Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Louise Penny's "Still Life"

About Louise Penny's debut novel, Still Life:
As the early morning mist clears on Thanksgiving Sunday, the homes of Three Pines come to life - all except one….

To locals, the village is a safe haven. So they are bewildered when a well-loved member of the community is found lying dead in the maple woods. Surely it was an accident - a hunter's arrow gone astray. Who could want Jane Neal dead?

In a long and distinguished career with the Sûreté du Quebec, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has learned to look for snakes in Eden. Gamache knows something dark is lurking behind the white picket fences, and if he watches closely enough, Three Pines will begin to give up its secrets….
Read an excerpt from Still Life and see how the Page 69 Test served the novel.

Among the praise for Still Life:
"A cast of fascinating and beautifully sketched characters, deep insight into human motives and relationships, intelligent and literate writing, an unusual and detailed setting, a clever plot with lots of twists and turns and suspense. Georges Simenon kept Maigret going for over a hundred books. It will be a delight for all of us who love detective fiction if Louise Penny can stay around long enough to do the same for Gamache."
--Reginald Hill

"An excellent, subtle plot full of understanding of the deeper places in human nature, and many wise observations that will enrich the reader long after the pages are closed."
--Anne Perry

"The beauty of Louise Penny's auspicious debut novel, Still Life, is that it's composed entirely of grace notes, all related to the central mystery of who shot an arrow into the heart of Miss Jane Neal…. But, like her neighbors in the picturesque Canadian village of Three Pines, the dear old thing had hidden depths, courtesy of an author whose deceptively simple style masks the complex patterns of a well-devised plot…. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec, who is as bemused as we are by life in Three Pines, has the wit and insight to look well beyond its idyllic surface."
--Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Sunday Book Review

"It's hard to decide what provides the most pleasure in this enjoyable book: Gamache, a shrewd and kindly man constantly surprised by homicide; the village, which sounds at first like an ideal place to escape from civilization; or the clever and carefully constructed plot."
--Dick Adler, Chicago Tribune
Still Life was "Pierce's Pick" for the week of July 17, 2006.

A Fatal Grace
, the sequel to Still Life, will be released in the U.S. in May 2007. It has earned a starred review from Kirkus -- "Remarkably, Penny manages to top her outstanding debut. Gamache is a prodigiously complicated and engaging hero, destined to become one of the classic detectives." -- as well as other great advance reviews.

Visit Louise Penny's official website.

--Marshal Zeringue