written by Louise Penny
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2005
Did I enjoy this book: I fell in love with Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surete de Quebec and I look forward to reading my way through all ten of the books in this series.
I remember a professor from my undergrad days bemoaning the fact that American writers don’t do food justice in their fiction. I don’t know if he was using ‘American’ as a synonym for ‘United States-ian’, but his complaint doesn’t apply to Canadian Louise Penny’s writing – my stomach rumbled for most of the book. The investigative staff is fortified by platters of wonderful sandwiches served up by the colorful chef at the B and B; Jane’s friends meet over simmering pots of wonderful stuff.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit to reading #9, How the Light Gets In first; a friend recommended it on Facebook, and intrigued by the Leonard Cohen reference in the title, I did something I almost never do: I read a series book out of order.
It didn’t keep me from loving Still Life, but, as Penny herself recommends on her website, the books are best read in order. The characters grow, the situation surrounding Gamache deepens, and the story line unfolds, bringing us more and more deeply into the Chief Inspector’s life.
Would I recommend it: Yes, I definitely recommend it, and any of Louise Penny’s books. They’re great for readers who enjoy a good murder mystery.
~ Pam, guest reviewer & EFC Short Story Contest Winner ~
About the book – from Goodreads: Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, 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 this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
With this award-winning first novel, Louise Penny introduces an engaging hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces—and this series—with power, ingenuity, and charm