Customer Reviews for

The Beautiful Mystery (Armand Gamache Series #8)

Average Rating 4
( 143 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(79)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

If I could rate this book 10 stars I would. When I finished the

If I could rate this book 10 stars I would. When I finished the last
page, all I could think was that I can’t wait for another year to see
what happens with the story. When I first started reading the book and
realized that it all takes place in a monastery with no Thr...
If I could rate this book 10 stars I would. When I finished the last
page, all I could think was that I can’t wait for another year to see
what happens with the story. When I first started reading the book and
realized that it all takes place in a monastery with no Three Pines
interaction, I wondered how the emotional pull in all of Ms. Penny’s
books, would happen in this book. No worries on that score! Chief
Inspector Armand Gamache and his second in command Jean-Guy Beauvior
have been sent to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups to
investigate the murder of one of the monks. The monastery is a closed
one and the monks follow the vow of silence. Hundreds of years before
the monks fled France and the Inquisition and had supposedly disappeared
as an order. Two years prior to the murder, the monks had released a
recording of them singing Gregorian chants and “blown their cover”.
No-one is allowed into the monastery and the resultant fame from the
recording has caused dissention among the monks. Gamache and Beauvior
have to work through the stories of the men living in a closed
environment and find the truth about the murder. The isolation of the
location and the certainty that the murderer is one of the monks adds to
the eeriness of the situation. The recurring theme of the book seems to
me to be that the men who have come to live there regard it as their own
slice of Eden. They live for love of their God and the music. They
lead simple but fulfilled lives and the music recording meant to raise
money for repairs and to maintain their way of life has actually
introduced the serpent in the garden. Gamache and Beauvior find a group
living in harmony with a common bond but they also find the cracks and
need to find out what was the issue that led one of the monks to kill.
There is also an overlapping theme about the nature of the chants and
the history of written music as it relates to Gregorian chants that is
quite interesting. Gamache and Beauvior have put the trauma of two years
before behind them and are seemingly in a good place. Beauvior has
become free of his addiction to pain killers and is secretly dating
Gamache’s daughter Annie. He is happy with his life. Gamache still
carries the physical and emotional scars from that time as well but he
has made a sort of peace with it. The two men are forced to re-evaluate
their feelings when their own personal serpent arrives at the monastery
and begins to spread his poison. The ending of the book is heart
wrenching and will leave the reader hungry for the next installment in
the series. Ms. Penny does a wonderful job of putting the reader into
the minds of the characters so that their hurts become our hurts and we
really care about what happens next.

posted by SharonRedfern on August 28, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

The Mystery was OK. I would have liked more insight into the pe

The Mystery was OK. I would have liked more insight into the perp's background and psyche. Hate the on-going conflict between Gamache, Beauvoir and the evil Chief Françoeur. Loved the first books. Not sure I'll buy another in this series unless it returns to Twin Pin...
The Mystery was OK. I would have liked more insight into the perp's background and psyche. Hate the on-going conflict between Gamache, Beauvoir and the evil Chief Françoeur. Loved the first books. Not sure I'll buy another in this series unless it returns to Twin Pines.

posted by 2894730 on August 31, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8
  • Posted August 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If I could rate this book 10 stars I would. When I finished the

    If I could rate this book 10 stars I would. When I finished the last
    page, all I could think was that I can’t wait for another year to see
    what happens with the story. When I first started reading the book and
    realized that it all takes place in a monastery with no Three Pines
    interaction, I wondered how the emotional pull in all of Ms. Penny’s
    books, would happen in this book. No worries on that score! Chief
    Inspector Armand Gamache and his second in command Jean-Guy Beauvior
    have been sent to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups to
    investigate the murder of one of the monks. The monastery is a closed
    one and the monks follow the vow of silence. Hundreds of years before
    the monks fled France and the Inquisition and had supposedly disappeared
    as an order. Two years prior to the murder, the monks had released a
    recording of them singing Gregorian chants and “blown their cover”.
    No-one is allowed into the monastery and the resultant fame from the
    recording has caused dissention among the monks. Gamache and Beauvior
    have to work through the stories of the men living in a closed
    environment and find the truth about the murder. The isolation of the
    location and the certainty that the murderer is one of the monks adds to
    the eeriness of the situation. The recurring theme of the book seems to
    me to be that the men who have come to live there regard it as their own
    slice of Eden. They live for love of their God and the music. They
    lead simple but fulfilled lives and the music recording meant to raise
    money for repairs and to maintain their way of life has actually
    introduced the serpent in the garden. Gamache and Beauvior find a group
    living in harmony with a common bond but they also find the cracks and
    need to find out what was the issue that led one of the monks to kill.
    There is also an overlapping theme about the nature of the chants and
    the history of written music as it relates to Gregorian chants that is
    quite interesting. Gamache and Beauvior have put the trauma of two years
    before behind them and are seemingly in a good place. Beauvior has
    become free of his addiction to pain killers and is secretly dating
    Gamache’s daughter Annie. He is happy with his life. Gamache still
    carries the physical and emotional scars from that time as well but he
    has made a sort of peace with it. The two men are forced to re-evaluate
    their feelings when their own personal serpent arrives at the monastery
    and begins to spread his poison. The ending of the book is heart
    wrenching and will leave the reader hungry for the next installment in
    the series. Ms. Penny does a wonderful job of putting the reader into
    the minds of the characters so that their hurts become our hurts and we
    really care about what happens next.

    19 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 31, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    The beautiful mystery is definitely that, a beautiful mystery.

