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The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel | [Louise Penny]

The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

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.”
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (1624 )
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  •  
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 09-04-12
    Susan Boise, ID, United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2007

    I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not so much"

    Having listened to all of Ms. Pennys book, I am a big fan. To be honest this was one I will not listen to again. The ending was so wrong and I would like to go back to the goings on in Three Pines.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 12-17-12
    Diane Louisville, KY, United States 12-17-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Transcendant Melancholia"

    Poignant, mysterious and serene--these are not descriptors one would usually associate with a murder mystery. The setting is that of a remote, all but forgotten monastery, and the cloistered monks who have taken a vow of silence except for the expression of their faith in Gregorian chant-- a most unlikely setting for murder, yet that is what has happened.

    This is perhaps my favorite Louise Penny novel yet. Remarkably, she manages to combine the atmosphere of transcendent monastic serenity with the gritty reality of a murder investigation, creating an absorbing and moving story. A beautiful mystery, indeed...

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 05-17-13
    HIII 05-17-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Beautiful Story"

    This is wonderful. Louise Penny and Ralph Cosham weave the calmness of the monastery and the monks into the excitement and adventure of a mystery. Great listen!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 01-06-13
    DIANE Thornhill,, Ontario, Canada 01-06-13 Member Since 2015

    I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.

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    "Twists and Turns galore"
    What did you love best about The Beautiful Mystery?

    I found Mr. Cosham's voice almost hypnotic. I loved the look into the life of cloistered monks and the development of each of the monks' characters and backgrounds. I loved the way the story twisted and turned, constantly leading you to another conclusion about who might have "dun it". I also loved the way the two inspectors' characters and their own conflicts were woven into the story, but very skillfully. Finally, I loved learning about the roots of written music. No more said so as not to ruin the story.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes, I must say the plot kept me on the edge of my seat... as the author kept the reader guessing re: the culprit, and also gave the reader tons of interesting information as the book progressed. There was a lot of verbal imagery in this book that I really enjoyed.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    Everything. That sums it up. His voice bounces softly from word to word and is full of so much feeling.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and to the best of my ability, I kept reading almost continuously, listening on my iPhone after coming in from the car, where I did the bulk of my reading via bluetooth on my car radio's speaker.


    Any additional comments?

    Read this fabulous mystery. It really is beautiful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 12-07-12
    Linda PITTSBURGH, PA, United States 12-07-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful"

    To me, this is the best yet of the series. All of them are terrific. This is the 1st not to involve any of the Three Pines villagers. Best to read these in order. Events from previous books are referred to, but explained. The characters build though, and it would be hard to appreciate that without reading in order.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K.Appelhans Huntington Beach, CA, United States 12-06-12
    K.Appelhans Huntington Beach, CA, United States 12-06-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Absolutely The Best"

    I cannot stop listening to the Louise Penny mysteries! The combination of humor, seriousness and a good story is unmatched by any author in my opinon. Additionally the narrator is the best, translating the story perfectly. When is her next book due. I have listened to them all and cannot wait.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Aurora, CO, United States 09-10-12
    Lynn Aurora, CO, United States 09-10-12
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    "Crafted as intricately as a Gregorian chant!"

    I have either read or listened to each book in the Inspector Gamache series and have enjoyed them all. However, "The Beautiful Mystery" has blown me away! The settings and characters are so thoroughly and beautifully described that it's easy to be "transported" there. The information about monastery life and Gregorian chants really enhances the already fascinating mystery. The narrator is superb as well. Highly recommend!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael king LINCOLN, NE, United States 09-06-12
    michael king LINCOLN, NE, United States 09-06-12 Member Since 2014

    prefers the darker side of fiction

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    "Penny pulls it off again!"
    Any additional comments?

    hard to praise this book enough. Haunting, enthralling, richly detailed, complex. am sure i'll read it again and again, and i can't wait for Penny's next.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-02-13
    B.J. Minneapolis, MN, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2010

    I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.

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    "Another winner"

    I'm not sure exactly why I like these books, but I do. The mystery portion of it always takes a back seat for me. Sometimes the characters are too confusing for me to even care who did it. But, I still listen and eagerly download the next one. The backdrop of the monastery was interesting in this one. It was a slice of life that was unfamiliar to me.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 09-02-12
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 09-02-12

    Narrative makes the world go round.

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    "You can start here"

    I usually agree with C Telfair's very good reviews, but in this case I disagree-- You can start here with Penny's Inspector Gamache series. In fact, I have been trying to get into the series for some time but hadn't been able to finish a novel. This one had the added attraction of the monastery setting, and it grabbed my attention from the beginning. Now that I've been introduced to the characters later on in the series, I am more motivated to go back to the earlier novels to fill in the blanks about the characters and continuing story lines.

    I think Penny gets the exterior stuff of the monastery right, but I didn't find the portrait of the interior life so convincing compared to other classic detective cozies set in convents/monasteries. The setting still made the mystery for me-- I felt like was visiting the monastery in a northern Quebec autumn. And now I want more Inspector Gamache.

    21 of 30 people found this review helpful

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