Can’t Wait Wednesday: A Stranger in Town by Kelley Armstrong

A secret town in northern Canada for people who need to hide for a few years

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

A Stranger in Town

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Rockton #6

Published by Minotaur Books

Publishing date: Feb 2

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

368 pages

Synopsis: Detective Casey Duncan has noticed fewer and fewer residents coming in to the hidden town of Rockton, and no extensions being granted. Her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, presumes it’s the natural flux of things, but Casey’s not so sure. Something bigger is happening in the small town they call home.

When an injured hiker stumbles from the woods, the sole survivor of a hostile attack, it’s all hands on deck. Even a member of the elusive Rockton council comes in to help. This council member also comes bearing news: Rockton is being shut down due to the hostile situation.

Casey and Eric must now race to save the town that has allowed residents to have a fresh start, away from the mistakes of their past, while also getting to the bottom of this latest attack.

………………..

The Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong is one of my favorite series. It always makes me happy when a new book is coming.

I like the cover of this new book–maybe because it’s Autumn right now! And I’m so ready for the next book in this mystery series.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong

Suspenseful & exciting mystery series set in northern Canada wilderness

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. This is a weekly meme to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. The books I choose aren’t released yet and usually won’t be published for at least two or three months. So I have a while to wait!

I love finding out about books set to publish in future months and I like to share my excitement about the books. I also like to find out about new books on other people’s blogs and hope they’ll sometimes find something to look forward to on my blog.

I’m excited to read . . .

Alone in the Wild

by Kelley Armstrong

Series: Rockton #5

Published by Minotaur Books

Publishing date: Feb 4, 2020

368 pages

Genre: Mystery, Police Procedural

Goodreads synopsis: Every season in Rockton seems to bring a new challenge. At least that’s what Detective Casey Duncan has felt since she decided to call this place home. Between all the secretive residents, the sometimes-hostile settlers outside, and the surrounding wilderness, there’s always something to worry about.

While on a much needed camping vacation with her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, Casey hears a baby crying in the woods. The sound leads them to a tragic scene: a woman buried under the snow, murdered, a baby still alive in her arms.

A town that doesn’t let anyone in under the age of eighteen, Rockton must take care of its youngest resident yet while solving another murder and finding out where the baby came from – and whether she’s better off where she is.

…………………………………..

The mysteries, setting and characters are all great in this series. It’s one of my favorite series and I’m so looking forward to February when I hope to read this book.

Mini Review: Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Summon the Keeper by Tanya Huff

Series: Keeper Chronicles #1

Genre: Fantasy

Setting: Canada

Published by DAW, 1998

Source: Ebook, purchased

366 pages

Synopsis: Claire Hansen, the Keeper, is summoned to the Elysian Fields Guest House to reseal a hole in the basement, which is literally an opening to Hell. The owner and monitor of the site disappears, leaving Claire stuck managing the place until the problem is solved. Her new employee, Dean McIssac, is a gorgeous Newfie who cooks, cleans, and lives the Boy Scout oath. Then there’s Jacques Labaet: very French Canadian, very sexy, very dead. Jacques is a ghost who wants to be the man in Claire’s life. Oh yeah, and there’s Austin, a talking cat with attitude: “I barely know you, but I’m assuming you’re human. I’m not saying this is a good thing, it’s just the way it is.” 

My thoughts

This is a quick, fun read. I enjoy Tanya Huff’s books and appreciate the different types of books she writes. The book has a lot of humor and I enjoyed much of that. This isn’t my favorite of the many books of hers I’ve read, but it’s still enjoyable.

The book reminded me a little of The Gale Women series by Ms. Huff. The first book in that series is The Magic Emporium. There is some of the same dynamic between characters in the books. However, I like The Magic Emporium better than this book. I probably will read the second book in the Keeper Chronicles series to see if I like it better than Summon the Keeper.

What I like

I like Claire Hansen and the idea that Keepers clean up messes made by holes torn in the fabric of the universe that leak evil. She comes from a magical family so she has known about keepers all her life. But most people outside their small community don’t know about them.

The evil trying to seep through the hole in the basement furnace room of the guest house is amusing, but determined. It tries to tempt anyone it comes in contact with, but because Claire has magic available it really wants to cause her to slip up and allow more evil through the hole.

Down in the furnace room, having spent the last few hours testing the binding, the intelligence in the pit rested. It would have been panting had it been breathing.

NOTHING HAS CHANGED, it observed sulkily.

. . . SHUT UP!

It also talked to itself.

