Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Friday, February 16, 2018

Review: Still Life by Louise Penny

Review: Still Life by Louise Penny
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Released: 2005
Pages: 293
Source: Personal Book
Rating: 3/5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

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.

My Thoughts:

I had high expectations going into this read, and I was left disappointed. The story started off strong with the death of Jane Neal, living in a small town every one is shocked and wanting to figure out what happened. Three Pines was a wonder setting, I love reading about small towns. Since it does take place not far from where I live, I was all the more interested and connected with the story. It started to fall apart towards the middle, when the pace slowed down. 

Inspector Gamache really helped hold the story together for me, and he is the reason why I would try this next book in this series. The death of Jane puts the whole town under the spotlight because they live in such a small community. There's lots of misleading clues that leaves the reader guessing and trying to pieces together what happened. Initially, the hunting community was thought to have killed Jane accidentally which I thought was plausible. However, the hunters kept getting back handed comments because they were hunters. That's was frustrating to me, because hunting is a huge part of my family. It in no way makes you a bad or heartless person, it's a tradition and a source of food. It's not a reflection of you as a person. Then, I read comments about the French and English and how a "french" person would never do this or that. I've lived in Quebec my whole life, and that annoyed me to no end. The story continued to fall apart for me. I don't feel like the differences between English and French have to cement that the story takes place in Quebec. It felt forced.

Overall, the mystery was good. I stayed engaged and wanted to figure out what happened. Inspector Gamache was a great characters, and I loved Tree Pines. I would hope the second book is more faster paced. The parts that annoyed me, probably wouldn't annoy others but they really distracted me and took away from the story. I will try the second book, and hopefully it will work out for me. I've heard such positive things about this series, I really went in with alot of expectations. 


  1. A slow pace bothers me more than it used to. I still want to try one of Penny's books because I've heard lots of good things about them.

  2. I'm sorry this book was a disappointment. It sounds like you may have screamed in frustration a few times. It's times like this that you wish the characters weren't fictional so that your could tell them what you think! ;)

    1. Yes, it's those little details that can make or break a book.

  3. Oh darn, I'm sorry to hear this one didn't live up to your expectations. I hate it when that happens. I remember reading this one a while back and it was a favorite of mine. Unfortunately I've fallen a bit behind on the series. I don't know if you'd like future books because they are all a bit more on the slow side but I just love Gamache. I think he's such a great character.

  4. This sounds very good but slow pace might bother me too. Have to keep this in mind anyway.

  5. The author's descriptions made me feel like I was actually there in the little town. I liked her character development too. And although I figured out who the murderer was I enjoyed how she built up to the reveal. I'll be reading more of these stories.

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