Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Still Life, Inspector Gamache #1, Loise Penny
This was for the 2016 Challenge "Murder Mystery". One of my FB friends recommended it (said the community reminded her of Stars Hallow and I was hooked).
Lucky for me it was also available right away on Overdrive for my kindle.
I really enjoyed this! It's been awhile since I read it, so it's not fresh in my mind anymore, but I remember being quite impressed with Inspector Gamache and his intuition and observation skills. I also found some incredibly profound thoughts about life through some of the other characters. For instance, the idea that "life is loss" and once we accept that, loss doesn't debilitate us as much. I highlighted a ton of stuff, but since my kindle updated I haven't figured out where all of my "clips" are....
Anyhow, one of the only TV shows I've gotten into since Gilmore Girls is Castle and it just ended last spring. Castle is a murder mystery writer who ends up finding his muse in one of NYPD's finest female homicide detectives after being brought on to consult on a case with a copycat murder from one of his books and since it gives the PD really good PR, Castle is granted permission to tag along indefinitely. So pretty much every episode is a murder that needs to be solved. We got better at figuring out how to pin the guilty one day as the seasons progressed. But I always loved how they planted seeds of doubt about nearly everyone involved. This was the case with Still Life. I had hunches, many of them, but Penny keeps you guessing by giving you only just enough information until the big reveal. And I loved having that process again. Sometimes I get worried with murder mysteries because they can get gruesome, but this book didn't get gory or anything. It was perfect comfort level, which characters you care about outside of their role in the story line.
The one girl...what was her name...the greenie helper detective, her last name was Nichole...anyway she was the WORST. I don't think you can get a person more dense than her. There are more books with Inspector Gamache, and while they don't need to be read in order, each one can be a stand alone book, I understand there is a character development arc that would be noticed if you read them in order. So I wonder what will happen with this particular character. I can't believe that Penny would introduce someone so antagonistic in the first book and then abandon her all together, especially when she went through all the trouble to give her backstory and tidbits of information even the character doesn't know.
The one thing that was a little confusing is that sometimes characters (detective primarily) would be referred to their last name, but in other instances referred to by their first names, so sometimes I got confused about who was who because I hadn't linked first and last names together very solidly.
I gave this one 4 solid stars.