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Search tags: louise-penny
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review 2017-07-20 20:43
Still Life
Still Life - Louise Penny

I'm in an online book group that started this series, and I decided to follow along since my library has the audiobooks available for loan. I have too many books on my list to read these, but listening to the audiobooks don't put me out at all. I hadn't heard about this series prior to my club selecting it, but the descriptions sounded interesting so I jumped on board. 

 

Well, I was in danger of dropping the first book, Still Life, after less than an hour of listening. It's very rare for me to chuck a book to the DNF bucket, especially so soon after starting, so I slugged forward to finish it. It wasn't a long audiobook, so I figured I should be able to get through it quickly even if I wasn't enjoying it. 

 

The biggest issue was the narrator's style. I enjoyed his voice and cadence, but there are no pauses or breaks between shifts of PoV. I was so lost before I got used to it! I listen to my audiobooks while doing something else (driving, gardening, laundry, etc.) so my attention isn't always 100% on the book. Add the two together and this book started off as a hot mess for me. I did have to go back a few times to catch something or figure out if I missed a PoV shift, but it wasn't as annoying as I thought it would be. 

 

The characters were enjoyable. While I liked the variety we were given, it did feel a bit as though the author used a checklist of sorts to make sure all the bases were covered - one black, two gays, one mean old bat, a couple quirky artists, unruly teens, annoying bitch, etc., etc., etc. Some readers have commented that the characters become more developed in the future books, and I'm hoping that's the case. Many felt defined by typical stereotypical behaviors, and if that continues I'll just get annoyed. 

 

I liked the focus on art and bow hunting/archery. Those are areas I personally don't come across often in books so it was a refreshing plot path. I'm also not sure I've read any books set in the Quebec area, so I really enjoyed being somewhere new to me.

 

I felt the mystery was fairly well done. While I did guess correctly early on who killed Jane, and how they would figure out who did it, I didn't have the why part figured out. It did feel a bit rushed/convenient, but I'm willing to give a bit of fictional leeway there. 

 

I'll stick with the series for now. I'm hoping that I don't feel frustrated or lost so early on now that I'm used the narrator's style.

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review 2017-07-15 04:57
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
A Great Reckoning - Louise Penny

And Louise Penny hits it out of the park once again.  I cannot tell you how much I adore her characters and her stories and her insight into the human mind and all the messy emotions that roil within. 

Yes, there's a murder mystery in the story, but Gamache stories are SO SO much more than just a murder mystery.  It's the motives, the whys, the reasons that people do what they do, are who they are and the choices that we all make. 

When I finish one of Louise Penny's books, I always feel so inadequate when writing up my thoughts.  All I can say aside from professing my love for the characters old and new, the familiar locations in which the stories are set, the puzzlement of the mystery and how it manages to affect the denizens of Three Pines, and the easy yet deep way the books are written is that I wish there were a ton more to read.  This is the 12th book in and I haven't felt once that I was reading a retread of what had come before.  Armand et all always have something to teach me.  Some surprise, some twist, some truth I hadn't seen. 

I think I spent the last 20 or so pages of the book wiping tears away.  Rip my heart out, Louise!  Rip it right out!  *LOL* 

I am sad because I have no Gamache books left to read.  I'd been hoarding this last one for the longest time.  The next one, #13, comes out at the end of August but I find the $16 price tag a bit rich for my budget right now.  But as SOON as I can, I'll be adding it to the library, anxious to read of what's next in the lives of my favourite members of the Sureté du Quebec.

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text 2017-07-12 07:18
Wisdom
Still Life - Louise Penny,Ralph Cosham

"You need to learn that you have choices. There are four things that lead to wisdom. You ready for them?"

She nodded, wondering when the police work would begin.

"They are four sentences we learn to say, and mean." Gamache held up his hand as a fist and raised a finger with each point. "I don´t know. I need help. I´m sorry. And one other." Gamache thought for a moment but couldn´t bring it to mind. "I forget. [...]"

 

 

 

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text 2017-07-07 13:29
Finished it!
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny

'"This is a little something I wrote last night while watching the hockey game," said Odile. Nods greeted this insight into the creative process, this natural affinity between poetry and the playoffs.'

 

Hey, during the off-season, I'll get my hockey fix wherever I can.

 

Three Pines is definitely turning out to be the Canadian version of Midsomer or Cabot Cove, but in this installment, the murder mystery definitely takes a backseat as we find out more about the machinations of the Sûreté du Québec, and who's behind the smear campaign aimed at bringing down Gamache.

 

And to be honest, I was happy about that. I thought the whole whodunit thing was a bit far-fetched, especially with the Poirot-style 'let's bring all the suspects together in the spooky house so that I can denounce him/her'. 

 

But it's the people who live in Three Pines who make the series interesting. Although the fact that every single one of them is rather larger than life does become a bit grating at times. Living in close proximity to them would do my head in.

 

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-07-03 21:51
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny

Aha! So we're finally learning more about Gamache's backstory and the Arnot case which was hinted at in the first two books 

 

Still not sure I'd want to live in Three Pines. It might look idyllic, but its inhabitants seem to get killed off with alarming regularity. 

 

And well done to the editor who knows how to spell 'Canadiens'. 

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