In Still Life, bestselling author Louise Penny introduces Monsieur L'Inspecteur Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, a modern Poirot who anchors this beloved traditional mystery series.
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.
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 S ret du Qu bec. 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. Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series.
Truly enjoyed thhis book. The characters and the plot were clever. Had me laughing out loud!
Louise Penny is one of the best contemporary mystery writers in North America. Her characters are well-drawn and complicated- new layers ( or is it depths?) are revealed under subsequent titles in this wonderful series. I was completely in love with Three Pines and its residents by the end of the first book and couldn't wait to find another so I could visit this village again.
Beautifully written. Not so much a mystery as a sensitive and seductive portrait of humanity. Characters finely drawn. The kind of book that not only holds one's interest from first to last but forces one to stop every now and again to chew over the deeper significance of the author's insights.