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Still life
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2006
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Reviews

Booklist Reviews

/*Starred Review*/ The residents of a tiny Canadian village called Three Pines are shocked when the body of Miss Jane Neal is found in the woods. Miss Neal, the village's retired schoolteacher and a talented amateur artist, has been a good friend to most of the townsfolk, so her loss is keenly felt. At first, her death appears to be a tragic accident--it's deer-hunting season, and it looks a stray hunter's arrow killed her. But some folks are suspicious, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Montreal Surete is called in to investigate. Accompanying Gamache are his loyal assistant Beauvoir and Yvette Nichol, a new addition to Gamache's team. The trio soon finds that the seemingly peaceful, friendly village hides dark secrets. The truth is both bizarre and shocking, even to the jaded Gamache and his team. This is a real gem of a book that slowly draws the reader into a beautifully told, lyrically written story of love, life, friendship, and tragedy. And it's a pretty darn good mystery too. This belongs in the same league with such other outstanding Canadian mysteries as Eric Wright's Charlie Salter series. ((Reviewed May 1, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Library Journal Reviews

Janet Neal is killed by someone using a bow and arrow in the woods by her home in Three Pines, Quebec. Since it is hunting season, the police do not know if her death was accidental or deliberate. Janet, a retired schoolteacher, had touched the lives of all the villagers, so her death hits them hard, especially her neighbor and friend Clara Morrow. Debut novelist Penny writes poignantly about life in a small hamlet and how the work of an artist can be misunderstood. Three Pines harbors a small colony of artists, and Penny uses poetry and the creation of art and its acceptance or rejection by the world at large as the prime mover of the story. A first-rate creator of memorable characters, Penny introduces a truly engaging sleuth in Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, who is sent to investigate and in the process falls in love with Three Pines and its inhabitants. Strongly recommended for most mystery collections.

[Page 71]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Canadian Penny's terrific first novel, which was the runner-up for the CWA's Debut Dagger Award in 2004, introduces Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. When the body of Jane Neal, a middle-aged artist, is found near a woodland trail used by deer hunters outside the village of Three Pines, it appears she's the victim of a hunting accident. Summoned to the scene, Gamache, an appealingly competent senior homicide investigator, soon determines that the woman was most likely murdered. Like a virtuoso, Penny plays a complex variation on the theme of the clue hidden in plain sight. She deftly uses the bilingual, bicultural aspect of Quebecois life as well as arcane aspects of archery and art to deepen her narrative. Memorable characters include Jane; Jane's shallow niece, Yolande; and a delightful gay couple, Olivier and Gabri. Filled with unexpected insights, this winning traditional mystery sets a solid foundation for future entries in the series. (July)

[Page 40]. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Flap Cover Text

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces---and this series---with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.
- (McMillan Palgrave)

Author Biography

LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of ten Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

- (McMillan Palgrave)

Annotations

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Canada's S–ret‚ du Quebec is called to Three Pines, a tiny hamlet south of Montreal, just north of the U.S. border, to investigate the suspicious hunting "accident" that claimed the life of Jane Neal, a local fixture in the village. A first novel. 35,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the SpuretGe du QuGebec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.--From publisher description.Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of Canada's SpuretGe du Quebec is called to Three Pines, a tiny hamlet south of Montreal, to investigate the suspicious hunting "accident" that claimed the life of Jane Neal, a local fixture in the village. - (Baker & Taylor)

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces - and this series - with integrity and quiet courage, but new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny. - (Blackwell North Amer)

Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.
Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces---and this series---with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.
- (McMillan Palgrave)

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