Still Life is a surprising first novel by Louise Penny. The characterization of the main characters that I loved in The Beautiful Mystery is already present in the beginning of their novel life. Both Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir have their detection preferences in this early work, but their relationship is not as defined as it becomes later. I don’t mean this as a criticism, but rather as a plus, since Penny has taken the time to let the relationship occur naturally. Instead of telling the reader that the two are a great pair, she’s let us find out by watching their interactions over time.
In this novel, a private artist has been shot dead by a arrow after having her first public showing of her art work is announced. Chief Inspector is sure that her art work is tied to her death, but he and Jean-Guy Beauvoir must immerse themselves into the small town life to find the motivation of the murder.
Louise Penny writes all the side characters as well as Gamacge and Beauvoir; and once again takes us into a small world where outsiders are not usually welcome.
Louise Penny keeps the reader guessing in this small town mystery, but keeps the tone light and humorous with lessons for those affected by the murder as well as those working with Gamache. He is a kind leader and does not deal well with an unkind addition to his team. This was another great read!