Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery is the latest in Louise Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series.  In this book, he leaves his familiar surroundings to solve a mystery at the Gilbertine Monastery of Saint Gilbert Entre-les-Loups deep in the Quebec wilderness.

The monks of the monastery live a cloistered life of silence, prayer and contemplation.  They grow their own food, pray, and make beautiful music.  While they have taken a vow of silence, they do sing, and are world famous for their glorious Gregorian chants.  This ancient music is often called “The Beautiful Mystery” because of its effect on the singer and the listener.  However, when a CD they produce – meant to raise a little money to repair their building - becomes a worldwide bestseller, tensions appear.   When the choir director is found murdered, the monks have no choice but to call on the Surete-de-Quebec.  No outsider has ever been admitted to the monastery, and Chief Inspector Gamache is the first.  He has his work cut out for him: imagine conducting an investigation when no one is talking – literally.  Divisions within the monastery appear, and so too, within the ranks of the Surete.

This novel has been described as elegant, beautiful and captivating.  It is sure to add to the number of Louise Penny fans.

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