Still Life

Still Life

Large Print - 2012
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Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in Quebec is called to a tiny hamlet south of Montreal to investigate the suspicious hunting "accident" that claimed the life of a local fixture in the village.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, 2012.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410448972
Characteristics: 481 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.


From Library Staff

List - Romance? Or Mystery?
TacoStand Feb 09, 2021

Police procedural mystery (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series). Read Canadian. Louise Penny's CI Gamache books are definite fan favourites. Penny is a multi-award-winning author and a member of the Order of Canada.

List - Turkey Day
ktflynn Oct 01, 2020

Miss Jane Neal met her maker in the early morning mist of Thanksgiving Sunday. It was pretty much a surprise all round," Still Life begins, the first of Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache mysteries. While not necessarily about Thanksgiving, Still Life is set during that very specific time of y... Read More »

From the critics

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FPL_ElizabethC Apr 12, 2021

"....violent death still surprised him. Which was odd, for the head of homicide..." And so Louise Penny introduces Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and a series that deftly combines the best elements of cozy mysteries and police procedurals, transcending both subgenres. With grace and integrity, Inspector Gamache seeks not only the facts of the case, but the truth of the matter. Humanity, not in general, but in the varied, complex characters who inhabit Three Pines, is the true focus of this investigation. Highly recommended.

Mar 22, 2021

As a Canadian I love that it's set in Canada, and all the Canadian references. Her characters are well drawn and realistic, I feel like I have met all of these people. Also, her writing is really funny, laugh-out-loud at times.

One thing that surprised me is that this doesn't really seem like a mystery, because it's clear who the murderer is right from the very first scene that they are in, as soon as the character is introduced. I'm not sure why the author gives it away like that? Throughout the rest of the book there was never any doubt about who the murderer was.

I read a lot of old British mysteries, where the author misleads you into thinking it's each character in turn, until a twist at the end. So I kept thinking "there must be a twist at the end?" but there wasn't, it was the person I thought it was all along, and there was no attempt to mislead you along the way.

So as a mystery it's not exactly a mystery! But as a story it's an enjoyable read, with great characters. I will read the next one.

Mar 10, 2021

Not a huge fan of cozy mysteries but Penny has a solid gift for storytelling. This is a love letter for Quebec and the Eastern Provinces. Her detective, Armand Gamache, is someone that is both relatable and not a detective you would come to dislike later on. He's patient and well thought out. The cast of characters is unique, quirky, and relatable. I could see these folks in a small town. Being from Vermont, I can relate to the idea of Twelve Pines (the fictional community and murder capital of the world). This is Penny's first mystery novel and I already noticed an improvement in her second and subsequent books. They are relatively easy reads, fun, and solid "whodunnits." They're fun.

If you are looking for more of a police procedural and gritty detective story, I would strongly recommend Archer Mayor who writes the Joe Gunther Mysteries, which takes place in Vermont -- specifically Open Season, his first novel. Those are excellent mysteries, grittier than Penny, but also a love song to the geography of Vermont. Regardless, Penny is a class act. I enjoyed this.

Feb 27, 2021

'Three Pines is made up of good people, but one of us is festering.' The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving Weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Surete du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines - a place so free from crime it doesn't even have its own police force. But Gamache knows that evil is lurking somewhere behind the white picket fences and that, if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will start to give up its dark secrets...

Feb 09, 2021


Feb 02, 2021

I feel like I'm the last person to jump on the Louise Penny train, but I am so glad that I did.

I loved this book--I loved the town of Three Pines, I loved Inspector Gamache, and I loved that I did not figure this mystery out! I mean, I thought I had. However, my guess came late in the book and I was blindsided when the reveal was made. That will make nearly any book a winner for me.

I have read a number of comments that this book was slow. That was not my experience. Granted, it may be because I was so taken by the world that Penny creates. However, the fact that Penny took the time to walk through all the steps and bits of this mystery. The necessary clues are there, but you probably won't see them without some hindsight.

Anyway, count me in as a Penny fan. I'm off the read all of her other books now.

Jan 04, 2021

My book club just loves Louise Penny. I thought it was intriguing and complicated at the very end. But they solved the crime. On to the 2nd book.

Oct 30, 2020

An easy read - pretty standard murder mystery. Jane has used her house as her palette to record all the events in a Canadian town. Her death reveals all of the secrets of the town including her killer.

Aug 27, 2020

I have read all her books. I love them mostly because I don't know Whodunnit until the end. Hope she keeps it up. The movie wasn't very good but it was nice to see the town and the people but the man who played Gamache wasn't right. Still everyone was good, especially the one in the monastery.

Aug 27, 2020

The first two pages were promising. Then it went downhill. I was told that it had great characters- well, after 30 pages all I had were a bunch of names and useless descriptions. And a small town in which, apparently, everyone is a successful artist/antique dealer/bookseller... yet there aren't very many tourists. How is that supposed to work?

Is this what modern fiction is like? Maybe that's why I don't read much of it...

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Add a Quote
Mar 01, 2018

'When my death us do part
Then shall forgiven and forgiving meet
Or will it be, as always was, too late?

PimaLib_SamR Mar 07, 2016

If you pretend to know, you aren't going to actually learn.

PimaLib_SamR Feb 24, 2016

We choose our thoughts, we choose our perceptions, we choose our attitudes. We may not think so. We may not believe it, but we do.

Aug 04, 2015

"What do you see?" Elise asked Peter. (about of the art piece "Fair Day")
"Honestly, I don't know. But I know we need to accept it." p 11

Aug 04, 2015

"Tell me what you know," signaled the beginning of the hunt. p 35

Jun 28, 2012

"Now, can I interest you in a glass of wine, or perhaps a chandelier?"


Add a Summary
Sep 30, 2018

Jane Neal, an artist in the town of Three Pines, is shot with an arrow and dies. At the end of the mystery her home is revealed to have walls covered with her most amazing paintings.

Jun 28, 2012

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team investigate a suspicious death in rural Montreal. Instead of a tragic hunting accident it turns out to be murder.

Oct 16, 2011

murder in a small english town....centres around an artsy community and old grudges.....good

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