Still Life

Synopsis: (as told by the back of the book)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team of investigators are called to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal and yet a world away.  Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods on Thanksgiving morning.  The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…

Morgan’s thoughts:

For those of you who don’t know, Louise Penny is a thing.  I believe there are fourteen books in the Chief Inspector series.  She has scores of followers who call themselves “Penny Pushers.”  

I had not heard of her before I joined this online community of book lovers but some of my new friends are just crazy about her (especially Madeleine over at Top Shelf Text).  So a group of us decided November was the month for us to dive into Still Life, the first novel in this series.

This was a wholly pleasing murder mystery.  It started a little slowly; I personally took a few chapter to figure out why I was supposed to care about the death of this old woman.  However, each of the characters in the town grew on me.  Penny writes imperfect characters; it’s not as black and white as murderer vs. not-murderer.  And I enjoyed that.

My one complaint is that I guessed who the killer was quite early on.  Not because they were mentioned acting suspiciously, for exactly the opposite reason: they were frequently mentioned with no clear reason.  Suspicion was cast on nearly everyone else. 

I’ll certainly read the second book, but will take a brief interlude.  At this rate, it could take me over a year to finish this series, but I don’t mind that.  I’m interested to see how this could possibly continue for fourteen books, as the murderer to town population ratio must have to be quite slim.

If you’re looking for a cozy mystery to curl up and read this winter, Still Life is for you.  Buy it here on Amazon or pick it up at your local independent bookstore.

4 thoughts on “Still Life

  1. ajandherbooks says:

    I thought the same thing about the murderer to town population ratio! At the rate Penny is going, everyone in that town will end up being a murderer. I liked the book as well, but I’m not dying to start the second book right away.

  2. readingbetweenwines says:

    I haven’t gotten into this series yet, but Louise Penny IS definitely a thing! I had no idea how many people were reading this series until I started up my Bookstagram. And then I noticed that hashtag (Penny Pushers). I’ve heard these can be a little slow but people still seem to love them. Great review, I can’t wait to read more of them from you. ☺️

  3. Rachel Johnson says:

    I borrowed this from the library, read the first two chapters, then it was time to return the book. Maybe I will give it a second try. I like the idea that she has quite a few books now that take place in Three Pines because sometimes when I finished a book, I feel so sad to leave the characters.

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