The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

86%

14 Critic Reviews

The most illuminating analogies are not to other contemporary detective fiction but to The Name of the Rose and Murder in the Cathedral.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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 Louise Penny

See more books from this Author
LOUISE PENNY is The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of seven novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. Her debut, Still Life, won the John Creasey Dagger and the Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys Awards, and was named one of the five Mystery/Crime Novels of the Decade by Deadly Pleasures magazine. Penny was the first author ever to win the Agatha Award for Best Novel four times—for A Fatal Grace, The Cruelest Month, The Brutal Telling (which also received the Anthony Award for Best Novel), and Bury Your Dead (which also won the Dilys, Arthur Ellis, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero Awards). She lives in a small village south of Montréal.
 
Published August 28, 2012 by Minotaur Books. 384 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Sep 16 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Beautiful Mystery
All: 14 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Excellent
Aug 01 2012

The most illuminating analogies are not to other contemporary detective fiction but to The Name of the Rose and Murder in the Cathedral.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
Jun 18 2012

Traditional mystery fans can look forward to a captivating whodunit plot, a clever fair-play clue concealed in plain view, and the deft use of humor to lighten the story’s dark patches.

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NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Carolyn Haley on Aug 28 2012

Although the crime is resolved at the end, Gamache’s relationships are not...the book’s tone is depressing, and the disaster-promising danglers might move some readers to quit the series here.

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Globe and Mail

Excellent
Reviewed by Robert Wiersema on Sep 07 2012

The Beautiful Mystery satisfies as a mystery, and stands as a powerful literary novel in its own right, regardless of whether one has read the previous seven novels in the series.

Read Full Review of The Beautiful Mystery: A Chie... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

Toronto Star

Excellent
Reviewed by Jack Batten on Sep 08 2012

Nothing comes easy for anyone on the good guys’ side in the book, but the road to the finale is the stuff of grand suspense.

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Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Nina Sankovitch on Sep 27 2012

...Penny writes books about people whom we come to know as friends -- compelling friends, who deserve our interest and ignite our caring.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Maureen Corrigan on Sep 09 2012

By its conclusion, “The Beautiful Mystery” transforms itself, unexpectedly, into an emotionally harrowing tale.

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Las Vegas Review Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Jane Ann Morrison on Aug 18 2012

I can recommend "The Beautiful Mystery" to anyone who enjoys the thoughtful mixed with the thrilling in a spiritual setting, where the love of God is intertwined with the love of music.

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Jackson District Library

Excellent
Reviewed by janedb

I love Louise Penny’s books. Her Gamache is the natural successor to Ngaio Marsh’s urbane civilized DCI Roderick Alleyn.

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Quick Book Reviews

Good
Nov 11 2012

it makes for a very entertaining read and I recommend it to anyone who likes old-fashioned whodunit novels with a new twist.

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Reading Reality

Good
Reviewed by Marlene Harris on Aug 29 2012

The Inspector Gamache series, starting with Still Life, is definitely a mystery series. There is always a body. But they are also complex character studies.

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Criminal Element

Good
Reviewed by Laura Benedict on Aug 20 2012

There are so many mysteries, so many secrets revealed in The Beautiful Mystery—all stunning and heartbreaking.

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Crimespace

Good
Reviewed by Kittling: Books on Aug 28 2012

This wonderful eighth addition to Penny's garden ends on a strong note of foreboding and makes me both eager and hesitant for book nine.

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The American Culture

Below average
Reviewed by Patrick Ohl on Sep 04 2012

The conclusion is ridiculous, and some of the religious commentary is frankly insulting. The characters and their religion come across as phony, and a major plot-thread is absolute nonsense.

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