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CarpeLibrum

Carpe Librum

Bookish conversation with author Samantha Wilcoxson.

 

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Historical Novel Society

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life - Louise Penny

I decided to listen to Still Life on audio book largely because I know SusannaG is a big fan of the author, Louise Penny. Although it is one of the few contemporary books that I have read this year, I did enjoy it quite a bit, especially the insight that Penny seems to have into a wide variety of personalities.

 

This cozy mystery is told through a unique type of narration that gives the reader deep views into several different characters. With this third person omniscient narrator, there is a bit less left to the imagination as we know exactly what most people are thinking even as they are saying something else. One might think that this would make the story less of a mystery, and I suppose it does. Certain people, right from the start, are off the list of suspects because you have direct access to their mind.

 

However, the mystery was still a good one, and it took me a while before I took my focus off of the obvious and even considered the true culprit. Three Pines is a quaint Canadian village that manages to embody many current issues, while at other times seeming lost in the past. It is compared to Narnia, in that nobody goes there on purpose but one is likely to find their way back once they have found it. In this sleepy, storybook style village, a kind elderly lady is found dead. The reader enters Three Pines to find that there is much beneath the surface.

 

I enjoyed the characters and writing style enough to carry on with this series. The only elements that I didn't care for are those that keep me from many contemporary novels, such as the stereotypical gay couple who were not considered suspects because they had supposedly endured enough hatred to not impose it upon someone else. Except that was directly against the theory the investigators were arguing when they accused a teenager believed to be abused. This was a minor point though. Overall, I was very impressed by this book and look forward to reading more of Inspector Gamache.