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The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Paperback – July 2, 2013
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“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't be disappointed.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“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. On a deeper level, the crime provides a means for Penny's unusually empathic, all-too-fallible lead to unearth truths about human passions and weaknesses while avoiding simple answers.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)
About the Author
LOUISE PENNY is the author of the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling series of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (six times), and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. In 2017, she received the Order of Canada for her contributions to Canadian culture. Louise lives in a small village south of Montréal.
Top customer reviews
William Faulkner advised writers to kill their darlings. I think Penny is a great writer, but she's so in love with her own prose she can't cut anything, and much needed to be cut in this novel.
The novel makes for an entertaining read but the real puzzle is not the murderer's identity (which becomes fairly obvious after a while) but the mystery of the monastery itself. How did the monks of the 17th century build this beautiful monastery so far away from civilization? How did they survive for so long? How is it they now have electricity and a telephone since they are so far away from the nearest village with limited means of transportation? And just who installed the new geothermic system and the new roof.....surely not the monks even though they insist on not allowing anyone to enter the door. How is it that they could still be frightened of the Inquisition after all these years? These questions kept popping up in my mind while reading and I found the situation somewhat analogous to Three Pines, a place which doesn't appear on any map but which seems to have all the comforts of modern civilization. Penny's novels are enjoyable on the most part but her situations and her characters can be surprising and almost surreal. As to the final ending of this novel, it is really no ending but an introduction to Penny's next novel involving Gamache, Beauvoir, and Francoeur. The last scene is a heartbreaker but makes for more questions. How can Beauvoir despite his sufferings be such a complete ass and how can someone so blatantly malicious as Francouer continue in his position? Why hasn't the culprit who released the factory raid video been identified? And will Gamache finally be vindicated? Undoubtedly readers will find out in the next novel of the Gamache series.