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STILL LIFE by Louise Penny Kirkus Star

STILL LIFE

By Louise Penny

Pub Date: July 17th, 2006
ISBN: 0-312-35255-7
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

Three Pines, an appealing Quebecois community, is shaken by the death of a beloved longtime village schoolteacher and unsung artist.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his team find that Miss Jane Neal has been shot through the heart with an arrow. Is it a hunting accident or murder? Gamache sets up shop in the charming village B&B owned by a gay couple but is suspended when he refuses to arrest a local bowman who confesses after his sullen son is fingered for the crime. His longtime associate Beauvoir takes over while Gamache ponders the case. Jane, who never exhibited her work, had just had an astonishing folk art painting accepted for a show. Her obnoxious niece Yolande, who can’t wait to get into Jane’s house, gets a court order to keep the police out. Meanwhile, an equally arrogant trainee has not done her job checking wills, and a new one turns up leaving almost everything to Jane’s neighbor Clara Morrow, a married artist who’d been like a daughter to Jane, whose youthful romance had been quashed by her parents. Because no one had ever been allowed past Jane’s kitchen, everyone’s dumbfounded to find walls, recently covered by Yolande in appalling wallpaper, full of murals. The slight difference Clara notices between the murals and Jane’s painting holds the clue to her murder.

Cerebral, wise and compassionate, Gamache is destined for stardom. Don’t miss this stellar debut.