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Love her books but I find the audio books by far the best way to enjoy the series
I found Still Life to be moderately interesting, at least enough that I will move on to read book 2 in the series.
Louise Penny’s Three Pines series is engaging and has a compelling story arc. With memorable characters, who you’ll wish were your neighbors, and intriguing mysteries this series doesn't disappoint.
Highly recommended by book club members. 1st in the series about a small town
I want to read this series sooo bad because of all the awards they win and the positive reviews. This one is very boring. I am going to try #2 as I've read others say the more they read the more they liked the series.
This is my third or fourth Louise Penny and probably my last. While occasionally she has an interesting turn of events, her style is slow and repetitive, her pseudo-psychology shallow. She talks up her "good" characters to the point I despise them and is judgemental towards her "bad" characters.
The 1st book in a very popular series, set in Quebec, Canada, in Three Pines, a tiny village between Montreal and the U.S. border. The main detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is in his 50’s and getting a bit world weary. He has his way of interviewing people and getting answers, but he is refreshingly free of “the Great Detective” syndrome. He freely admits that he doesn’t know everything and learns about new fields with every case.
Miss Jane Neal, a popular elderly resident of Three Pines, has just decided to enter one of her heretofore private paintings in a local art show. Shortly after this announcement she is murdered by an arrow while walking outside, without her beloved dog. While she seems to be the kind of person that everyone loved, there also seem to be several possible suspects. In this village everyone knows everyone else and the cast of unusual characters seems especially full.
The characters are interesting, the setting is unusual, there is lots of colorful swearing in French, and we see the situation through several different points of view – which makes the author’s ability to conceal the mystery’s solution very impressive.
Despite being a long time mystery lover, I had never heard much about Louise Penny's books until recently. So I started at the beginning and I found it slow moving for the first 50 pages or so. There was so much set up to all the characters and so many characters that I had a hard time keeping interest, BUT when Inspector Gamache really gets on the case, that's when things get exciting. I will try the next one and see if I feel the same way...
I procrastinated reading this series, even knowing its popularity. Glad I took the plunge. I will be reading more!
Blake really liked this author so will try the first book and see what I think.
Great Series. Have read them all and am now reading them again but more slowly.
STILL LIFE is a literary mystery with an emphasis on character development rather than action. Intelligently written by author Louise Penny and set in a rural village in Quebec, this book will appeal to fans of PD James and Agatha Christie. A friend recommended this gem to me over a year ago, and I can’t explain why it took me so long to pick up it up, but it assuredly won’t take me another 12 months to read Book 2 of what promises to be an entertaining series.
supposed to be a murder mystery. slow. not a bad story. just wish things could have progressed different
This book was a delightful break from the serious materials I have been reading as of late on political philosophy and theology. I was quite a fun and intriguing read. I found it to be a typical 'Who Done It' scenario with its own twists and turns. No real surprises within the plot or storyline.
Of great importance for me is character development followed by the plot or story line. If either of these fails, its pretty much down hill. Ms. Penny did an excellent job in the character development. You get to know the characters on a personal and insightful level, especially getting to know their thought processes and investigative styles. As to the story line, it was captivating and engaging, nothing over the top or out fo the ordinary so that the plot is believable and plausible.
I especially enjoyed the small town atmosphere in which the crime was both committed and investigated. Ms. Penny endearingly captured both the joy of and the biases of small town communities.
The first book in a series usually spends a great deal more time than subsequent books in the series on character development. I believe it was especially important for this series introduction as there are quite a few characters of both primary and secondary importance who have to be introduced. it will be interesting to read the second book to see if plot development becomes more primary.
I would call this book a Canadian ‘cozy’ mystery that takes place in rural Quebec. Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Quebec is a complex but thoughtful man who is near the end of his career. Part of the story looks at how he likes to work with his team of detectives while the rest, of course, helps us solve the crime from the collection on characters who live in the small town where a murder, or maybe more than one, were committed. The book was interesting enough to get me reading the second book in the series, I really enjoyed it. (submitted by RZW)
Inspector Gamache series, no. 1. In re-reading 'Still Life' I gained a new appreciation for Louise Penny's remarkable debut novel in this ground-breaking series. Amazing characters in a village setting are contrasted with police officers with their own issues. A unique mix of the traditional village mystery with the police procedural - and equal weight given to each.
THIS is the FIRST in the SERIES of 15 TITLES
Still Life by Penny is the first novel of the series. / also made into a dvd movie.
It also won the celebrated presigious Anthony Award in yr 2007 for Best First Novel.
This series, with the same detective characters, has a total of 15 titles sequentially in the series, published from 2005 to 2019 (A Better Man)
Penny's writing is captivating, smooth flowing, with page turning plots.
The characters are a fascinating dimension of contrasting qualities which, when assembled into a team of detectives, becomes a decisive form of collective "team" brilliance.
Likeable, challenging characters. Just like many of our friends or family.
It's very important to READ the books in sequence of dates published.
Many of the books in the series need to get ordered from the InterLibrary MNLink network.
If you like series set in Canada, check out Vicki Delany's Smith and Winters and Ausma Zehanat Khan's Khattak and Getty.
Recommended by friends. Quite intrigued by Detective Inspector Gamache’s insight into his colleagues, suspects and murder victim. Looking forward to reading the second in the series.
A good (not great) curl-up-and-read "cozy" set in a small Quebec town introduces Inspector
Gamache, an appealingly characterized protagonist. Anyone in the mood for a light
mystery and a hiatus from heavier fare should enjoy this. First of a large series.
Couldn't put it down. Finished it in one sitting and felt like leaving old friends at the end. Have started putting all her others on reserve.
This first title is almost a "cozy" mystery. But the series gets deeper, darker, and more nuanced with each new title. Join Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec as he journeys to the small town of Three Pines.
I really enjoyed this initial book in the series and have gone on to read the rest as I can get them from the library - they are popular! I find the plots not always great and the characters not always consistent, but the little town of Three Pines and the way of life is enchanting and relaxing and brings me back to the series.