The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

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The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

by Louise Penny

St. Martin's Press | July 2, 2013 | Trade Paperback

8 of 10 in the series
The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel is rated 5 out of 5 by 2.
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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 400 pages, 8.19 × 5.46 × 1.08 in

Published: July 2, 2013

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1250031125

ISBN - 13: 9781250031129

Found in: Mystery and Suspense

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book I have read every one of Louise Penny's book and love every one of them. My only problem is having the patience to wait for her next publication. In this book I could see myself sitting in the Chapel listening to the monk singing and wondering who was the murderer
Date published: 2015-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! The Beautiful Mystery is the eighth entry in Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. This series has become one of my favourites, but I have to say that this latest book is exceptional. The series is set in Canada. Gamache is with the Sûreté du Québec, as is his second in command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. In The Beautiful Mystery, Gamache and Beauvoir are called out on an unusual case and location. A monk at a monastery hidden away in the wilds of Québec has been murdered. The monastery has rebuffed visitors for the last four hundred years. There are only twenty four residents, all who live with a vow of silence - except when they are singing ancient Gregorian chants. Twenty three suspects. Penny has yet again devised an ingenious 'closed room' mystery that had me guessing until the last pages. The exploration of the monastic lifestyle and the chants were especially interesting. In her acknowledgments Penny says "I wanted to explore this beautiful mystery. How just a few notes can take us to a different time and place. Can conjure a person, an event, a feeling. Can inspire great courage, and reduce us to tears. And in the case of this book, I wanted to explore the power of ancient chants, Gregorian chants. On those who sing them, and those who hear them." The explanation of the effect of the music on the listener was compelling. I listened to the audio version of this book and the inclusion of chants at the beginning and end of the book prompted me to put holds on some Gregorian chant CDs at the library. But the real draw of Penny's books are the characters - especially Gamache. He is such a wise, intuitive, caring person. But he has faced his share of heartache - most notably with Beauvoir. A previous case has left both men physically and emotionally damaged. The healing has started, but has miles to go. A surprise appearance by Gamache's superior at the monastery complicates things further. And take Gamache to a very dark place. I become so invested and immersed in the characters that populate Penny's novels that they almost feel quite real. Gamache and Beavoir's complicated relationship and their attempts to continue moving forward despite the past make them all the more believable. Penny's storytelling is rich and varied, full of nuance and inflection. The pared down setting for this book was perfect, echoing the raw truths that are exposed. The ending has only left me hoping that Penny gives us more Gamache before too much time elapses. I chose to listen to this latest book and may well do so with all the Gamache books. There's always a worry that a narrator will not be the right fit for the mental image you've created for a character. Ralph Cosham was the reader for The Beautiful Mystery...and he was perfect. He has a rich, full bodied voice that is deep and sonorous, conveying the quiet strength of Gamache. The cadence, rhythm, pauses and more sound like actual conversation, not simply a reading of pages. The accent passes muster and is easily understood. Just an absolutely fantastic read/listen/series - highly recommended.
Date published: 2012-09-03
Rated out of 5 by from Any idea when this is coming out as an ebook?
Date published: 2012-08-24

– More About This Product –

The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

by Louise Penny

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 400 pages, 8.19 × 5.46 × 1.08 in

Published: July 2, 2013

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1250031125

ISBN - 13: 9781250031129

Read from the Book

THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY (Chapter 1) As the last note of the chant escaped the Blessed Chapel a great silence fell, and with it came an even greater disquiet. The silence stretched on. And on. These were men used to silence, but this seemed extreme, even to them. And still they stood in their long black robes and white tops, motionless. Waiting. These were men also used to waiting. But this too seemed extreme. The less disciplined among them stole glances at the tall, slim, elderly man who had been the last to file in and would be the first to leave. Dom Philippe kept his eyes closed. Where once this was a moment of profound peace, a private moment with his private God, when Vigils had ended and before he signaled for the Angelus, now it was simply escape. He closed his eyes because he didn’t want to see. Besides, he knew what was there. What was always there. What had been there for hundreds of years before he arrived and would, God willing, be there for centuries after he was buried in the cemetery. Two rows of men across from him, in black robes with white hoods, a simple rope tied at their waists. And beside him to his right, two more rows of men. They were facing each other across the stone floor of the chapel, like ancient battle lines. No, he told his weary mind. No. I mustn’t think of this as a battle, or a war. Just opposing points of view. Expressed in a healthy community. Then why was he so reluctant to open his eyes? To get the day going? To signal the gr
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From the Publisher

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.

About the Author

LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of ten Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.

Editorial Reviews

"With enormous empathy for the troubled human soul—and an ending that makes your blood race and your heart break—Penny continues to raise the bar of her splendid series." — People Magazine (4 out 4 stars) “Louise Penny has crafted an almost perfect crime—haunting, puzzling, brilliant and indeed a most beautiful mystery. Chief Inspector Gamache is one of my favorite characters in fiction. Here he must penetrate a cloistered monastery deep in the northern woods of Quebec, where a murdered monk is his ticket to get in. This is a tour-de-force for Penny, and a thrilling, intelligent read.” —Linda Fairstein "A. Ma. Zing!  A remarkably courageous—and very beautiful—book that leaps the abyss between faith and despair." —Diana Gabaldon “Elliptical and often oracular… also remarkably penetrating and humane. The most illuminating analogies are not to other contemporary detective fiction but to The Name of the Rose and Murder in the Cathedral .” —Kirkus Reviews “An entire mystery novel centering on Gregorian chants (whose curiously hypnotic allure is called the “beautiful mystery”)? Yes, indeed, and in the hands of the masterful Penny, the topic proves every bit as able to transfix readers as the chants do their listeners.” — Booklist (starred review) “Elegant… This heart-rending tale is a marvelous addition to Penny’s acclaimed series. Fans won’
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Bookclub Guide

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.