Dean McIssac is from Newfoundland and has worked at the guest house for a while. He’s the cook and handyman and he loves to clean. A funny reversal of stereotype. Claire also notices he’s quite a hunk–even if he is younger than she is.

The ghost, Jacques Labaet, is very funny, but also a little sad.

And not so much

My main quibble with the book is that although I like cats, I don’t like cats that talk very much–especially when they try to be funny. Austin is Claire’s sidekick and helper and he has an attitude. I just didn’t like it very much.

My Rating: B-

Have you read this book or any others by Tanya Huff? What are your thoughts about her books?

Books that take place in another country

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week the topic is Books that take place in another country. I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday topic for quite awhile, but this topic inspired me since reading books set in other places is one reason I love to read. When I looked at my reading lists back to 2012 however, I discovered that I don’t read too many books set outside the United States. And the ones I do read are often set in the United Kingdom or Canada. I do have some books I want to read set in other places (Africa, Asia, Europe), but haven’t read them yet. I’ve included one historical fantasy that was set in Russia. The rest are mysteries.

As I finished up this post I see that I had a Top Ten Tuesday post from 2016–Books set outside the U.S. which has some of the same books. However, I didn’t write about those books (and I spent quite a bit of time on this!!) so I’m going to post it…lol.

I have broken out the books which take place in Great Britain into England, Scotland and Wales. In many ways they feel like separate countries! However, I think I wanted to pretend to myself that I have a more diverse reading experience than I do!

Note: All links in my title for the book or series go to Goodreads. In the case of a series the link and photo of the book are for the first book in that series. If I have a link in the part where I write about the book or series the link is to a review on my blog.

India

A Rising Man by Abir Mukherjee

This is a book I’m listening to set in Calcutta, India in 1919. It’s a mystery about an English police officer who comes to Calcutta to join the police force there. India was under British rule at the time so the British are in charge of the government, but there are Indians who are part of the police force. India is shown here with Indians working with the British government as well as Indians who are working for India’s independence. The British are mostly a self-satisfied lot who’ve brought civilization to the savages. I’m really enjoying the book and am nearly finished.

England

The Ruth Galloway series by Elly Griffiths

This series mostly takes place in Norfolk, England. Ruth is a forensic archaeologist and college professor who sometimes consults with the police. I’ve read eight books in this series so far and love them all. The tenth book comes out this spring.

Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series by Deborah Crombie

I read quite a few police procedurals set in England, but probably my favorite police procedural series set in England is the Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James series set mostly in London though Duncan and Gemma sometimes travel outside of London and at least once I can think of there’s a mystery set in Scotland. I’ve read all the books written so far in this series, have reviewed most of them and love them all.

Scotland

Shetland Island series by Ann Cleeves

This series takes place in the Shetland Islands of Scotland. I read Raven Black quite a while ago, but read White Nights this year. I enjoy this series a lot and have the third book in the series to read soon.

DI Marjory Fleming series by Aline Templeton

This series is set in southwest Scotland near Galloway. DI Marjory Fleming and her team of detectives are very good characters to read about. They don’t always have it easy and her subordinates and superiors don’t always like Marjory, but she’s a very interesting character. My favorite book in the series is the first book–Cold in the Earth. Very good! However, I’m bogged down in the sixth book in the series at the moment. I’m going to finish it soon though and I think I will end up liking it.

Wales

Constable Evans series by Rhys Bowen

This series takes place in Wales which in these books seems like a different country from England. The Welsh characters all speak Welsh–especially when they are around any English visitors! This is quite a lighthearted police procedural series. I’ve read the first two books in the series and am really enjoying them.

Canada

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny

These take place in Quebec, Canada. It certainly feels very foreign to me since the main character is part of the French Canadian part of Canada. Though Chief Inspector Armand Gamache speaks excellent English he is most definitely part of the French Canadian community. I’m really enjoying these books and recently read books 6 and 7–Bury Your Dead and A Trick of the Light.

Constable Molly Smith series by Vicki Delany

These books take place in British Columbia, Canada. I’ve loved all that I’ve read (six of the eight books) and hope Ms. Delany writes some more. The last book was written in 2016 and Ms. Delany is currently writing several other series. I like this series best and do hope she will continue.

Rockton series by Kelley Armstrong (formerly called the Casey Duncan series)

I’ve read the first two books in this series and have the third book to read very soon! This mystery series is very suspenseful. I don’t usually like books which are too suspenseful, but I’ve made an exception for these. They’re set in the wilderness of northern Canada in a village which is “off-the-map”–which helps add to the suspense.

