11 August 2009

Just finished reading...

Still Life by Louise Penny.

I bought this book when it was first published, but it kept getting pushed aside by library books and review books, even though I heard wonderful things about it. I finally picked it up, and I'm so glad I did.

The story takes place in Three Pines, a small hamlet outside Montreal. Jane Neal, a retired schoolteacher and artist who has never let anyone look at her paintings, suddenly submits one for a juried exhibition. A few days later, she is found dead in the woods, shot through the heart by an arrow. Since it's hunting season, it is assumed that she was the victim of a hunter who had feared to report a shot gone awry.

Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, who have been brought in to investigate the death, does not agree, however, and risks his job with this stance.

There are a lot of characters in this book, and we don't get a chance to get to know many of them very well. One we do learn about is Gamache, who comes across as thoughtful and intelligent and very real. I was a little confused by the character of the rookie detective who keeps trying to impress Gamache and never does, but I'm hoping more will be revealed in the books that follow.

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