Friday, December 10, 2010

Still Life, Louise Penny

The wind is howling, it's something like 16 degrees outside, and the snow is blowing sideways. I'd say it's a good day to finish my Christmas cards (I know, I'm late as usual) and read and, oh by the way, review this first Chief Inspector Gamache novel. I'm a Louise Penny fan now and I have friends who love Chief Inspector Gamache, so when I saw the library had the first book in the series I grabbed it.

Gamache is truly a lovable character and so wise. He's also a good mentor who likes to take on young people and teach them everything he knows about being a detective. This time he takes on a young woman who is smart but has no compassion for people. This one is a mistake for sure. His assistant Jean Paul Beauvoir is his prize pupil, but even Beauvoir can't measure up to Gamache and he knows it.

Louise Penny creates such unique characters with such depth to them that I take my time over her books. This mystery includes a gay couple, a grumpy poet, a teenager with terrible problems, a vindictive woman, and a couple of artists. The wife is quite intuitive, a quality Gamache uses to good effect. These people and others live in a small village in Quebec where a woman seemingly beloved by everyone is found dead. She has been killed with a hunting bow and arrow. You'll learn along the way more than you probably ever wanted to know about bow and arrow hunting and target shooting, but it's actually fascinating as the investigation goes on.

I had many suspects but missed the clues as to the actual killer until the end. That's fine with me, I love to be surprised and then realize the groundwork for that conclusion had been there all along. In other words, I'm getting even more enamored of Louise Penny's books. Now to find the second Gamache novel.

Louise Penny's books are of course available from and I'm an Amazon Associate.

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