Ireland

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

Set in a small village in County Cork, Ireland. I really enjoyed this book and have the second book so I need to read it soon!

Russia

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

This is a historical fantasy which set in a fantasy Russia. The book is told like a fairy tale and was really enjoyable. The second book in the series came out in January 2018 and I hope to read it this year.

Iceland

Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indridason

I read this book in 2017. It’s a prequel to the series which is set in Reykjavik, Iceland. Not all the books are translated into English, but a few are and I’m hoping to read more about Inspector Erlendur.

What books do you like which take place in a different country?

 

 

Sunday Post: September 25

Sunday-Post

 

 

This is a great meme to take part in every week and I thank Kimba for hosting it!

I like this meme because it gives me an opportunity to take a look back at last week and forward to next week in both my personal life and my blog and book life! I also like to see what other people are doing and what books everyone is reading.

Last week–home and blog

dsc_0181
Road trip

We’re on our road trip and as with anything it has its ups and downs–mostly ups. The scenery is beautiful, my husband and I have lots of fun together and we’ve listened to two audiobooks while driving! The downsides–we’re tired since it 20160919_104029is a busy schedule we’re keeping and we hit a deer in Canada.

We were almost to the U.S. border in Washington State when a deer jumped out and smashed in the right front of the car.

The big upside–we were unhurt and wonderful people stopped to help. We ended up having the car towed 120 miles to Spokane, Washington where we could find a repair shop and a rental car agency.

We’ve rented a car and are in Seattle for our niece’s wedding. We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do next since the car is not totaled, but will take some time to repair. However, all that is for next week. Right now we’re enjoying the wedding!

The blog

The first week we were gone I had posts scheduled and thought I would get more done while we were traveling, but that has been harder than it seems. Using my cell phone to prepare posts isn’t as easy as I thought and lots of places in the mountains and rural areas have no cell service. The next couple weeks I will see how much I can get done. I do hope to visit more blogs and catch up with what everyone else is doing.

Blog posts — last two weeks

My books

What I’m reading
  • Address to Die For by Mary Feliz
What I read last two weeks
  • Grave on Grand Avenue by Naomi Hirahara
  • The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie
  • Blood Sport by Dick Francis
  • Twice Buried by Steven F. Havill
  • Negative Image by Vicki Delany
New–Books, E-books, NetGalley, Audiobooks–purchased or free or from library

The Cold Between by Elizabeth Bonesteel

Blood on the Tracks by Barbara Nickless

Among the Departed by Vicki Delany

Rest Ye Murdered Gentlemen by Vicki Delany

Punctured by Rex Kusler

End of the World: Stories of the Apocalypse by Martin H. Greenberg, editor

Next Week–home & blog

We’re in Oregon next week visiting with family. I hope to catch up on sleep and enjoy some good visits! Also prepare some posts and visit blogs!

Blog posts (tentatively)

  • Top Ten Tuesday
  • Waiting on Wednesday
  • Review
  • Sunday Post

What did you do last week? What books did you collect? What are you planning?

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Books set outside the U.S.

Top Ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted at the Broke and the Bookish blog. Each week a different topic is introduced and it is fun to see what everyone writes each week. Check out their blog for more information.

The topic this week: talk about the books we’ve read set outside the United States.

As I looked for books I’ve read set outside the United States I realized most of the books come from just a few countries. Also a number of the books I read are science fiction and fantasy with imaginary settings.

I do have books which take place in other settings. I just haven’t read them yet!

Ireland

Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

Medieval Ireland, on Viking ships, Iceland

Hush: An Irish Princess’ Tale by Donna Jo Napoli

Canada

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicky Delany

A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny (French Canada)

Scotland

Cold in the Earth by Aline Templeton

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (Shetland Island)

Scotland, Belgium, Russia

The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley

England

Necessary as Blood by Deborah Crombie

Alaska Territory (1919)

Borrowed Death by Cathy Pegau

Australia

And All the Stars by Andrea K. Höst

What books set outside the United States do you recommend?

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany

in-the-shadow-of-the-glacier-by-vicki-delany
In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany

In the Shadow of the Glacier by Vicki Delany
Series: Constable Molly Smith series #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery (police procedural)
Setting: Trafalgar, British Columbia, Canada
Published by Poisoned Pen Press
E-book, purchased
302 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Trouble is brewing in the small, bucolic mountain town of Trafalgar, British Columbia. An American who came to Trafalgar as a Vietnam War draft dodger has left land and money to the town. But there’s a catch. The money must be used to build a garden to honor draft dodgers.

