The Beautiful Mystery

The Beautiful Mystery

A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

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The brilliant new novel in the New York Times bestselling 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.

The Beautiful Mystery is the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for best novel, the 2013 Anthony Award for best novel and the 2013 Macavity Award for best novel.

Publisher: New York :, St. Martin's Minotaur
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9781250015273
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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Jul 03, 2020

have read so many of the Chief Inspector Gamache stories and like them very much. This one doesn't ring true in most of the dialogue written for Jean-Guy. Where is usually as important as whodunnit in the Gamache stories and the same is true in this one. It was almost as though she had another book due to fulfill a contract and she couldn't really get past the chant and its history.

Oct 26, 2019

another good mystery taking place in an unusual setting--a monastery isolated from the public. Would really like to try those wild blueberries dipped in dark chocolate.

May 17, 2019

Not my favorite story in the series. Enjoyed the setting of the story.

Jan 15, 2019


Aug 25, 2018


Jul 02, 2018

The monastery at Saint-Gilbert-Entre-Les-Loups breaks from tradition and calls on secular law and Inspector Gamache when its choir director is murdered. The methodical Gamache, overwhelmed by the sensation of Gregorian chants, while his boss undermines him, meets his soul among the monks. Classic mystery of atmosphere, character, and scholar’s plot, my first Louise Penny is not my last.

Jun 19, 2018

I think of all the Chief Inspector Gamache novels, this is my favorite. I loved the connection made to the monastery and the origin of musical notation. As I became immersed in the mystery and Gregorian chants, I asked Alexa to play some chants. And yet at the end I am brought back to the reality of Gamache and the rot found the Surete and know that this thread will compel me to read the next book in the series as soon as it comes out.

ArapahoeAnnaL Feb 04, 2018

An award-winning, beautifully written, compelling mystery set in the serenity of a secluded monastery.

Dec 16, 2017

I loved this book. It’s my third Louise Penny book, and by far my favorite. Most probably the reason for my opinion is my long-time fascination with Gregorian chants. I was never fascinated enough to study them at all; in fact I didn’t know there was anything to study. But listening to them transported me to another state of consciousness. They sounded so ancient to me, and so intimate in some way. Like a whispered secret, or words spoken in code.
Penny did a masterful job of researching their history and meaning, as well as their place in worship. Her story (a murder mystery, of course) was set in a secluded monastery in which the chants were central to the monks’ worship and faith. To them, they were a communication with God.
Reading another reader’s review of Beautiful Mystery in which she states it provides background information to How the Light Gets In, I can see I’ll have to read that before I call a hiatus to my Louise Penny phase.

Aug 08, 2017

The theme of a “band of brothers” riven by differences in fundamental beliefs drives this mystery set in a remote Quebec monastery where both the monks and the Sûreté du Québec are beset by internecine strife. Parallel conflicts play out, one rooted in murder, the other leading to a lost soul in turmoil. The reader learns about the origins of Gregorian chant and the development of early musical notation, which are central to the mystery. The narrative could have been tightened by removing some of the repetitive emotional wallowing and reliving of past trauma, but Penny’s strength is how she immerses us in the minds and motivations of her characters. We understand them, the dark and the light, and sometimes recognize ourselves.

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Aug 18, 2015

Gamache to Reine-Marie: "There's clearly something very wrong here, among the monks. An enmity. But when they sing it's like all of that never happened. They seem to go to another place. A deeper place. Where no quarrels exist. A place of contentment and peace. Not even joy, I think. But freedom. They seem free from the cares of the world. That young monk, Frère Luc, described it as letting go of all thought. I wonder if that's what freedom is?" p 105

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