Still Life cover

Review: Still Life

“Still Life: Chief Inspector Gamache, Book 1”
Still Life cover

Author: Louise Penny;
Genre: Mystery;
Format: Audiobook;
Publisher: Macmillan Audio;
Rating:  4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5).

This is very much a character-driven contemporary murder mystery, set in a small village in southern Quebec. This is the first book in a long series starring Chief Inspector Gamache.

The co-stars—villagers and other policemen—have varied personalities and quirks. Most are interesting and some are annoying (just like our real acquaintances!), which is a sign that Louise Penny knows how to write. Descriptions were wonderful, and I could almost smell the paint, the dead leaves, and the coffee.

I thought the mystery itself was well presented and the pacing was very good, moving along between interviews and insights. The identity of the murderer was uncertain until the last part of the book, and it’s always pleasant to be surprised. I felt a little let down by the climax in this one, but maybe I read too many mysteries.

Ralph Cosham did an great job with the narration. The accents were mostly distinct and I wasn’t bothered by weak female voices this time. I will be continuing this series in audio format and hope he’s the narrator.

Very little violence (except for the murder, of course), no gore, some foul language, and no sex.

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