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 am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
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.
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.
Everything. That sums it up. His voice bounces softly from word to word and is full of so much feeling.
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.
Read this fabulous mystery. It really is beautiful.
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...
How can the characters in this year's True Detective be worse? Ferrill is asexual, drunk, corrupt, a child abuser and worse!
It's got to be me. I loved learning about the origin of written music and Gregorion chants. It's fascinating and well written into a good mystery. But I found myself bored with the rest of the story.
I wonder if Penny did too. Because she brings in Gamache's nemesis and that of his protege. So I give a low 3 stars.
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!
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.
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.
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!
prefers the darker side of fiction
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.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
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.
Narrative makes the world go round.
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.
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