Initial impressions

  • I’ve found a new author! I really liked this police procedural about a young police constable in a small town in Canada.

The story

  • The book begins with Constable Molly Smith who is a rookie for the Trafalger Police Department trying to learn the ropes and dreaming of becoming a detective. Then she finds a body as she’s walking her beat.
  • A hippie draft dodger died and left property to the town, but only if it is used to honor draft dodgers. Mollie’s mother is among the townspeople in favor of the draft dodger monument.
  • An American conservative personality comes to town to stir up trouble against the monument and help his ratings back in the U.S.
  • A local reporter is drawn into the American reporter’s circle and used by him to get local information.
  • Add in a property developer wanting to build a resort. And a dead body. And a new homicide detective. Lots is happening in the small town of Trafalger.
  • Constable Smith is assigned to help Detective John Winters with the local aspects of the murder. Detective Winters isn’t too happy to have a green constable trying to show her abilities, but he doesn’t have many options.

Pluses

  • The characters in this book are one of the reasons this book is a winner.
  • It’s a trial for Molly being a constable in the town she grew up in. Her hippie parents named her “Moonlight” and people in town still call her that though she likes “Molly” better.
  • Molly’s mom–Lucy, called Lucky by most everyone–is one of the best characters in the book. She still has her hippie ideals and is horrified her daughter is a police officer and her son is an attorney!
  • I also love the setting–a small town in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada.
  • Molly is young and overeager to show she is a good officer. She still has a lot to learn. I can feel for her. It’s hard being young and wanting so much.
  • I like the historical aspect with the town being a place some of the draft dodgers from the Vietnam War came to when they left the U.S. for Canada.
  • There’s a lot going on with the demonstrations for and against a draft dodger monument, the possibility of a resort, a murder.

Minuses

  • I’m not sure there would be a lot of people upset about a monument in Canada to honor draft dodgers in the present day. However, I suppose a conservative broadcaster might be able to stir up anger against it.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • I read the second book in this series as soon as I finished this book. I like Molly a lot plus the characters and the setting of the small town created a lot of interest for me.
  • I’m glad there are a number of books already written in this series.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Vicki Delany began her writing career as a Sunday writer: a single mother of three high-spirited daughters with a full-time job as a computer programmer. Sunday afternoon was – and at that, only now and again – the only time she had to spend all by herself, with a single candle on her desk for a bit of atmosphere, a Bruce Springsteen tape in the tape deck, and a nice cup of tea at her elbow. When she felt like really letting loose, the tea might have turned into a glass of wine.
  • The years passed, as they tend to do, and the three daughters, somewhat hesitantly, flew the coop, leaving Vicki more time to devote to her writing. In 2007, Vicki took early retirement from her job as a systems analyst with a major bank and sold her house in Oakville, Ontario.  After traveling around North America for a year with her dog, Shenzi, she bought a home in bucolic, rural Prince Edward County, Ontario, where she rarely wears a watch and can write whenever she feels like it.

Reading Challenges

Review: The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny

the-cruelest-monthThe Cruelest Month
by Louise Penny
Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #3
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Setting: Quebec, Canada
Published by Minotaur Books, 2008
E-book, purchased
311 pages
Grade: B
Synopsis: Welcome to Three Pines, where the cruelest month is about to deliver on its threat.

It’s spring in the tiny, forgotten village; buds are on the trees and the first flowers are struggling through the newly thawed earth. But not everything is meant to return to life. . .

When some villagers decide to celebrate Easter with a seance at the Old Hadley House, they are hoping to rid the town of its evil — until one of their party dies of fright. Was this a natural death, or was the victim somehow helped along?

Brilliant, compassionate Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the SQ (Sûreté du Québec) is called to investigate, in a case that will force him to face his own ghosts as well as those of a seemingly idyllic town where relationships are far more dangerous than they seem.

She pointed to the eggs.

“Since when do rabbits have eggs?’ Ruth persisted, looking at the bewildered villagers. ‘Never thought of that, eh? Where did it get them? Presumably from chocolate chickens. The bunny must have stolen the eggs from candy chickens who’re searching for their babies. Frantic.”

and

“I prefer T. S. Eliot. The cruellest month.”

“Why do you say that?”

“All those spring flowers slaughtered. Happens almost every year. They’re tricked into blooming, into coming out, opening up. And not just the spring bulbs, but the buds on the trees. The rose bushes, everything. All out and happy. And then boom, a freak snowstorm kills them all.”

