Saturday, February 22, 2020

Book Review: Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life
Author: Louise Penny
Series: A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery (Book 1)
Publication: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (September 30, 2008)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: 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.

Favorite Quote:
His horrible fear, and the terrible betrayal, wasn't that he'd trip and fall, or even that the wooden blind would tumble to the ground. It was that he'd throw himself over the edge. That was the horror of vertigo. He felt pulled to the edge and over as if an anchor was attached to his leg. Unaided, unthreatened, he would essentially kill himself. He could see it all happen and the horror of it took his breath away and for a moment he gripped the tree, closed his eyes, and fought to breathe deeply, regularly, from his solar plexus. 
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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