Still Life was waiting for me when I got to Canada. Mighty Mum the First, a Louise Penny fan like no other, had saved it for me. "Don't feel you have to," she said, but I could tell that she really wanted me to give it a try. Needing something a tad lighter than Engaging Autism to get into the summer holiday spirit, I complied.
For three nights I couldn't get past the first chapter--jet lag made Penny's omniscient point of view incomprehensible. My sleep-deprived brain was simply unable to keep up with point of view changes from one paragraph to the next. Thankfully, a few nights' good sleep and persistance prevailed and I was sucked into the first mystery I've read in years.
Still Life takes the reader to Three Pines, a small village in the Quebec Eastern Townships, where Jane Neal, a well-loved member of the community, is found dead. No word of a lie, if this book were not fiction, I'd be looking to spend a long weekend in this town, resident murderer be damned. Ms. Penny creates not only a fabulous sense of place--there's no missing that the book takes place in Quebec--but also a bus load of intriguing and endearing characters. I'm especially fond of the gay bistro and B&B owners--they're a hoot. Yes, dinner at the bistro with the author followed by a reading by the feisty poet-in-residence, Ruth Zardo, would be perfect. Make that a table for three, please--something tells me Mighty Mum the First would want to come.
So, will I be reading any more Louise Penny mysteries? You better believe it! Better save them for me, Mighty Mum. I'm hooked.