Gamache had the feeling they weren’t talking about flowers any more.

….

He reflected on T. S. Eliot and thought the poet had called April the cruellest month not because it killed flowers and buds on the trees, but because sometimes it didn’t. How difficult it was for those who didn’t bloom when all about was new life and hope.

Cheers

  • One of my favorite mystery series.
  • Ruth Zardo, the curmudgeonly poet, continues to be one of my favorite characters in this series.
  • I really like Clara, but I’m not sure what to think about Peter. He seems very jealous.
  • I like that the characters all have their weaknesses and strengths.
  • The idea that the cruelest month is April–is it because one moment it’s sunny and warm and the next it might snow and kill all the new growth? Or is it because some don’t bloom because they’re afraid to?
  • Chief Inspector Gamache is such an interesting investigator. He has such a profound belief in right and wrong and what justice is. He talks and listens to people, to what they’re really saying and thinking. To so many his methods seem foolish, but he gets results.
  • Gamache’s second-in-command, Beauvoir respects and loves Gamache, but he doesn’t always understand him.
  • The fallout from the Arnot case (which happened before this series started) continues to plague Gamache. Though it does seem to end in this book…maybe.
  • In these books it feels like the journey is more important than the result. And I do enjoy the journey!

Jeers

  • I thought the séance at the Hadley House was stupid for these people to do. Kind of like a horror movie where you know the characters are going to go into the basement . . . .

And a few thoughts . . .

  • So glad I’m reading this series. Really enjoying Chief Inspector Gamache and his team and the village of Three Pines. Though for such an idyllic village it has a high murder rate!
  • I read the fourth book first so now I’m ready to go to the fifth book which I already own!

Awards

  • Agatha Award for Best Novel (2008)
  • Barry Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009)
  • Macavity Award Nominee for Best Mystery Novel (2009)
  • Anthony Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009)
  • Arthur Ellis Award Nominee for Best Novel (2008)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Louise Penny is the author of the Inspector Armand Gamache series. The first book was published in 2005 and a new book, the eleventh in the series, is due out at the end of August 2015. She lives in Canada in a small village south of Montreal with her husband and a golden retriever.
  • I was excited to see she is going to be in Washington, DC during her book tour, but when I checked I discovered that it’s already sold out! I’m sad not to get to go to this, but also am happy for her that she is popular and successful.

Reading Challenges

Review: A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

a-fatal-graceA Fatal Grace
by Louise Penny
Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #2
Genre: Contemporary Mystery (police procedural)
Setting: Canada–Montreal and a small village south of Montreal (Three Pines)
Published by Minotaur, 2007
E-book, purchased
311 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Welcome to winter in Three Pines, a picturesque village in Quebec, where the villagers are preparing for a traditional country Christmas, and someone is preparing for murder.

No one liked CC de Poitiers. Not her quiet husband, not her spineless lover, not her pathetic daughter—and certainly none of the residents of Three Pines. CC de Poitiers managed to alienate everyone, right up until the moment of her death.

When Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, of the Sûreté du Québec, is called to investigate, he quickly realizes he’s dealing with someone quite extraordinary. CC de Poitiers was electrocuted in the middle of a frozen lake, in front of the entire village, as she watched the annual curling tournament. And yet no one saw anything. Who could have been insane enough to try such a macabre method of murder—or brilliant enough to succeed?

With his trademark compassion and courage, Gamache digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life to find the dangerous secrets long buried there. For a Quebec winter is not only staggeringly beautiful but deadly, and the people of Three Pines know better than to reveal too much of themselves. But other dangers are becoming clear to Gamache. As a bitter wind blows into the village, something even more chilling is coming for Gamache himself.

And that was one of the problems they were facing. Everyone looked alike in the Quebec winter. Like colorful marshmallows. It was hard to even distinguish men from women. Faces, hair, hands, feet, bodies, all covered against the cold. Even if someone had seen the murderer, could they identify him?

and

He was frankly astonished the entire community hadn’t died of boredom. Just talking about curling was sucking the will to live right out of him. It was like some Anglo joke, an excuse to wear plaid and yell. Most Anglos, he’d noticed, didn’t like to raise their voices. Francophones were constantly gesturing and shouting and hugging. Beauvoir wasn’t sure why Anglos even had arms, except perhaps to carry all their money. Curling at least gave them an excuse to vent.

