The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #8)

The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Gamache Series #8)

by Louise Penny
4.2 136

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The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 136 reviews.
SharonRedfern More than 1 year ago
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.
salvadore57 More than 1 year ago
The beautiful mystery is definitely that, a beautiful mystery. 370 pages but enjoyed it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Twink More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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
JCraneJC More than 1 year ago
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.
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
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.
Ann-shirley2 More than 1 year ago
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
LSLS24 More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
cookieKP More than 1 year ago
champamom More than 1 year ago
While immersed in the plot of this unique mystery set in a reclusive monastery, you are simultaneously caught up in the previous mystery of corruption within the police department, as well as, the development of character relationships. Each storyline excels. You need to read this.
Cookie282 More than 1 year ago
I found the location of the story to be dull and was very disappointed in the ending. Loved all the other Armand mysteries.
Anonymous 9 days ago
Another great Gamache adventure although no mention or visit to Three Pines. Sad. ~*~LEB~*~
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So intense yet thoughtful. This book does not stay closed for long. You are drawn into men's mines at different levels. So very human with the Highlight being the inner Battle of good versus evil. Well done MS penny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
More than a mystery. An immersive experience. Could not put it down. Moves along the father-son relationship of Gamache & Beauvoir. The descriptions of the remote walled monestery and the sublime Gregorian chants are extraordinary. The characters are well defined and all interesting. Multiple conflicts and the author's depictions of many points of view. Recommend beginning at the start of the series and reading straight through to get the full impact. Thanks Louise Penny for another great literary mystery with both humor and gravity, the everyday and the exotic intertwined.
SFlibres More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable mystery series for the thinking reader. Each book is enlightening, the mystery complex, the characters fully fleshed and likable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honney1944 More than 1 year ago
A Armand Gamache that's not in Three Pine, I missed the old gang, but only for a little while, it was great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago