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Still Life (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 1)

Still Life (A Chief Inspector Gamache Mystery Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Louise Penny
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'A highly accomplished debut... Ever since Agatha Christie, we long for that perfect village touched by death. Three Pines delivers' -- Toronto Globe & Mail

'A splendid motive for murder, an attractive detective and some terrific atmosphere... An impressive debut novel' -- The Times

'Gamache is certainly Quebec's answer to Morse with a soupcon of Poirot. Definitely a winner' --

'Gamache is certainly Quebec's answer to Morse with a soupcon of Poirot. Definitely a winner'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 459 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0351322302
  • Publisher: Sphere (7 April 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004TL27PM
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,799 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Louise Penny has worked for many years for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with expertise in hard news and current affairs. She was born and raised in Toronto, but now lives in a picturesque village in Quebec with her husband. She is the recipient of the CWA New Blood Dagger for Crime Fiction, the CWC Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel, the Agatha Award for Best Novel and the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. For more information on Louise Penny and the C. I. Gamache crime series, visit her website

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a very impressive first novel 18 Feb 2011
A beautifully written Agatha Christie style mystery with a sympathetic Chief Inspector Armand Gamache in the style of Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti.
Set in an idyllic village in Quebec with a terrific atmosphere. It has enticed me to buy the next two in the series. Louise Penny also produces a good blog with a monthly newsletter.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real find 21 Dec 2011
By ichthus
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am now on my seventh (sequential) book by Louise Penny in the Armand Gamache series and there is not a "dud" one amongst them. With such a high standard of creative writing from this author I suppose it is a little insulting to expect there might be a below standard book in the series.
Each one is a 'gem' of detective fiction. I'm still wondering how I managed to pass by this author for so long.
Chief Insp.Gamache is in a similar vein to Donna Leon's Brunetti but he is a certainly not a pastiche. Her writing style is very creative and pleasingly individual and the humour - not an overused aspect of the genre - is a welcome treat. The characters are so well realised that you become really involved with them as the novels progress (and they are a mixed and fascinating bunch). At the same time their village of Three Pines draws you in.
There is a sort of Brigadoon feel about Three Pines and despite the murders in the area, it is a place where one could happily go and live. There is no gratuitous violence or reliance on crudity in the novels but neither are they prudish.
Obviously, like any series of books, I can't guarantee that they will be to everyone's taste but i am sure there will be many, like me, who will get thoroughly involved, entertained and be glad they discovered Gamache, Three Pines and its inhabitants.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still Life 26 May 2011
Another really well-written novel from this Canadian writer. The story is full of suspense and the characters are well portrayed. I would highly recommend this book to crime-reading enthusiasts like myself.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I picked this up at a charity stall for 25 pence and spent half a second glancing at the back-cover blurb and took it to be an English police procedural. In fact, it is a cosy village whodunnit set in Quebec. The police are certainly involved but you don't read much about them plodding through computer files or the SOCOs' painstaking work.

The characters are credible and the author is either insightful about people or just has a great imagination. There are plenty of suspects, clues and red herrings. There isn't as much psychological business as there is in, for instance, most U.S. and Scottish crime thrillers (the ones I've read, anyway). Penny successfully misdirected me away from the culprit(s).

I am a slow reader but galloped through this in about four evenings and immediately ordered the second one in the series. As long as you don't mind your crime novels populated by nice, creative, artistic middle-class people (I don't, as I read this kind of thing for escapism), there is plenty here to enjoy. This one is being made into a film with Nathaniel Parker so that sounds rather like Inspector Lynley being relocated but it will probably be watchable. Now let me go off to Olivier's bistro for a coffee and croissant.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WORK OF ART 11 Feb 2012
Tragedy strikes Three Pines, an elderly village hidden away in Quebec. Delightful seventy six year old former teacher Jane Neal is found dead, slain by an arrow. A hunting accident or something more sinister? The timing is curious, between two unprecedented events. Just submitted by Jane to an art exhibition has been an extraordinary painting that stunned the judges. Friends have also been amazed by an invitation to her living room, yet to be seen by anyone - for decades a mystery.

Although Jane perishes at the book's start, she dominates all that follows - her artwork the key to everything. Chief Inspector Gamache investigates - soon to be charmed by the village and its quirky inhabitants.

A first novel? This surprises, Gamache and Inspector Beauvoir so firmly portrayed they seem well established characters from a long running series - especially with so many references to previous cases. In fact, everybody here is vividly depicted - many most likeable, some decidedly not. Gamache himself proceeds with insight and compassion (unlike the team's newest recruit Agent Yvette Nichol). The occasional humour enhances - as with Nichol so perplexed by that mirror sticker, "You're looking at the problem."

Like Gamache, many readers may be captivated by Three Pines full of friends so loyal - moved and enchanted by the way Jane has ensured she will always be around.

A truly satisfying read.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Splendid 22 Mar 2007
By Hugh Sutherland VINE VOICE
Louise Penny has gone against the latest trends in modern crime fiction, blood, gore, forensics, post-mortems, shock tactics and has instead relyed on her talent as a good writer. This novel and author are a refreshing additon to the crime genre.

Her characters and setting are so well created that you can't help but get lost amongst the inhabitants of Three Pines.

The story is interesting and well thought out, with enough hints and clues to keep us guessing.

The only downfall was having to finish it but thnkfully there is more on the way.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars delightful and delightfully written
We open with a dead body, shot by a bow and arrow. And for a short while we are introduced to the people of Three Pines, and guess who might have done it. Read more
Published 4 days ago by eppingstrider
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic series
This is the second time I've read this book . I came across the series quite by chance in the library and read them out of order , now I'm going through them in chronological... Read more
Published 1 month ago by tinkerbell
2.0 out of 5 stars Could be a good book.
I thought I would try this author as it was recommended by the type of authors I enjoy. (But sadly, this is probably only me) I couldn't really get into it which is disappointing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Munchkin
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting?
When I first noticed that this book was being offered as part of the Kindle Monthly deals, I was so excited since I had heard so much about how wonderful this series was and what a... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dianne E. Socci-Tetro
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read
An excellent first novel by Louise Penny, intriguing characters, well thought out plot and wonderfully descriptive of the countryside in which it is set.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs L M Evans
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Life
Bought this after reading recommendations and thoroughly enjoyed it. Absolutely believable and intriguing. Read more
Published 3 months ago by nickyb
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good condition
I ordered this book so i could re-read it without pressure of getting it back to the library. Arrived promptly and in very good
Published 6 months ago by Mimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave New World
I loved this book but can see how she's grown in statue as a writer having read the latest one. I especially appreciate her ability to reproduce a microcosm of a world i know... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Jane Richards
4.0 out of 5 stars 1st in the series, looking forward to the the next Dead Cold
Enjoyed this book, conjured up a very convincing picture of village life and the relationships between the diverse residents. Read more
Published 8 months ago by CM Chobham
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Lightweight
Because this book had been praised by Peter Robinson, I thought it would be good and written in similar image to his work but I was quite wrong. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Maddy
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‘Life is change. If you aren’t growing and evolving you’re standing still, and the rest of the world is surging ahead. Most of these people are very immature. They lead “still” lives, waiting.’ &quote;
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