Friday, August 04, 2006

STILL LIFE by Louise Penny (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Miss Jane Neal never got to see her first art exhibition. She died, apparently shot by a hunter, on Thanksgiving Sunday, just after her work was accepted for an upcoming show. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec brings his investigative team to the rural village south of Montreal, all of them expecting a short stay. No matter how the facts are assembled, the obvious conclusion of accident doesn't fit, no matter how the locals present the facts. Gamache is sure there's more to this small village than meets the eye. Indeed, the reader learns many village secrets never revealed to Gamache, much like reality. As the investigative team sorts through clues, the story builds to a (dare I say it?) novel ending. Louise Penny will very likely garner a long list of award nominations for this debut.

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