Review: STILL LIFE by Louise Penny

Janelle Book Reviews, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Series, St. Martin's Press Leave a Comment


This is the first book in a thirteen book series. 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.

“Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead.”

My Review:

First off, this is a very beloved author and beloved series and I can see why. I was reminded of when I was a kid enjoying the world of Nancy Drew, and as an adult, enjoying Agatha Christie. Although not as dark as Christie, I had this same nostalgic feeling reading this book. This is a traditional mystery detective story and the best part about it is the characters: their personalities, quirks, and small town vibes. I felt like I was a part of their everyday lives. Louise Penny does a fantastic job shifting the suspicion onto each character and kept me guessing who the killer was until the VERY end!! It was so much fun!!  As a word nerd and fan of art in any form, I also appreciated all the literature, writing and art references. I am a stand-alone novel type of girl so I’m usually a hard sell, but each day I couldn’t wait to jump back into the world of Three Pines and Inspector Gamache!

I’m so happy to have started this series, not only because it’s EXCELLENT, but also because of the massive buddy read I joined on Bookstagram. The fifteen of us had so much fun that Lindsay at created a Goodreads group called Penny Pushers. Each month we will read a book in the series and there will be discussion threads posted for each book. We start book two, A FATAL GRACE, in October! I cannot wait!!!

I rated this CHARMING book 4 / 5 stars!

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