Still Life

Still Life

eBook - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté 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.--From publisher description.
Published: New York, N.Y. :, St. Martin's Minotaur,, 2008.
Edition: First St. Martin's Minotaur pbk. edition.
ISBN: 9781429967235
Characteristics: 1 online resource (312 pages)


From Library Staff

Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache mysteries are wildly popular right now, so it's hard to imagine there's anyone unfamiliar with them. Just in case, I cannot pass up the chance to mention this mystery series, which is set in the delightful Canadian village of Three Pines. The town is populated by ... Read More »

This is book one of a fun mystery series. But, for all of it's charm, I'm glad I don't live in Three Pines. A lot of people seem to find themselves murdered there!

Canadian author, set in Canada

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
IndyPL_SteveB Sep 11, 2019

The 1st book in a very popular series, set in Quebec, Canada, in Three Pines, a tiny village between Montreal and the U.S. border. The main detective, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, is in his 50’s and getting a bit world weary. He has his way of interviewing people and getting answers, but he is refreshingly free of “the Great Detective” syndrome. He freely admits that he doesn’t know everything and learns about new fields with every case.

Miss Jane Neal, a popular elderly resident of Three Pines, has just decided to enter one of her heretofore private paintings in a local art show. Shortly after this announcement she is murdered by an arrow while walking outside, without her beloved dog. While she seems to be the kind of person that everyone loved, there also seem to be several possible suspects. In this village everyone knows everyone else and the cast of unusual characters seems especially full.

The characters are interesting, the setting is unusual, there is lots of colorful swearing in French, and we see the situation through several different points of view – which makes the author’s ability to conceal the mystery’s solution very impressive.

knitsewrainbow Jul 25, 2019

Despite being a long time mystery lover, I had never heard much about Louise Penny's books until recently. So I started at the beginning and I found it slow moving for the first 50 pages or so. There was so much set up to all the characters and so many characters that I had a hard time keeping interest, BUT when Inspector Gamache really gets on the case, that's when things get exciting. I will try the next one and see if I feel the same way...

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Jul 09, 2019

I procrastinated reading this series, even knowing its popularity. Glad I took the plunge. I will be reading more!

Mark H Lampe
Jul 02, 2019

Blake really liked this author so will try the first book and see what I think.

Mar 26, 2019

Great Series. Have read them all and am now reading them again but more slowly.

Mar 17, 2019

Great book. I will start to read the series. Great characters.

Mar 03, 2019

STILL LIFE is a literary mystery with an emphasis on character development rather than action. Intelligently written by author Louise Penny and set in a rural village in Quebec, this book will appeal to fans of PD James and Agatha Christie. A friend recommended this gem to me over a year ago, and I can’t explain why it took me so long to pick up it up, but it assuredly won’t take me another 12 months to read Book 2 of what promises to be an entertaining series.

Feb 13, 2019

supposed to be a murder mystery. slow. not a bad story. just wish things could have progressed different

Jan 29, 2019

This book was a delightful break from the serious materials I have been reading as of late on political philosophy and theology. I was quite a fun and intriguing read. I found it to be a typical 'Who Done It' scenario with its own twists and turns. No real surprises within the plot or storyline.

Of great importance for me is character development followed by the plot or story line. If either of these fails, its pretty much down hill. Ms. Penny did an excellent job in the character development. You get to know the characters on a personal and insightful level, especially getting to know their thought processes and investigative styles. As to the story line, it was captivating and engaging, nothing over the top or out fo the ordinary so that the plot is believable and plausible.

I especially enjoyed the small town atmosphere in which the crime was both committed and investigated. Ms. Penny endearingly captured both the joy of and the biases of small town communities.

The first book in a series usually spends a great deal more time than subsequent books in the series on character development. I believe it was especially important for this series introduction as there are quite a few characters of both primary and secondary importance who have to be introduced. it will be interesting to read the second book to see if plot development becomes more primary.

Sep 07, 2018

Inspector Gamache series, no. 1. In re-reading 'Still Life' I gained a new appreciation for Louise Penny's remarkable debut novel in this ground-breaking series. Amazing characters in a village setting are contrasted with police officers with their own issues. A unique mix of the traditional village mystery with the police procedural - and equal weight given to each.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Mar 01, 2018

'When my death us do part
Then shall forgiven and forgiving meet
Or will it be, as always was, too late?

PimaLib_SamR Mar 07, 2016

If you pretend to know, you aren't going to actually learn.

PimaLib_SamR Feb 24, 2016

We choose our thoughts, we choose our perceptions, we choose our attitudes. We may not think so. We may not believe it, but we do.

Aug 04, 2015

"What do you see?" Elise asked Peter. (about of the art piece "Fair Day")
"Honestly, I don't know. But I know we need to accept it." p 11

Aug 04, 2015

"Tell me what you know," signaled the beginning of the hunt. p 35

Jun 28, 2012

"Now, can I interest you in a glass of wine, or perhaps a chandelier?"


Add a Summary
Sep 30, 2018

Jane Neal, an artist in the town of Three Pines, is shot with an arrow and dies. At the end of the mystery her home is revealed to have walls covered with her most amazing paintings.

Jun 28, 2012

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team investigate a suspicious death in rural Montreal. Instead of a tragic hunting accident it turns out to be murder.

Oct 16, 2011

murder in a small english town....centres around an artsy community and old grudges.....good


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DBRL

To Top