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Monday, October 11, 2010

Still Life by Louise Penny, 2005, * * * *

The residents of a tiny Canadian village named Three Pines are shocked when the body of Miss Jane Neal is found in the woods on Thanksgiving. Miss Neal, the village’s retired school teacher 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 is after all, deer hunting season and it appears that a stray hunter’s arrow killed her.  Some folks, however, are suspicious and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Montreal Surete is called in to investigate.  His team soon finds that the seemingly peaceful and friendly village hides some dark secrets.  This is the first is yet another series that I was late to the game on and I can’t wait to read the second in the series A Fatal Grace.  The characters are delightful and Louise Penny makes mayhem seem delightful.  Still Life introduces readers to an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces - and this series - with integrity and quiet courage, but produces a new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

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