Still Life


Louise Penny

I have heard the book, Still Life, by Louise Penny recommended time and again but was slow to dive in as it is a murder mystery. Penny is an exceptional writer and won several awards for this debut novel.  The story takes place in a small town in the Quebec province of Canada where a retired schoolteacher, Jane Neal, is found murdered by a bow and arrow.

The central figure in the novel is Inspector Armand Gamache who is subsequently in 16 additional Penny novels.  Gamache is a middle-aged, wise detective whose observation skills are exceptional. He also understands the power of listening and the use of the pregnant pause, something I can benefit from practicing more often. 

The story flows nicely and is not scary or gory.  The characters are real-life, and their actions are also very believable. Reading Still Life makes me want to binge read Penny’s other novels, so reader beware! If you like intrigue but don’t want to be so scared that you can’t fall asleep at night, then Still Life is for you.