Still Life by Louise Penny

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Rating – 3 stars

Date Finished – June 17, 2017

53/120 in 2017

#1 in the Chief Inspector Gamache Series

This is #1 of 12 Chief Inspector Gamache novels, pastoral mysteries set in in the Quebec village of Three Pines. The plot of this first installment was fairly straightforward, and while it didn’t blow me away, it was well-constructed.

The villagers and Inspector Gamache are all interesting characters – there are already so many overlapping relationships and histories – and I’m looking forward to digging a little deeper. If this was just a standalone book, there would be far too many loose ends. But, I’m giving Penny the benefit of the doubt and hope that we will learn more about this cast of characters. I do think that serialized books should have the ability to stand alone, and this one really doesn’t.

I was especially confused by the Inspector Nichol character – so much was made of her new place on the squad, but her motivation and backstory were bizarre and left totally unexplained. I’m sure she’s coming back, but she was so haphazardly characterized that it seems like she should have either been edited out or fleshed out more.

All that said, I did enjoy this little novel. It was cozy, but sharp and funny at times, too. I’m looking forward to reading the other 11 novels that follow!

 

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