On DVD: Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery (2014) Still Life: A Three Pines Mystery by Acorn Media
Genres: Mystery
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Director: Peter Ross

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Run time: 88 minutes

A murder investigation disrupts the peace of a beautiful Quebec town.

When a beloved schoolteacher is found dead, the possibility of murder leaves the quaint town of Three Pines aghast in this crime drama based on the award-winning novel by Louise Penny.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (Nathaniel Parker, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries) arrives with Inspector Jean-Guy Beauvoir (Anthony Lemke, White House Down) to investigate the strange death. With the aid of the victim's best friend, Clara Morrow (Kate Hewlett, Republic of Doyle), they begin to unravel sordid secrets, upending life in the seemingly utopian village.

While Clara becomes increasingly involved in helping the inspectors, newcomer Agent Yvette Nichol (Susanna Fournier, Being Human) challenges Gamache with some unconventional theories of her own. Then Gamache faces an ethical dilemma that puts him in an uncomfortable spot with both his superiors and subordinates. Can he find the killer and restore the village to its idyllic state before another murder occurs?

Few movies, including those made for TV, live up to the books they’re based on. Still Life is no different – of course it doesn’t help that it’s based on the first book in one of my favorite series. Overall, though, I think they did a good job. I recognized all the characters immediately except one, who was just wrong, practically missing from the movie when she is a fairly prominent secondary character in the books. The town may not have been exactly how I pictured it, or the people for that matter, but I think it stayed pretty close tot he story, at least as much of it as I remember – I don’t have the world’s best memory though. I was pleased, glad I watched. I’d love to see them make more of the books into movies.

My husband hasn’t read any of the books, even though he may have heard bits and pieces from me along the way. He enjoyed it, but he likes movies in general. I’m not sure how good a show it is if you don’t already have a connection to the characters, it’s really hard for me to judge. It’s a standard mystery, really, a couple twists, a couple odd characters, but nothing really outstanding. It just doesn’t have the same feel as the books. It tries, but doesn’t quite get there.