    The beautiful mystery is definitely that, a beautiful mystery. 370 pages but enjoyed it all.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    The Mystery was OK. I would have liked more insight into the pe

    The Mystery was OK. I would have liked more insight into the perp's background and psyche. Hate the on-going conflict between Gamache, Beauvoir and the evil Chief Françoeur. Loved the first books. Not sure I'll buy another in this series unless it returns to Twin Pines.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Dissappointed. I was waiting for this book to come out and coul

    Dissappointed. I was waiting for this book to come out and could not finish it. I like the Gamache character but the subject matter of the monastery turned me off. I have read all of Louise Penney books and loved them all. This one was not good for me.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Beautiful Mystery is the eighth entry in Louise Penny's Chie

    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.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    The Disappointing Mystery

    I loved Louise Penny’s earlier books in this series but found this one very disappointing. I am also tired of the internal conflict at the Surete dragging on and on. While much of the book’s discussion around the chants and music was interesting there wasn’t enough character or background development. You’ve got a monastery of 24 men living in isolation in a very remote part of Canada where a murder occurs and you don’t do a background check on these men to see who they were before they joined the monastery? These men obviously had some contact with the outside world but there was no discussion of how and when that happened. I suspect she was trying to write the mystery to resemble a chant – simple and without embellishment. But what works for a chant does not necessarily a good mystery read make.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Another fine read Another great read from louise penny

    Louise penny does it again with her latest the beautiful mystery
    Just like her past novels penny gives us rich complex characters that keep us interested in more then just a simple who done it

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2012

    Review

    I don't understand how I can write a review when the book has not been released - maybe I'm missing something
    GinnyH08

    3 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2012

    Not published yet?

    Why am I asked to give a review on an unpublished book? I'm reasonably sure I will love it, once I read it. Louise Penny is an amazing author, and her books are fantastic.

    BUT . . . . this book does not come out until the end of August. Get back to me then.

    3 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 12, 2012

    Disappointed

    I have loved all of Louise Penny's previous books but was disappointed in this one. I realize not all murders can occur in Three Pines but just didn't like the setting for this one and just did not find it that interesting. I struggled to finish it and kept looking for the "good parts". Not the worst book I have ever read but certainly not her best work. Just my opinion of course.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Louise Penny's writing is superb as usual, but I missed the levi

    Louise Penny's writing is superb as usual, but I missed the levity of the Three Pines characters intertwined in this mystery. The philosophy and history of Gregorian Catholic Church Chants was very interesting, but tended to dominate the mystery more than I'd expected. So, while I enjoyed this latest mystery from Penny, I was disappointed also. Without revealing the ending, I also felt a little cheated , as it reminded me of endings of weekly soap operas. Still a four star read for many excellent reasons, but my disappointment kept me from continuing my 5 star rating as I'd rated all of Penny's earlier books. But still a fan, and looking forward to more of her Three Pines Mysteries.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2012

    Another winner in a wonderful series

    The richness of the writing let me feel the peace of the Gilbertines as well as the conflicts that threatened their very existence. The conflict within the Surete will having me waiting anxiously for the next entry in the series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 4, 2012

    I have read all of Louise Penney's books. This last,in my estima

    I have read all of Louise Penney's books. This last,in my estimation,is her absolute best. The Chant has for some had the ability to bring the listener a strong sense of peace. I have had the opportunity to visit the other Monastery , to which the author has referred and listened to the Chant by the Benedictine Monks there.
    Not everyone is drawn to this mysterious form of music. Beauvoir was not. It's history has been well researched by the author.
    I am looking forward to reading her next book. Some important issues have to be settled.
    Anne Shirley 2

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    One of her best!

    The Armand Gamache books have won many well deserved awards. Although all of the books in the series are well written.this one is extraordinary and closest to Still Life in its ability to engage, transport and even stun the reader. Like the music that plays such a key role in this novel, the writing lifts the reader far above the mundane mystery genre and into the realm of mankind's struggles with the questions of faith, love, truth and justice. Even as the reader soars with Gamache into musical/mystical ethers, he/she can taste the chocolate covered blueberries and see the monastery walls. This is oneof thebestof her novels not just in the prose,but in terms of getting into Gamache's mind and advancing the underlying plot of his battle with opponents within the Surete.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 3, 2012

    love, love Louise Penny & Armand Gamache! simple, transporti

    love, love Louise Penny & Armand Gamache!
    simple, transporting writing - this book in particular was good at communicating the sense of calm and conflict present in the monastery in which the book is set, as well as the calm and conflict within Inspector Gamache. hope she doesn't make us wait too long for the next book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    This is a single beautiful mystery told in three melodic parts:

    This is a single beautiful mystery told in three melodic parts: how one brother could destroy another when they shared so much beauty in music and the sweet peace of their monastery; how incredibly delicate, and yet how strong, are the threads of love that bind us to the people and things we love; how the carefully crafted words of The Beautiful Mystery could so break my heart and make me feel such a sad yearning to not yet be parted from these very dear companions. Please Ms. Penny, bring them back to us soon.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Not my favorite Armand Gamache mystery.

    I found the location of the story to be dull and was very disappointed in the ending. Loved all the other Armand mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    Wonderful descriptions of location. Gamache - what an amazing m

    Wonderful descriptions of location. Gamache - what an amazing man.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 30, 2012

    THis is the best book I have read this year. I dont want to give

    THis is the best book I have read this year. I dont want to give away any plot detail that might diminish another readers enjoyment so all I will say is if you have not ready any other Louise Penny books - start from the beginning. If you have - you dont need this review to tell you to read this one!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 30, 2012

    I did not read

    I did not receive the book yet, but I believe it the book follows the other Armand Gamache series I'm sure that it ia good

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 143 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 8