Friday, 29 March 2013

Artful Readers Club - March



This month finds us in Canada, in the provinces near Montreal.

"A Trick of the Light" is book 7 in the series featuring Inspector Gamache and his team from the Surete du Quebec.

The story is centred around the village of Trois Pins (Three Pines) and the art world in Montreal.

It starts at an art show in the Musee d'Art Contemporain in Montreal, the first show for Clara Morrow, a middle aged artist who lives with her husband, Peter, in Trois Pins.
This the first shock in the novel as it was Peter who was considered the more talented and more famous of the two.
The second shock is the discovery of a body in Clara's garden the next morning.
The body turns out to be an ex-friend of Clara, a woman who made enemies by the dozen in her role as an art critic.
Part of the puzzle is how she found Clara's house as the village does not appear on any maps....people find it either by chance or by having detailed instructions.

So there you have it....a murder mystery with lots of motives and suspects.

What makes this book stand out in a crowded genre is the quality of the writing. Louise Penny writes with elegance and depth.
Her characters are rounded, and all too human, with the petty vices common to us all.
She explores relationships and the little secrets that remain hidden, even between husband and wife after over 20 years of marriage. Secrets that have the power to destroy as they take on more significance over the years.

What really makes the series for me though are Penny's descriptive powers. I've been hooked since book 1 "Still Life" (come across by chance). I found myself smiling and feeling warm inside as I read. It took me a while to figure out why.
I had a perfectly formed picture of the village in my mind, I could imagine it existing, I wanted to live there.

Penny's descriptions are, quite simply, lyrical.

I've done another collage this month, inspired by the village:


Thanks to Cloth-Paper Scissors for the tutorial by Kristen Robinson on layering.
The paper is Canson mixed media prepared with gesso and acrylic paints. The picture, the flag and the printed papers are from old books, the token from Tim Holtz says "Listen", the Art with everything stamp is by Chocolate Baroque.  
The final touches were bubble wrap circles and a butterfly stamp by La Blanche.

23 comments:

Gina said...

Now she sounds like the kind of author I'd be interested in reading...loves me some good descriptive work :D...and maybee it's time for you to start working on canvas...they are 2 for 1 at Hobby craft at the moment. Go get a couple in different sizes and see how you go :D XXX

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I truly enjoyed the plot twists you described, as well as how much you liked the author's writing style. No wonder the author became a favorite of yours. I believe I might put this entire series on my wish list of books to read.

Your art is incredible. I love the layered aspect and adding bubble wrap always makes anything seem more altered!!

San @ Made in Hem said...

Got curious and had to check it out but she already wrote 9 books in this series... It's a lot to add to my to read-list! :)
The layers look great! I usually screw up when I try this sort of thing... Love yours!!! ♥

Jackie Plank said...

Sounds like a good read to me! Love that layout too.. wow, you are getting good at the mixed media!!

Janet said...

Louise Penny sounds like an author I would enjoy too. It is a fine thing to find an author who speaks to your imagination. Your collage looks really interesting. I would have liked a closer look but the photo wouldn't enlarge.

Janet xx

abby j said...

Sounds like a fabulous, feel good series, Susie. Great review! I'll add this author to my ever-growing list. Like your art for the book... very appropriate!!

Magaly Guerrero said...

I like a well written book and I LOVE a well written mystery, so I'm sold.

And the artwork looks playful and whimsical. I like it ;-)

Joanna said...

Well what a lucky find Still Life was considering how much you've enjoyed all the books that have followed! Great book review, Sue. I wonder if a village such as described by Penny actually does exist?! You'll have to contact her and ask if she's based it on a real location!

Super artwork to accompany this review - love those layers.

xxx

Darcy said...

I love authors who can describe something or someplace and make you feel like you are there, rather than just stringing together long winded descriptions that have no depth of feeling. Great journal page, lots of depth there too in your layers.

NatashaMay said...

It's really rare to find a good writing style these days and I always get excited when I actually do come across it. :) Sounds like a great book and I love your collage.

Clare with paint in her hair said...

Gorgeous art work! The books great, adding it to my list!

Hi I'm Maria... said...

I love it when you read a book and can 'see' it... sounds a good read sue...

hope you had a good easter, take care, maria xx

Leialoha said...

Thank you Susie for this great review...I just love your collage...all the elements you used expressed a 'lyrical' soft feeling for me. I enjoy a good murder mystery and will check out Louise's books.

Carmen said...

This really does sound my kind of book. Am going to note this series down. I love your enthusiasm for it Sue - it's infectious.

You know I love your collage and maybe Gina is right, I have one of your mini canvasses and it is gorgeous - I stuck magnets on the back and it faces my desk in my little mini gallery on the side of the fridge :) (Doesn't sound a compliment but it is! Jo is in my gallery - so is Donna of the Doone blog and a canvas of Phoebe's)

Jen said...

Such a good review I will be adding this author to my must read list. Your collage is wonderful. Love it.
Jen x

DGgirl said...

Hi Susie, Long tiome no speak! I have just ordered teh first book in the series, so intrigued was I by your review of this later book. I must say that I have been lurking on your blog and am loving your lists and all their honesty!

Hope this finds you well.

Gillxxx

Jenny said...

Gorgeous artwork Susie... your collage is beautiful... and love the sound of your book... the author sounds like she has a beautiful writing style...

Jenny ♥

Shirley said...

Your book this month sounds like a really good read and to have an author that obviously inspires you to imagine the world she is describing so vividly. Love your collage.

Sarah said...

the book really does sound like a good read, I think I would enjoy it - and you already know I love your collage :)

Virginia said...

Fabulous college Susie, the book sounds a good read too, it makes all the difference to have a well written book to attack doesn't it!

scrappyjen said...

thanks for visiting me and being kind, jenxxx

Catie Cuddles said...

Sounds like a book going onto my list immediately of things to read. Love your artwork too.

DGgirl said...

Susie

After reading this blog I bought "Still Life" - just so gorgeously written. Off to find the next one!

TFS

Gillxx