Still Life by Louise Penny
When JaneNeal, beloved teacher, is found dead in the woods near Three Pines, Quebec, Armand Gamache of the Sorete du Quebec, is the homicide investigator assigned to the case.
It appears that Jane Neal died of a wound from an arrow.
Gamache is a wonderful character, thoughtful and decent, who quickly uncovers secrets and unknown relationships, loves, hates and regrets among Jane's friends and aquaintances.
Penny is a master at revealing the tensions between French and English which inform the story. There are also tensions within the Gamache team, that lead to a serious error.
The memorable characters include a gay couple who run the cafe, an obnoxious estranged niece, Jane's closest friend, an expert bowman and his sullen son.
Jane's art figures in a story that is immensely rewarding.
Louise Penny, a Canadian writer unable to find a Canadian publisher, entered her novel in a British competition and was immediately recognized as a find,. Still Life was published and won the Crime Writers Dagger Award in 2004.