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Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel…

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (original 2005; edition 2015)

by Louise Penny (Author)

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4,3853091,720 (3.84)719
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)
Title:Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
Authors:Louise Penny (Author)
Info:St. Martin's Paperbacks (2015), Edition: Reprint, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:to-read, Import from Goodreads

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Still Life by Louise Penny (2005)

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    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. 20
    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.
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    I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley (BookshelfMonstrosity)
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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 719 mentions

English (302)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  French (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (309)
Showing 1-5 of 302 (next | show all)
This is the first Inspector Gamache mystery which introduces him as he is called to rural Three Pines to investigate the death of an elderly woman.

He finds an intriguing assortment of locals and a death that could be a simple hunting accident if you don't look too closely. Gamache brings with him a new member of his team in Agent Yvette Nichol who wants to work with homicide very much. However, she is the wrong sort of person and keeps messing things up and then blaming someone else for her errors. We see that Gamache sees himself as a mentor who doesn't like to give up on even the most hopeless person.

The story was interesting and the setting intriguing. I liked that the story was told from multiple points of view and contained such unique characters. ( )
  kmartin802 | Feb 7, 2020 |
I was bored while reading most of this. Aptly named. ( )
  jekka | Jan 24, 2020 |
I have finally gotten around to reading this series, and I really enjoyed the first book. It’s sort of like Elizabeth George Lite. This book was not as dark or psychological as the Thomas Lynley books, but still enjoyable, and the characters are well developed. One of the characters, Yvette Nichols, a new detective, even reminded me of Barbara Havers, only not as unkempt.

Penny’s characters are wittier and more amusing than George’s or say P.D. James, but not to the point of being unbelievable or characters. And I wouldn’t categorize this as a cozy mystery either, since the writing is far and away better than most cozy mysteries and Gamache is a real detective, rather than an amateur sleuth.

The plot is simple, Jane Neal, an elderly and beloved resident of Three Pines is found dead in the woods, was it a hunting accident or murder? Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his officers of the Sûreté du Quebec are called in to investigate. We then get to know all of the villagers and learn about their jealousies, insecurities, and weaknesses.

I listened to this on audio and the reader, Ralph Cosham does a wonderful job of narrating and his French is perfect.

I have already started listening to the second book in the series.
( )
  tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
This first in the Inspector Gamache series just blew me away. It's everything one should want in a murder mystery: a cozy and uniquely quirky town, an excellent cast of well-drawn characters, a detective whom the reader immediately falls for and falls hard, and a mystery that remains elusive until the very end. There are a few characters who irked me, but in the best possible way: because they are so very believably human, and it doesn't get much more fantastic than that. I will most certainly be revisiting Three Pines, which is now one of my favorite towns, real or written. ( )
  scaifea | Jan 1, 2020 |
So good. I'm hooked. On to the next book in this series. ( )
  Sparrowgirl | Dec 21, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 302 (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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