The beginning of an excellent series: Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 1)

I read and reviewed the two most recent titles by Louise Penny on the blog. Those books were All the Devils are Here, and A Better Man. I gave each a five star review. After finishing ATDAH, I was struck by the essential decency and goodness of the series protagonist, Armand Gamache. I started to wonder how he became the man he is and so wanted to go back to read the first book to find out. Indeed, Gamache is a man who cares and his compassion comes through in the novel. I underlined some of his statements as they resonated with me.

I actually remembered “whodunnit” but that did not lessen my enjoyment of this title. Ms. Penny has created a universe in the small town Canadian setting of Three Pines. The individuals who live there are idiosyncratic and unique. Their relationships in terms of friendship, parental/child interactions and marriages have universal qualities. The murder has traditional elements including a number of suspects all with credible motives.

The victim is Jane, an elderly woman who has just, for the first time, entered a painting in a local art show. She is close to the women of Three Pines and has a backstory of a lost romance. Who would want to kill this woman whom seemingly everyone loved? Read the book to find out.

The title of the book is very clever by the way. Readers will learn that it has multiple meanings.

I am going to read through all of the series again. I suggest that you do too. It is exceptional.

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