Book Review: The Beautiful Mystery
Author: Louise Penny
Publisher: Minotaur Books, 2012
Source: Public Library
Format: Audiobook, Read by Ralph Cosham
My Rating: A-
This is Book #8 in the Inspector Gamache series. I have been so faithful to this series because I’ve loved every single book. Number 8, however is different. I know your eyes just went up to my rating. Yes, it’s still an A but this is the first Louise Penny book I’ve not rated A+.
The Beautiful Mystery is still an excellent story featuring Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir – my favorite characters. But I missed all my “friends” in Three Pines. For the first time, the author based novel #8 in a monastery in the very back woods of Quebec. There were only twenty-four monks in this very old monastery until one of them is murdered.
Gamache and Beauvoir, plus a crime -scene investigator, fly in to investigate. The crime-scene investigator flies out with the body, but Gamache and Beauvoir stay. They must figure out who, among the monks dedicated to peace and prayer, would harbor something so evil and commit murder.
It was a puzzling mystery. The crime was committed in the Abbot’s private garden, a place only three people have access to. But, those three people appear to be accounted for. The Inspectors also have to figure out why, in this pristine environment, there would be such unhappiness that murder would be the result?
The Chief Superintendent of Homicide, who has always hated Gamache, decided to fly to the monastery. But it was not to help. I won’t spoil it for you except to tell you it doesn’t end well.
The fact that I didn’t like the ending is the main reason this book was an A- for me. Do not let that stop you from reading this very good mystery. I enjoyed my time among the monks – hearing about their garden, the raising of chickens, chocolate making, and the ancient Gregorian chants they’ve become famous for. I also liked Gamache’s discussion with the monks about human nature – very philosophical.
The audio was read again by Ralph Cosham. He does such an excellent job of reading Louise Penny’s novels that, for me, he is Gamache and all the other characters. He is beautiful in both English and the French terms.
Next for me is Book #9 – the one that came out about a month ago. My number is getting lower at the library, so I’m very hopeful I will have it some time in November. Of course, I’ll tell you all about it then.