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Still Life: Chief Inspector Gamache Book 1 | [Louise Penny]

Still Life: Chief Inspector Gamache Book 1

The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving Weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Surete du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines - a place so free from crime it doesn't even have its own police force.
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Publisher's Summary

The discovery of a dead body in the woods on Thanksgiving Weekend brings Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his colleagues from the Surete du Quebec to a small village in the Eastern Townships. Gamache cannot understand why anyone would want to deliberately kill well-loved artist Jane Neal, especially any of the residents of Three Pines - a place so free from crime it doesn't even have its own police force. But Gamache knows that evil is lurking somewhere behind the white picket fences and that, if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will start to give up its dark secrets....

Coming soon: Book 2 in the Chief Inspector Gamache series, Dead Cold. Winter in Three Pines, and the sleepy village is carpeted in snow. It's a time of peace and goodwill - until a scream pierces the biting air. A spectator at the annual Boxing Day curling match has been fatally electrocuted. Despite the large crowd, there are no witnesses and - apparently - no clues.

©2005 Louise Penny (P)2006 Isis Publishing Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (45 )
5 star
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4.1 (43 )
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4.3 (42 )
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Performance
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  •  
    angi4262 08-27-15
    angi4262 08-27-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it"

    So glad to find the beginning of a great series. I'll be looking up more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyn Bargo, Australia 06-15-15
    Lyn Bargo, Australia 06-15-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easy Listening"

    Outcome not as obvious as you expect, Intrigued me enough to listen to the 2nd book and now I am hooked on the series

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Howarth Prince Edward Island, Canada 06-05-15
    S. Howarth Prince Edward Island, Canada 06-05-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story - just one thing drove me crazy..."

    This was a good story, with interesting characters. The one thing that drove me nuts was that the narrator did not have a consistent voice for the main character (Inspector Gamash). He kept alternating back and forth through the whole book: sometimes the Inspector had a thick French accent, and sometimes he had a thick British accent. I found this very annoying. Otherwise I was happy with the book and the performance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 06-04-14
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 06-04-14 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    291
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    169
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    5
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Love Louise Penny's writing"

    I read Still Life out of order. I had already read a number of books in the Inspector Gamache series and decided that it was a good idea to go back and start from the beginning. One of the disappointing things about this decision was hearing the rendition by Adam Sims. Had I not heard Ralph Cosham's masterful rendition in later books, I would not have had anything to compare this book to. But I have, and Mr. Cosham brings something special to Ms. Penny's books that Mr. Sims was not able to accomplish, despite a good performance overall. As usual, this was a twisted, convoluted story that left the reader wondering "who dun nit" until quite far into the story. I just love the characters... especially Ruth Zardo.
    This is a fascinating group of people and I will keep reading until I have caught up. Can't wait to read the new book!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Anne
    Drumshanbo, Ireland
    4/15/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"
    Would you listen to Still Life again? Why?

    Yes. I like the setting, characters & philosophical musings.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    The investigator in this series isn't a troubled man. He loves his wife and his colleagues and doesn't have too many issues with authority. Canada is beautifully evoked through landscape & characters. These are gentle, thoughtful books.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Gill Le Fevre
    Reading, UK
    5/8/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "endured this; not bad in the end"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Louise Penny again?

    Probably not. I almost gave up after the first couple of chapters but was sufficiently interested in the whodunit to persevere. The main police characters were reasonably engaging but the "suspects" were pretty much entirely annoying and unsympathetic. And there were a number of loose ends (e.g. the junior police officer) that weren't answered. Unfortunately I don't care enough to read the second book.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Adam Sims’s performances?

    The performance here was really irritating. Every sentence was read with huge amounts of drama... "And then he poured himself a cup of tea!!!!".


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Bournemouth, United Kingdom
    10/18/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Keep with it - it's worth it!"

    I had to start this book 3 times as at first I just couldn't get into it. On one final try before I asked for a refund I understood the good reviews that I'd read. The characters really do have character, the story had enough twists and turns to keep me interested a and the narrator was really good. Will now be moving on to the second bookin the series.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • D. L. G.
    France
    7/11/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story spoiled by the narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This is the first in a wonderful series of books which I would recommend wholeheartedly to anyone. The village of Three Pines is a character in itself, the villagers who live there are 3 dimensional, engaging and flawed - being believably human. Despite the village setting, however, this is not a 'cosy' crime series. It is much darker and more profound than that.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Obviously Gamache, so fascinating! Ruth Zardo is also compelling. What I love about the characters is their wholeness - no-one is completely good or nice, no-one is completely awful or spiteful. Penny's characters are fully grown, complex adults and during the course of the series one becomes very attached to them.


    What didn’t you like about Adam Sims’s performance?

    Sadly, Adam Sims does not appear to have read the books before narrating them and therefore has no understanding of the characters. He makes the most basic mistake in giving Inspector Gamache a French accent for the first couple of chapters, then as he reads another character describing Gamache's British accent he changes it accordingly. This only lasts for a couple of chapters, however, before he's back to a French accent again. Most disappointing. His lack of knowledge of the characters really spoils things for me, rather than portray any complexity he makes most of them sound merely bad tempered.


    Did Still Life inspire you to do anything?

    I was inspired to read the rest of the series!


    Any additional comments?

    For £15 I expect a professional recording wherein mistakes are rectified rather than just ignored. When the book clearly describes the main character's British accent and the reader has given him a French accent surely someone in the recording studio could say "Oops, better do the first two chapters again."?

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Liz... Bristol
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    6/14/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gamache has potential, but a narrator with more to offer would improve things."

    A good story which doesn't overvalue it's central detective figure, but at the same time doesn't quite make the best of him either. Gamache runs a team, he isn't a Sherlock Holmes figure. An apprentice-type falls out with Gamache, again showing him as not perfect as well as patient. He has potential for Penny to develop (whether she has or nay, I don't know as I've not read/heard any).
    Sadly, I'm not sure that I like Adam Sims's voice; you might. To me he sounds a bit strangulated, tending to make some characters sound rather tetchy or bad-natured. I can say that I did get used to his tones and was able to get past actually disliking them.
    If this was Penny's first novel or her first with these detectives, then she managed quite well; if she is already established in other ways then she should have done better, I feel. The story itself has good characters amongst the suspects/townsfolk, who were perhaps more rounded than the investigators. I'd listen to another of her novels to see what she has done with the detectives, but I'd be hoping that someone other than Adam Sims reads it, to suit my tastes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • L
    5/28/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good story"

    I really enjoyed this book. The story is fun, the characters are quirky and the Inspector kind of reminded me of a Canadian Poirot. The narrator did a fantastic job and really bought the story and characters alive. Worth a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cawley
    1/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delightful"

    A sneaky peek into the life of French Canadians and the English who live in Québec. A who dunnit with a difference, a Chief Inspector with a difference and an insight into people that was surprising and welcome. I look forward to listening to the series as read by Adam Sims , who is a talented voice actor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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