If you haven't seen the review I did on The Beautiful Mystery you may not know that it was the first book I read by Louise Penny, even though it is technically the eighth book in her series about Chief Inspector Gamache. I picked that one up at the library first to get a feel for her work before I purchased the first three books in a boxed set from the book store.
Still Life is her first book in the series. It's set in a small little town in Quebec, with a small cast of characters. Someone is found murdered and it is up to Gamache and his associates to find out what happened.
The author has this incredible way of drawing you into her characters and revealing their very essence in little to almost no words. Immediately you get a sense of who they really are and you feel so familiar with them, almost as if you knew them for real.
Her writing is perfection. She switches between character points of view so seamlessly that you hardly notice, but it just makes sense. In both of the books I've read so far I've laughed out lout at times. It's not that she told you jokes, but more like there were humorous situations that you could picture happening to those you know that would make you laugh. It really deepens your connection with the characters.
As for the mystery, I figured out who had done the murder early on, but it was only a hunch. I had no idea why this person committed the crime. It was just a thought I had that turned out to be right. It did not bother me in the slightest that I was right, the story was still really great in my opinion.
I really loved the Canadian touches she added into her work. It was pretty neat (well I think so, but I'm Canadian!). I just hate that she had be writing for 10 years and I just discovered her books now!
I don't usually review every book in a series, but I think I will keep writing about her books because I am totally enamoured by them!
Recommendation: If you enjoy a good mystery then please, please read these! You will not be disappointed!!