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Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life is Louise Penny's first novel in the series that features Chief Inspector Armand Gamache.  Life is a good book and a gripping mystery; however, the characters didn't make enough of an impact on me to want to read the entire series.  This was also the case with the next book I'll review.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is called to the tiny village of Three Pines to investigate the suspicious death of Jane Neal, a beloved local woman found dead of a mysterious wound on a path through the woods near her house.  In addition to the difficulty of proving the death was a homicide warranting a thorough investigation or a hunting accident, the investigation is hampered by the negligence and arrogance of Agent Yvette Nichol, new to Gamache's team.  Meanwhile, Gamache, master of observation and detail, is convinced the suspicious death has roots sprung from seeds planted and left festering for decades.

I have to say that Nichol really irked me. Okay, if I'm honest, she infuriated me on multiple levels. Nichol is a young officer eager to move up the ranks of the police and is recently promoted to Gamache's homicide squad.  She's not bright, quite immature, has a bad attitude and very poor interpersonal skills.  And Gamache is determined to take her under his wing and mentor her.

In a story and a mystery that has several turns that reveal shocking revelations, one finds that the pages keep turning until one suddenly finds themselves at the surprising ending that unmasks the cruel and cunning murderer hiding in plain sight.  Mystery fans will love this book--and probably the series.  I recommend you check it out the next time you visit the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

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