Monday, October 21, 2019

Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1)

Still Life. (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1) Louise Penny. 2005. 293 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Miss Jane Neal met her maker in the early morning mist of Thanksgiving Sunday.

Premise/plot: Still Life by Louise Penny is the first in a mystery series starring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec. The mystery itself is set in the super tiny village of Three Pines. Readers get to know many villagers quite well—Peter and Clara, Olivier and Gabri, Ruth, Myrna, the Crofts, Ben Hadley, etc. Gamache does not work alone either, other detectives are also on the case. Can they find the murderer in time?!

My thoughts: The writing is fabulous, absolutely fabulous!!! I think the fact that all the characters—no matter how major or minor—are so well drawn is what has me hooked and a bit amazed. I love character driven novels but mystery novels often aren’t with the exception of the main character and main sidekick.

’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.’
‘Waiting for what?’
‘Waiting for someone to save them. Expecting someone to save them or at least protect them from the big, bad world. The thing is no one else can save them because the problem is theirs and so is the solution. Only they can get out of it.’

At what point does change happen? Sometimes it’s sudden. The ‘ah ha’ moments in our lives, when we suddenly see. But often it’s a gradual change, an evolution.

’There’s no easel, no paints. There’s no studio. Where’d she do her art?’
‘How about the basement?’
‘Sure, go down and check, but I can guarantee you an artist isn’t going to paint in a windowless basement.’ Though, come to think of it, Jane Neal’s work did look like it’d been done in. The dark.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

I had been wondering about this series. It sounds great. Thanks for the review!