Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Beautiful Mystery; Louise Penny

Author:  Louise Penny
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Macmilllan Audio
Edition: audiobook
Reader: Ralph Cosham (good)   
Source: Library
Date Completed: October/2012
Rating: 4/5 
Recommend: yes

Louise Penny is back with her 8th Chief Inspector Gamache and his partner Beauvoir mystery. This time instead of the charming village of Three Pines, the pair is off to investigate a murder at a 200 year old abbey.  The abbey in Saint-Gilbert-Entreles Loups, is a place where 23 Gilbertine monks now live and it appears there is a murderer among them, but who and why?

The abbey is also a place which hasn't had visitors in hundreds of years. The order once believed to be an extinct, is one where all monks have taken the vow of silence, the exception to their silence is the beautiful sound which results from the Gregorian chants -- sometimes referred to as "a beautiful mystery", or the "voice of God".

Initially I thought, this would be a sleeper when I read "vow of silence", but there is plenty to hold the reader's interest with this mystery.  I found the setting that the author created to be so cozy and contemplative despite the fact that a murder has occurred here. The descriptions evoke the peacefulness and solitary experiences in the lives of these monks.  It made the reading experience feel so cozy.

The great thing about reading Louise Penny's mysteries is that most of her novels have a cozy village setting, often Three Pine, but although this story takes place outside of that village, it's still a very good mystery.  Another great point about this author's mysteries is that although some of the same characters return, and they are well developed characters you'll enjoy, you can read these mysteries out of order and still be able to step right in and not be lost.  I've read most, but not all of the 7 previous books by the author and I would highly recommend this mystery as well as others by the author.

The audio book was read by Ralph Cosham, who does a great job.  I'm rating this one 4/5 stars as I felt the ending fell a bit flat - still worth trying this one though, especially for readers who enjoy a great setting.


  1. I think I'm on the 4th In the series, now - and trying to get caught up ( I just hate going out of sequence, that's just me). I'm glad to hear the audio is good - I think I'll check out the audio versions of some of the others, maybe I can catch up a little quicker.

  2. I am a big Louise Penny fan and have read all in this series. I have this book ready to read on my Nook. Never thought about the audio version. Will have to check one of those out sometime. One of my sister-in-law's spends a lot of time commuting and they really help the journey to go faster.

  3. I also like her books - a new one for me so looking forward to finding this one.

  4. I had a good time reading this one. I look forward to reading more of her books.

  5. Everyone seems to love Penny's books - I still need to try one.

  6. I've only read Still Pines but hope to read/listen to the rest in this series. I have Still Pines on my Nano for a "re-read" since it's been a few years since I first read it. This one sounds good!

  7. Sounds quite good, even with the flat ending.

  8. I am glad that this one defied your expectations and was a great read for you. I have read so much about these books, and I need to give them a try.

  9. I just picked up book two in this series and I can't wait to read it!! I like knowing that well into the series the writer is still turning out good reads!

  10. I thought this one was great and the ending didn't feel flat to me. It just made me anxious to read the next book to see where that thread is going.

  11. I haven't read any of this series and I like a good mystery. Sounds like audio might be the way to go for me.

  12. Ohhhhh, I like cozy villages. I am not a huge mystery buff but once in a while I like mystery. I just finished 1222 and it was also good and cozy but in a different way.

  13. This one was very boring to me. I want to get back to Three Pines where it's much more interesting.

  14. I just read Still Life and enjoyed it tremendously. Am planning to pick up book 2 and then go through the rest of the series.


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