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
I definitely would recommend this book. It is an interesting story in an unusual setting with unexpected twists. The subplot concerning Inpsector Gamache's relations with his subordinate and superior added an extra element of intrigue with an unexpected turn of events.
This was my first exposure to Inspector Gamache and I am now a big fan of his. Ralph Cosham's performance was just perfect. I was transported to the abbey with his intelligent and elegant reading. His pace and tone was perfect for the tale.
First Cosham performance for me. I loved his voice.
I was tempted to listen to it all at once but preferred to listen in installments so I could savor the experience as long as possible. I was sorry to come to the end of the book as I so enjoyed the listening experience.
I'm definitely going to listen to all available tapes in the Inspector Gamache series and check out anything else this author has written.
It was intriguing to find out more about the inner workings of a monastery.
It was nice to take a break from Three Pines, but I hope to return there in the next novel. The books that take place away from Three Pines provide more insight into Armand Gamache and his team as individuals. They are more character driven than plot driven, which is a nice change.
Ralph Cosham captures Armand Gamache perfectly. I actually prefer to listen to these novels than read them, because Cosham brings Louise Penny's novels to life.
I have listened to and enjoyed all of Penny's books on Audible. They are all great reads because of the well-written stories and evolving characters. Howeever, the narrator's wonderful voice fills out what is already a rich experience. I would listen to anything narrated by Ralph Cosham.
My favorite character is always Gamache with his witticisms and deep thoughts. He is an imperfect man who is constantly seeking justice, truth, and forgiveness.
I was dismayed at the end of this book to think that I have to wait months to find out what happens next -- what a cliffhanger!!!
Hurrry up, Ms. Penny, and finish the next in the series.
Yes, definitely. A new favorite story.
The story was gripping and interesting and I really enjoyed the narrators way of conveying the story and the appropriate mood.
He has a very calming voice and a beautiful French accent.
The point when Beauvoir is watching the video, the monks are chanting and the whole story seems to be coming together in a perfect storm. Powerful!
I love listening to Ralph Cosham read the Gamache series.
I've enjoyed many of Penny's books, but I believe this is her best to date. I can't say I enjoyed the ending where I now have to wait for the next book, but it was a small price to pay for an otherwise good book.
Beautiful Mystery ranks high on my list of favorite reads/listens of the past two years.
Beautiful Mystery left me breathless with surprise. I've read a number of Inspector Gamach stories. Louise Penny likes to pace her stories with great detail that pulls the reader though the details of most of the main characters lives. Though the Inspector is the dominating force of the series, it is the supporting characters that drive the plot. Beautiful Mystery is no exception.
In this case the Deputy (sorry, I don't have his name at the moment, I am away from the book right now) and the workings of his inner life serve to create enormous empathy towards him. The Deputy's confusion and moments of clarity create conflict and confusion for all involved.
I believe that this is a book to be savored. Louise Penny is an author who insists that the reader appreciate the nuances of life. the reader who insists on a quick jolt of excitement and drama may become frustrated. This can lead to moments where the book seems to drag. One might ask, "do I really need that much detail?". However, when the book draws to a close (with a truly stunning end), most will appreciate the time the spent with each character.
How long must we wait to learn more? Louise Penny is such a marvelous story teller and she has me totally "hooked" by the end of the book. So leaving quite so many loose ends made me want to just cry and yell. I kept hoping that things might resolve, as I watched the minutes tick down to the ending. I hope she won't keep us waiting long.
A first-time Louise Penny reader might enjoy this book, but because I have loved the character depth and the community and the very real human interactions and relationships, I found this lacking.
The plot was thin, the characters uninteresting, and the ending betrayed the relationship Penny has developed and nurtured between Armand Gamache and Jean-Pierre.
Of course! One disappointment from eight is nothing.
Ralph Cosham is a master in capturing these novels.
Disappointment. I hope to see a return to Three Pines, but recognize she may have run her course with that quirky town and its mix of complex characters.
I'm not a big fan of murder mysteries, but the setting tempted me, and I'm so glad I was drawn in. Instead of gory details of corpses and murder scenes, the novel was set in a rich and detailed place, full of characters that were multidimensional and powerful. No stereotypical all-bad or all-good characters. Deep and thoughtful character development, and attention to detail of place transported me to a place where I had never been in real life. Louise Penny is a masterful writer, and Ralph Cosham an excellent narrator, one of those readers that is so seamless that you lose yourself in the text and forget someone's reading to you. Highly recommend!
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