This book doesn't have the charm of previous Gamache books. A whole book in a monastery was a bit much and I guessed the killer right from the beginning. The story of his inspector John Guy just recently out of rehab and in love with Gamache's daughter made the book move and provided an exciting ending. Worth the listen.
Likes: Cozy mysteries (cats a plus), personal memoirs,not too dark fantasy, books about the brain. Dislikes: Torture, animal cruelty.
I am so filled with irritation at how The Beautiful Mystery turned out, that I can’t get on with my life until I criticize it. It seemed endless and tedious but I could have gotten over that if it had resolved to my satisfaction. I was not enjoying the anxiety the presence of Gamache’s boss caused me. Not so much because of some particular plot element that could occur but simply because I feel uncomfortable when Gamache is not in charge of things. I was expecting something bad at every moment. But my biggest complaint was Jean-Guy, a character we readers had gotten close to. First I was feeling anxiety (and I don’t like anxiety) about wanting to get to the point when Annie and Jean-Guy told Gamache of their relationship. I actually felt great relief when I found out he knew. I thought at that point not far from the end that the book that things were about to take a turn, resolving all its issues to my satisfaction. And it would have been SO EASY for the author to do that. I’m so mad she didn’t do that!
Beauvoir has always been his own worst enemy, but he was reaching new heights here – doing whatever was exactly the dumbest and most destructive thing possible. I suppose the frustration and anger I felt about this might be similar to what one would experience dealing with an addict in real life, but I don’t want to deal with that, in books or out. And to reward Gamache for all his goodness by having him fail at everything except solving the crime was such a betrayal by the author. Also we already dealt with Jean-Guy having a painkiller addiction and we moved on. I didn’t want to rehash that.
Then of course there were all those monks/ religion and the discussion of the sexuality of monks (not something I want to know about). But what I disliked most about these monks were they were not believable characters. These are people who normally have a vow of silence. It was just lifted. And I am supposed to believe that all of them talk like Gamache – long and flowery and wordy. You ask one a simple question and you get long ramblings pages with intros like, “Have you ever fallen in love, Chief Inspector?” I think people who didn’t normally talk would have a lot less to say and wouldn’t say it like that. I think this about many Penny characters because a large percentage of them talk like this, but for monks under a vow of silence it is simply extra absurd.
So bottom line, what a long tedious downer that whole thing was. Definitely worst in the series which I had previously liked very much.
I listened to this book twice. The first time I didn't get the full depth of being inside a place not many have seen or experienced. The second time I felt it. What I liked best was the real sense of what life must be like in a monk's world so removed from the outside and how the different personalities of the brothers all fit together.
I wouldn't compare this book to another of Louise Penny's books or any other book. This one is truly unique.
I've listened to all of the Louise Penny audiobooks with Ralph Cosham. This one is outstanding like all of the others he reads. He's the BEST.
This was not a story that grabbed me the first time I listened perhaps because it was such a very different kind of setting. However, the second listen did keep my interest even though I knew the plot. There is a lot more to this book than just solving the mystery. Music lovers will appreciate and enjoy this story greatly.
The ending of this book was very difficult for me to hear and accept. Bouvoir is one of my favorite characters, and I adore the interactions between Gamash and Bouvoir. There has to be another book to follow this one to let us know where their relationship goes. I seem to be emotionally involved with these characters. I feel as if I know and care about them.
Louise Penny's intelligent and well-crafted mysteries are always thought-provoking and enjoyable, but this one reaches far down into the psyche and creates a building of dread and suspense that is far and above the previous installments.
Having read a couple reviews of the this book, I decided to try it on Audible, hoping it would, as is often the case, be even better and more interesting if read by someone with appropriate accents and intonations. And I did try to tolerate the reader, in hopes that improvement was on the way. But after about 2 hours of listening while awake, tolerate it I no longer could. Maybe it's just me, but this person's reading does not work.
My favorite books are filled with the kind of historical detail found in this one. Louise Penny may well have written a fascinating story, but I will never know - this tediously read book will be deleted from my library.
I would place it in the category of "will mean more if you've been following the series."
It is a bit slow to get going - actually quite slow - however there is a mood to be set and such things take time. The basic story was good, but the thing that made the book truly great for me is how Penny has continued to develop her characters (in this book, Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir). At the point at which things come to a peak near the end, I was actually shaking with emotion - I'd become that involved!
I have all the Chief Inspector Gamache Novels and have loved each of them. However, I am not sure I would read another because of the disappointing ending to this one. Certain ongoing characters are essential to the overall feeling of the books. The primary secondary character should be one that you can identify with and cheer for, and support. His character is definitely tarnished for me and I do not like the direction this book is taking.
Provide a more positive outcome in the book.
Intriguing, engaging, enjoyable
Say something about yourself!
This is my second audio book by Louise Penny. Because the setting is in Quebec, the audio edition saved me from mangling the many French pronunciations.
The best thing about this story is definitely the characters. I also enjoyed the history of Gregorian chants. The setting was unusual but the host of characters was especially interesting in their flawed humanity. The story took so many twists and turns that it was difficult to set aside.
Ralph Cosham is able to read French. His warmth or coldness (depending upon the character) and his varied voices provide a depth that would be difficult to attain in the print version.
The relationships of Inspector Gamache to his wife, his daughter, and his subordinate were beautifully described. The ending of the book was particularly moving--I definitely did not want it to end.
Yes, Louise Penny writes so beautifully, and that is captured by the audiobook
No, it was pretty intense at times, as Penny often is, so it was good to take breaks.
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Cosham's constant mispronunciation of Francoeur! I'm amazed he did not check on this before recording - VERY distracting to those of us who speak and understand French! And quite unprofessional...I hope omeon has brought it to the attention of he publisher,
Another wonderful tale in the series! Don't miss it!
Chief Inspector doesn't fail to perform!
The performance was just as expected... perfect!
As always, it makes you both laugh and cry!
A wonderful series!