Showing posts with label detective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label detective. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Louise Penny Still Life Book Review & List

Louise Penny Still Life Book Review
Despite the recommendation of every member of my book club and many of my other friends, I have only just finally found my way into the world created by Louise Penny. Penny is a Canadian author who, since the year 2005, has written a series of murder mystery novels that are set in Canada in the romantic Eastern Townships of the province of Quebec.

I was happy to at last have the first book, Still Life, in my hands. I read the first few pages and wondered what all the fuss was about. I can honestly say that I did not like the book until page 59, when I met the main character, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. It is he who makes this series great when he solves crimes with careful observation and integrity.  When I met him, I was hooked.

I love Penny's realistic portrayals of people both good and bad, of the careful and sometimes instinctive detective work and of the idyllic, almost cottage-like setting.

Three Pines is a village so small as not to be found on the map and I have yet to look and see if it is a real village or not. It has cozy homes with fireplaces, friendly community gatherings and lots of home cooking. This book, Still Life, and presumably subsequent ones in the series, will make you want to visit and stay at the village's lone bed and breakfast.

I am a city girl but Penny’s books have me wanting to move to a quaint little village somewhere 'away from it all.' However, as we all know, it is impossible to truly be away from it all and despite the lovely location, the people who live here enjoy real life issues. They struggle through whatever life throws at them and even, sometimes, experience a murder or two. When that happens,  Chief Inspector Gamache and his team of of provincial police officers are called in from Montreal to solve the crime.

In Still Life, Chief Inspector Gamache arrives to investigate the suspicious death in the woods of a local school teacher and secret artist. Is it an accidental hunting death or is it something more sinister? You will have to read the book to find out.

Is Still Life recommended by me? Yes, it is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as is the second book, A Fatal Grace.

In 2006, Kirkus Reviews wrote that Inspector Gamache was, “Cerebral, wise and compassionate" and that "he was destined for stardom.” They were absolutely correct on both counts and, as they also said, this first novel was a “stellar debut.” Since then, Louise Penny’s books and Gamache’s adventures, have kept fans reading and anxiously awaiting the next book. Yes, I will be reading more of the books in this series in the order as presented here on this book list:

Still Life
A Fatal Grace
The Cruelest Month
A Rule Against Murder
he Brutal Telling
Bury Your Dead
The Hangman
Trick of the Light
The Beautiful Mystery
How the Light Gets In
The Long Way Home
The Nature of the Beast
A Great Reckoning
Glass Houses
Kingdom of the Blind

If you enjoy a clever mystery solved in an interesting environment, you should check out the first book, Still Life. You can find it here on Amazon or see all of Louise Penny’s books by clicking right here.

Still Life has been made into a television movie. I have yet to see it but the general consensus of avid Inspector Gamache fans is that the movie was disappointing, which is not really surprising considering the popularity of the books! If you are going to watch the movie, make sure to read the book first!

See you
at the book store!
Brenda

Quick Links:

Buy Still Life in book, Kindle or audiobook formats on Amazon.

Louise Penny Still Life Book Review & List




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

John Sandford Extreme Prey Book Review

First off, a confession. I have not read a SINGLE solitary John Sandford book. There are, however, many of them in my household.

Over the course of the last couple of years, my husband Chris discovered John Sandford and worked to collect and read his way through every single one of Sandford's books. I have a feeling there will be a Sandford book in my future.

Chris' most recent read was Extreme Prey and what follows is his review, which I thought I would share with you here.

John Sandford’s Extreme Prey is an exceptional read.

In the previous novel, the protagonist Lucas Davenport was leaving the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) with his daughter Letty asking, “What are you going to do next?” Extreme Prey flawlessly transitions Davenport from a badge carrying cop to a private citizen doing a favour for the state governor Elmer Henderson; a favour that finds Davenport investigating a potential threat against a presidential candidate. The fact that Davenport is not carrying a badge and has no authority kicks the story up a notch. Davenport uses old contacts and his reputation to gain support from local police while trying to convince others that there is a real and credible threat. Of course the threat is real and time is short, so the action is non-stop.

As the story unfolds, Davenport chases loose threads of evidence as he puts pieces of the puzzle together until the climactic scene arrives that is so engulfing that it will make you miss your bus stop; at least that happened to me.

For long-time fans of John Sandford, Extreme Prey effectively interweaves characters from previous books into the action as well as providing cameo roles for characters from the Virgil Flowers and Kidd series, also by John Sandford. If this is your first time reading a John Sandford book and don’t insist on starting at the beginning of a series, you will find a great read that can stand alone. Sandford gives you enough information to introduce every character without slowing down the action or distracting from this story.

Extreme Prey is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone who likes police mysteries. For current fans of the “Prey” books you will find it an exciting surprise as Lucas Davenport adapts to not having a badge and the official support of the BCA. Personally I am already looking forward to Golden Prey scheduled for release in April 2017 to see what’s next for Lucas Davenport.

Extreme Prey definitely sounds like an excellent read to me and I have to thank my husband for the introduction to another author and for writing this post. I am especially thankful that he shared the fact that this book caused him to miss his bus stop. What a hoot!

Will there be a John Sandford book in your future?

Happy Reading!
Brenda & Chris

Quick Links:

Order Extreme Prey on Amazon.
Steve Berry's Amber Room reviewed.









Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.