Still Life - Louise Penny
I read this when it was released in '09, but I sometimes like to return to the first book of a much-beloved series to see how the author introduced her characters and setting. I did just that with Still Life, before starting Penny's latest, Kingdom of the Blind.

Penny is a wonderful author, and it's interesting to see how she's developed her craft. Her prose now is richer (in my opinoin), her characters are more complex, and she's dealing with heavier subjects in a more nuanced way. In Still LIfe, she introduces us to the delightful Three Pines and the honorable Inspector Gamache. I enjoyed how Penny delineated her characters, making each one unique enough for the reader to keep them straight. In retrospect I see how she is laying the foundation for their idiosyncrasies to shine in later books.

I prefer her later works, but Still Life is a solid start to the series that so many readers—including myself—love. And as I read, I remembered the story and antagonist from a decade ago, which is a testimony to the staying power of Penny's skill.