Still Life

Penny, Louise

Book - 2005
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Still Life
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté 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.--From publisher description.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, c2005
Edition: 1st St. Martin's Minotaur pbk. ed
ISBN: 9780312541538
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY PENNY 2005
Characteristics: 312 p. ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

My rare venture outside Britain for a cozy is to Quebec! Visit the amazing village of Three Pines and get to know Inspector Gamache.

While Inspector Gamache is the main attraction here, Penny's fans also enjoy her cast of secondary characters, especially the residents of Three Pines. Penny's settings have a timeless feel, and the tone of her novels is that of hope and resilience despite adversity. -Novelist

CI Armand Gamache of the Surete du Qubec is called to investigate a suspicious death in a rural village in southern Montreal. Is it a tragic hunting accident or is it cold-blooded murder?

In a small town in Quebec a woman supposedly loved by her community is found in the woods, murdered. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache looks for the small clues which will point him to the killer. Kirkus calls this “cerebral, wise and compassionate.”

(First book in the Inspector Armand Gamache mysteries series) In a small town in Quebec a woman supposedly loved by her community is found in the woods, murdered. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache looks for the small clues which will point him to the killer.

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Mar 13, 2015

Still Life is a lovely book to read. Quite accidentally, I discovered this author, Louise Penny, while surfing my telly and coming across a charming film, Still Life, starring the debonair Nathaniel Parker as Armand Gamache. As is my wont, I rushed to the forum on IMDb and discovered a CANADIAN author of whom I had never heard. Why oh Why are we Canadians so timid about telling us about ourselves?

That said, the movie was charming because the Cinematography, for one, of the landscape is a delight to my jaundiced eye.

But, this page is about the book, eh? The quietude of it is welcome after reading some other crime/mystery books with bodies bleeding here there and everywhere.

Ms Penny is not afraid to include the French language which I find a welcome treat.

I continue my voyage with A Fatal Grace.

Jan 22, 2015
  • WVMLStaffPicks rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Reads like a Canadian Agatha Christie, complete with a cozy small town in the province of Quebec, police procedurals, and a cast of characters both flawed and true. Thankfully the author has made this an ongoing series, because there is much to explore (and oddly, much murder) in the English enclave of Three Pines.

Jan 08, 2015
  • Chapel_Hill_AmandaG rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I loved the sweet Quebec setting and the development of the main character. The mystery portion of it was well-planned and I didn't guess the ending! I was disappointed by the quality of the writing and some of the other characters felt very flat. This is only the first book in the series and I'm going to give it one more chance!

Jan 04, 2015
  • BrigidWilson rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

From Publishers Weekly: "Canadian Penny's terrific first novel, which was the runner-up for the CWA's Debut Dagger Award in 2004, introduces Armand Gamache of the Sorete du Quebec. When the body of Jane Neal, a middle-aged artist, is found near a woodland trail used by deer hunters outside the village of Three Pines, it appears she's the victim of a hunting accident. Summoned to the scene, Gamache, an appealingly competent senior homicide investigator, soon determines that the woman was most likely murdered. Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. She deftly uses the bilingual, bicultural aspect of Quebecois life as well as arcane aspects of archery and art to deepen her narrative. Memorable characters include Jane; Jane's shallow niece, Yolande; and a delightful gay couple, Olivier and Gabri."

Gamache is wonderful, someone you'd like to be able to ask for advice in your own life. There are other engaging characters in Three Pines: Myrna (the lone Black village resident), who used to be a big-city psychologist but now runs a used book shop in the village; Peter and Linda, artistic spouses with a real relationship full of ups and downs; and Ruth Zardo, the village's resident poet (whom Gamache admires greatly) and most profanity-laced malcontent. It's a village you'd like to stay a while in and get to know the people . . . unless Gamache needs to come visit.

Dec 16, 2014
  • KindianaJones rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

As much a story of life in small town Quebec as it is a murder mystery. Well-written characters --- and I didn't guess the ending.

Oct 21, 2014
  • Steebc24 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a great series. I'm glad I read them in order as my friend suggested. Fell in love with each and every character.

Sep 02, 2014
  • bkwmn1992 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. It's an excellent debut mystery, and Ms. Penny's books just keep getting better and better!

Jul 18, 2014
  • DorisWaggoner rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

This police procedural/cozy is a quick read, but do not be fooled. Gamache is a gem, his relationship with his second in command is wonderful, and their history together and in the force has a great back story, even though this is the first in the series. The hamlet and its denizens hold pretty true as well, though it's a little hard to believe the victim is as totally good as nearly everyone believed she was. But there are a plethora of plausible suspects, and Penny's great at withholding just enough that I didn't have any idea whodunit until she wanted us to know. She also left just enough threads dangling about Gamache's team and the villagers to make me want to read more. A good first outing.

May 31, 2014

A murder in a small town just south of Montreal is solved by Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the Canadian version of Hercule Poirot. Great read! Next book, A Fatal Grace, 2007 Agatha winner.

Apr 27, 2014
  • Shelley51 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

This book was recommended to me by a librarian. She told me it would be a struggle to finish because it was "the first book". Boy was she correct. I liked the main characters but if I hadn't known the series would improve I would have quit reading before page 100. I felt sorry for the author-its like she kept coming up with "ideas" and didn't know when to stop. Book 2 had better be much improved!

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Jun 28, 2012
  • ElectricMayhem rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

"Now, can I interest you in a glass of wine, or perhaps a chandelier?"

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Jun 28, 2012
  • ElectricMayhem rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team investigate a suspicious death in rural Montreal. Instead of a tragic hunting accident it turns out to be murder.

Oct 16, 2011
  • nipper rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

murder in a small english town....centres around an artsy community and old grudges.....good


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