Audie Award Nominee, Mystery, 2013
The brilliant new novel in the New York Times best-selling series by Louise Penny, one of the most acclaimed crime writers of our time
No outsiders are ever admitted to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer. They grow vegetables, they tend chickens, they make chocolate. And they sing. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as “the beautiful mystery.”
But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery’s massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.
©2012 Three Pines Creations, Inc. (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
One of the best....But I better not have to wait 2 years before she writes another one!
(spoiler alert!!!!!!!!) I was not happy with the end......
As always, Ralph Cosham, does and outstanding job in his narration of "A Beautiful Mystery". I have listened to all of the Louise Penny books and was looking forward to this one. The story is a different Penny offering based on it's location. Gamache is as intriguing and clever as always, but I'm ready for his demons and the chief superintendent to be put to rest. Please return to Three Pines for the next novel, it was probably good to have a different setting for the murder, but I miss all the characters that live in Three Pines.
The ending was a disappointment.
Great as usual
I was happy to leave Three Pines. The quirkiness of the characters was getting a little strained. This, like the previous books in this series is cross between Brigadoon and a locked room mystery. The settings- isolated from the modern world- give these books a fantasy aspect that is very well executed. I would usually think this is a hokey idea for a plot, but it works here.
Ralph Cosham is the voice of Armand Garmache- he is an excellent narrator.
I am ready to return to Three Pines, I miss the regular characters especially Ruth and Gabri.
I stumbled upon this delightful series when the first one was placed on sale via Audible and instantly fell in love with the Chief Inspector and his grumpy second in command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. I have read and/or listened to all of the stories and eagerly looked forward to this latest installment. To be honest, the story is not my favorite in the series, although I did enjoy it. I missed the quirky inhabitants of Three Pines and the monk of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups were not a good replacement. Still, the quiet brilliance of Gamache shined, even in the cloistered monastery. At the risk of giving out any spoilers, I must say that Jean-Guy really breaks my heart! I recommend this book, as well as the rest of the series. Can't wait for the next one!!
Half way through the book, Louise Penny states that the superintendent asked "unnecessary questions." Her book is a seemingly endless exercise in answering unnecessary questions. I got tired of the pondering, and wondering, and musing of the inspector. Conversations were tiresome and usually added only minuscule amounts of essential material - if that. The priests seem caricatures, their humanness only peeking occasionally through their dismal garb. Penny's characters from Three Pines still remain in my memory - they are vivid and have unique personalities. All I see in my mind's eye from this latest book are hooded phantoms who can somehow stir up enough passion to turn out a best-selling CD and then commit murder. Go figure?Before I purchased the book, I made sure that Ralph Cosham was the reader. He has done a brilliant job with her books. To see his name as a reader would is a plus for me.Will I buy another L. Penny mystery? I'd wait until I'd read all the critical reviews.
No. I have loved Penny's earlier books as well as Ruth Rendell, P.D. James, early Elizabeth George, Kate Atkinson, Mankell, Larsen, etc.
The scene where the superintendent confront the inspector. It has some tension.
I would go through the ms. and circle the scenes that hold essential information to the solving of the mystery, are important to character development, or establish the setting. Those I would keep. Then I would circle the pages of wonderings and musings and vapid conversations and given them a maximum of one page for every twenty pages of material. I would keep asking if the material moved the plot forward.
Was Penny trying to give the experience of listening to plainsong as the reader plodded along page after page waiting for something to happen? How many people listen to 14 hours of plainsong - the time it takes to listen to a good mystery? Perhaps the title should have read - A Sleepy Book for the Contemplative Mind. Penny's writing is beautiful. Murders aren't. What was she actually trying for? One other comment - I was so annoyed by the end of part 1 that I've not listened to part 2.
I would recommend this book to any friend who loved mystery stories and/or character studies. The book is equally enthralling on both counts.
As other reviewers have pointed out, the plot does not take place in Three Pines as most of the series has done. It also initially lacks the suspense of some of the earlier works, so I would not characterize it as keeping one on the edge of their seats. However, by the end of the story one is left not only on the edge of their seat, but on the edge of a cliff.
I have heard all of Ralph Cosham's Inspector Gamache renditions, and this one is just as great as the previous one.
Many follower's of this series may be initially disappointed with this book. My advice is to stick with it. Your efforts will be rewarded and you will be hungering for the next installment.
Although Louise Penny's books can be read as stand-alone books, it's almost necessary to follow them along in the series, which I have no problem doing as I LOVE her books and look forward to the next.
This was well-written as are all of Louise Penny's books. However, I much prefer the mysteries to take place in Three Pines as I have grown to know all the characters there so well and have been waiting to see what happens with them. I SO hope Gamache returns to Three Pines soon!!
I finally found a female author that I love...Louise Penny and the Three Pines series. I can't say enough about her characters or stories!
I am a big fan of the "Inspector Gamache" Three Pines mysteries. I found the narration to be as fine as ever, however I had difficulty keeping the characters of the monks separate and I gave up trying to remember which monk was which and that ultimately spoiled this book for me! Stay with Three Pines!!
Freelance Instructional Designer
Not really! I thought the ending was weak.
Not what I expected... Tended to fade out.
Added more mystery to the last third and ended with a twist.
The story was interesting and the setting fascinating. Characters were good but one was really unnecessary.
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