Book Review: “Still Life” by Louise Penny

This was the author’s first book, published in 2005.  As with many mysteries, it begins with a dead body.  Jane Neal is found dead in the woods near the village of Three Pines in Canada.  The Surete du Quebec is called and sends Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team to investigate.  They surmise that Jane may have been killed by a hunter since it was hunting season, but no one comes forward.  Suspicion falls on each of the villagers in this little town and each is deemed innocent until…

So this is where the saga started.  Three Pines is a village so small it’s not on the map.  Still, it seems riddled with mysterious deaths that require the expertise of Chief Inspector Gamache.  Like all small towns, the villagers all know each other and respect their neighbor.  And what an engaging group they are.  I started reading the latest books and worked my way backward.  I didn’t think that all of these books could have centered on such a small village, but the author has managed to do so and hold my interest.

This book actually won an award before it was even published so when it was published, it became an instant best seller and launched the author’s writing career.   Her books relies on the relationship between people and their reactions to life, rather than action or bloodshed.  It’s a good change of pace.

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