in his determination and sometimes peculiar detective style, the setting and characters effortlessly draw this comparison. Penny creates a depth to each resident of Three Pines who might have interacted with Jane Neal and subsequently earned the title of suspect. These characters are both loveable and loathsome, while staying true to themselves and claiming a spot in the reader’s heart.

I grew up with my nose in a book and once I graduated from Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie was one of the first authors to truly solidify my love for this genre. STILL LIFE is a great tribute to this classic style of twists and turns found within a common setting. Louise Penny creates an undeniably memorable character with Chief Inspector Gamache, but doesn’t forget the “little people” by surrounding him with a cast of minor characters that will leave the reader wanting to know more as they make themselves at home in their lives. I’m thankful that this is the start of a long running series where I will get the chance to continue on my adventure with Three Pines and Gamache. So, brush on your French and go pick up this entertaining piece of crime fiction! ( )
  jess_reads_books | Oct 17, 2017 |
I have not yet read this book.
  LynneQuan | Oct 16, 2017 |
More like 2.5. I can sense these will get better, and love a lot of the character writing and setting description, but there were a lot of holes or things that didn't set entirely well with me. Also, what was the point of the Nichols character except as a cheap way to further the plot? Will read more as I've heard they improve. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
A who done it that will keep you guessing until the end. Read for penny pushers Bookclub on Goodreads. ( )
  SBoren | Sep 25, 2017 |
Louise Penny has been recommended to me for over a year now. I finally dug in and read the first in her mystery series. The setting is a small country town outside of Montreal Quebec. The characters are interesting and a bit quirky as with all cozy mystery series. The story is well-written and those who are from Canada would enjoy the many references to English characteristics and to Canadian antiques and art. I will most likely pick up the next one when I am in the mood for a well-written story. ( )
  beebeereads | Sep 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 235 (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)

» see all 10 descriptions

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