Still Life (A Three Pines Mystery)

Mass Market Paperback, 336 pages

English language

Published May 1, 2007 by St. Martin's Paperbacks.

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3 stars (7 reviews)

2 editions

A cozy police procedural

4 stars

Still Life combines elements of a cozy (small intimate community, violence occurring off stage) with a police procedural (the detective is a genial detective from out of town). The community secrets are a bit too abstractly complicated for me to really love the mystery, but it's good enough to be interesting.

Review of 'Still Life (A Three Pines Mystery)' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

My wife and I read this together, taking turns reading aloud. If not for our mutual shock and awe at how not-for-us the book was, I wouldn't have been able to finish it. We laughed at the writing, and snuck in (what should have been) ridiculous embellishments to see if the other would catch it ("Wait, does it really say that?!") This made it all the better (or worse) when the answer was, "Yes, it's really in the book. Look!" (For those who might take pause, I assure you after a beat any unnoticed embellishments were revealed by the current reader before proceeding.)

Neither of us reads modern "cozy" murder mysteries, so maybe we're lacking the experience or context required to appreciate a book like this. I'm told the series gets better, but so far the first third of the next book (we're trying to give the first three a …

Review of 'Still Life (A Three Pines Mystery)' on 'Goodreads'

1 star

I love a good murder mystery, and I usually enjoy charming inspectors, like Hercule Poirot, and so the books about Chief Inspector Armand Gamache caught my eye. Unfortunately, it was probably the most boring book I have read this year.

An older lady is found shot by an arrow in the small community of Three Pines and Gamache comes to town to solve this homicide. We meet a quirky cast of characters that miraculously didn't have a single character I connected with. Gamache himself isn't charming or particularly smart, I didn't care for his staffers. Nothing about this mystery was exciting in any shape or form. I usually fell asleep within 2-5 pages of reading. Only by sheer force of will did I push through this book to find out whodunnit. That finale left me about as excited as the rest of the book. Giving this series a hard pass.

Review of 'Still Life (A Three Pines Mystery)' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

2.5 rounded down.

I had heard good things about this book so when the audio version came available at the library, I nabbed it. Unfortunately, my experience wasn't nearly as positive as many reviews had promised.

Before going into why it didn't work for me, I want to say that I enjoyed the narration. Lots of French in this book so I appreciated being able to hear proper pronunciations and a nice accent. I also found myself connecting with some of the characters and chuckling here and there or feeling some empathy for them. The mystery, itself, was sort of fun to follow. Even though I pegged the killer very early on, I didn't have much evidence. But to be fair, there wasn't much evidence to go on for that person.

Now for the things that made me groan and, at one point, move the book to my "quit but …

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3 stars
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5 stars
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rated it

3 stars


  • Mystery And Suspense Fiction
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Mystery/ Detective
  • Mystery/Suspense
  • Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
  • Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
  • Mystery & Detective - General