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Still Life - Louise Penny

Publisher's Synopsis: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it’s a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.


My view:  I had read that Chief Inspector Gamache is something like Hercule Poirot, which is fine by me since I love Poirot and I would have to say that is an accurate assessment.  Gamache is not nearly as stuffy as Poirot, but he does seem to do lots of sitting around and thinking about what he has seen and heard which finally brings him to the right conclusion.  But apparently Gamache is not infallible and does not always come to the right conclusion at first, which sets him apart from Poirot.  Allusions to some failure in a previous case is mentioned several times, a case that has affected Gamache's career in a negative way. 


This is the first of the highly acclaimed, award-winning series by Louise Penny and the first I've read.  It definitely won't be the last.  I very much enjoyed Gamache and his team and the interplay of their personalities.  All of the characters are well-drawn and believable.  The mystery has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing without having ridiculous and impossible to believe red-herrings.