Someone mentioned a new book series to me late last year, and try as I might I cannot remember who gave me the idea to read this incredible series of murder mysteries! I know the person referenced the Author, Louise Penny, as the new Agatha Christie, and that really stuck with me. Not because I was ever a huge fan of Agatha Christie (although I should try one of her books now that I’m thinking of it!) but the idea of reading a really great murder mystery series really appealed to me at the time. It must have been around Halloween of last year and I had just finished another series and was at a loss for what to read next. Anyhow, I started with book one, Still Life.
The title is referencing painting still life (a few people I mentioned this to assumed it was about giving birth). The story, as do all of her books, takes place in a small, tranquil town outside of Montreal, Quebec called Three Pines. The characters are comprehensive and you get to know their deep, dark thoughts as the book goes on. The one thing I tell everyone about these novels is that the murderer is extremely difficult to guess! Penny leaves clues throughout and I am usually quite good at deciphering the murderer, but I struggle with every book! In Still Life a woman is shot with a bow and arrow on her morning walk, just as she finally decides to enter a still life painting into a contest.
So far I have read the first four novels in the series and there are currently eleven. As they go on you learn more and more about the officers working the cases, including Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. You also get to know the lovable but peculiar people of Three Pines. I definitely recommend trying the first one out and if you are hooked, you have ten more waiting for you!