Cheers

  • Such a good series. These are more than police procedurals. We also find out about people’s lives and the village of Three Pines. Ms. Penny uses language so well which makes these books even more interesting.
  • Chief Inspector Gamache is such an interesting character. He firmly believes in justice, but he also believes in courtesy and helping and educating the people he works with.
  • Beauvoir, Gamache’s second-in-command is a very proud Francophone. He doesn’t understand Anglos and is often impatient with them. However, he’s a loyal and talented second-in-command for Gamache.
  • The way the murder happens is very unique and that is something Gamache must unravel.
  • CC de Poitiers and her family are sad, unlikeable people.
  • These books have quite a bit of atmosphere especially because of the house CC de Poitiers buys. This house also was important in the first book in the series.
  • I like that there is curling in the book and that the book takes place around the Christmas season.
  • There is a secondary plot (the Arnot case) started in the first book which affects Gamache personally. He went against the hierarchy in the Sûreté to bring down a corrupt officer. Neither his bosses nor the corrupt officer (who is in prison) can forgive this. We learn a little more about this in this book.

Jeers

  • I don’t know that it’s necessary to have the Arnot case fill such a large background role in the book.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’m so glad I finally started reading these books. I love Louise Penny’s writing and look forward to reading many more of her books.

Awards

  • Agatha Award for Best Novel (2007)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Louise Penny is the author of the Inspector Armand Gamache series. The first book was published in 2005 and a new book, the eleventh in the series, is due out in August 2015. She lives in Canada in a small village south of Montreal with her husband and a golden retriever.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog

Review: Still Life by Louise Penny

still-lifeStill Life
by Louise Penny
Series: Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1
Genre: Contemporary Mystery (police procedural)
Published by Minotaur Books, 2005
E-book, purchased
377 pages
Grade: B+
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.

With this award-winning first novel, Louise Penny introduces an engaging hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces—and this series—with power, ingenuity, and charm.

Every year the hunters shot cows and horses and family pets and each other. And, unbelievably, they sometimes shot themselves, perhaps in a psychotic episode where they mistook themselves for dinner. It was a wise person who knew that some hunters–not all, but some–found it a challenging to distinguish a pine from a partridge from a person.

and

It was, reflected Gamache, one of the fundamental differences between anglophone and francophone Quebecers; the English believed in individual rights and the French felt they had to protect collective rights. Protect their language and culture.

. . . . Gamache remembered reading in the Montreal Gazette a few years ago an article by a columnist who observed that Quebec worked in reality, just not on paper.

Cheers

  • I already listened to book 4, but I definitely had to go back and read book 1. I love this series!
  • I love the characterizations and the descriptions of the village and surrounding area as well as the mystery.
  • Gamache likes quotes: “When thou hast done, thou hast not done, for I have more,” quoted Gamache. “John Donne.”
  • Gamache is part of the quiet, thoughtful detective genre–something like Hercule Poirot
  • Gamache’s second-in-command. Jean Guy Beauvoir, is very different from Gamache–more a man of action, but he’s devoted to Gamache even when he thinks Gamache is wrong or making a mistake.
  • Gamache has a habit of taking young police officers under his wing. He’s very generous with his knowledge and gives them the opportunity to show they could make good homicide detectives.
  • During this case Agent Yvette Nichol is given this opportunity. Beauvoir is always against Gamache trying to bring someone new into their team. He’s always sure it’s a waste of time.
  • Even though the book takes place in Canada which doesn’t seem that exotic, the French part of Canada seems very  foreign. The author does a great job showing the differences between the English and French citizens.
  • The village of Three Pines seems almost mythical–a beautiful small village filled with distinct characters. As in all mysteries and in “real” life everyone has secrets.

Jeers

  • I wanted to know more about what happens to Agent Nichol.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I’ve had several of Louise Penny’s books for a while and am so glad I’ve started reading them!

Awards

  • Barry Award for Best First Novel (2007)
  • Anthony Award for Best First Novel (2007)
  • Dilys Award (2007), Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel (2006)
  • The Crime Writers’ Association New Blood Dagger (2006)

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Louise Penny is the author of the Inspector Armand Gamache series. The first book was published in 2005 and a new book, the eleventh in the series, is due out in August 2015. She lives in Canada in a small village south of Montreal with her husband and a golden retriever.

Reading Challenges

  • 2015 Goodreads Challenge
  • Cloak & Dagger Mystery Challenge–hosted by Amy @ A Bookish Girl
  • TBR Pile Challenge–hosted by the Bookish blog
  • Ultimate Reading Challenge–hosted by the Popsugar blog (a popular author’s first book)