The Beautiful MysteryLouise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery

4.5 star

Total 1,211 Ratings

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny Book Summary

The brilliant 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.

The Beautiful Mystery (Louise Penny) Book Reviews

A mystery that will break your heartIs it a mystery? Yes, but it is so very much more. Only one character in this book is truly evil, and it is not the murderer. Louise Penny does not write about New York City or Los Angeles or Montréal. Instead she places her stories in very small communities, so the reader can get to know everyone -- in this case, the 23 monks who live in an isolated abbey. We learn that everyone has secrets, and that everyone has sorrows. And we learn that everyone is haunted by the past. Yet we are also touched by the beautiful mystery and by joy. I recommend this book without reservation to anyone who has read and enjoyed Louise Penny's earlier books..Score: 5/5

Simply Beautiful!This is the first book I read by Louise Penny. Could not put it down. I know I started with the latest of her series, but I did not feel I missed anything. Since then I have started from the beginning with Still Life and I just finished Fatal Grace. She is an amazing writer. Just the right dose of mystery, humor, well developed characters, and a great story line. So far I have not figured out any of the endings before Inspector Gamache. This is what makes for a wonderful mystery. The clues are cleverly laid out so that I should be able to figure it out, but alas, hind sight is 20/20..Score: 5/5

The Beautiful MysteryMore like the laborious mystery! Too drawn out, no real character development, minimal suspense, culminating with a hastily put together ending that is void of any real creative depth. I was waiting for the mystery to happen. What a waste of time!.Score: 1/5

Still Life is too stillUnless you have internet access to this writer’s brain and pencil and pad at hand, you will not be able to follow what this woman is trying to do or tell you or to peak your sense of the mystery. It is a hodgepodge collection of names and events and sidetracks that make no sense to anyone but, hopefully, the writer. Her style is disjointed and, when attempts are made to connect the curve balls she throws in, presumably as a technique, you are so far past the event and exhausted from trying to remember all the different names she has thrown into the pot, it’s not worth the effort..Score: 1/5

Another great book from Louise PennyFantastic ....Score: 5/5

A Beautiful MysteryI had such hopes for this book. Louise Penny is without a doubt a superb writer with the gift for creating a relationship between the reader and her characters. Most of the time, I procrastinate doing chores because I can't wait to get back to these fictional people. A Beautiful Mystery lacked, for me, the relational invitation, the desire to sit across from her creations and interact with them, at the expense of other things. I was content to observe and merely read. I felt at points that the author was trying too hard to increase her page numbers by drawing out and repeating information; I thought that she did not keep Gamache as sharp as he has always been and that Beauvois was drawn closer to 25 than 38. The Arnot Case has got to conclude. . Y.Score: 3/5

Worst one in series so farI love her books but this part of the series is terrible. The characters are appalling caricatures of themselves. The arnot case needs to end. I had to skim this one and the one prior because it was bogged down with unnecessary facts and repetition..Score: 1/5

TediousPenny strays from Three Pines into a remote monastery. The story drags, but the reader will learn a great deal about Gregorian chant. I wish she had stayed in the familiar village so overrun with murder. Perhaps she needed a break..Score: 2/5

Another hit!Once again I am left waiting for more. When will the next one come? I almost wish I hadn't found Louis Penny yet. Then I would just be beginning these books and maybe by the time I finished, the next book would be out and I wouldn't have to wait!.Score: 5/5

Thoroughly enjoyable readIntense, exciting, one of Louise Penny's best!.Score: 5/5

Another Great StoryAs usual, I could not stop reading! Louise draws you into the scene as if you were there. Enjoyed every minute. Thanks!! Joan.Score: 5/5

The Beautiful MysteryI could use many adjectives for this book, but I’ll sum it up with outstanding!! Beautifully written. Love your books, Louise Penny, thank you..Score: 5/5

DisappointingI have read this series in chronological order since that is the best way to enjoy character development. This latest one was so very disappointing on so many levels. The two main characters have become caricatures and even unlikable, especially in Beauvoir's case. Their behavior toward each other is unappealing in the extreme, duplicitous, and quite unbelievable. This was highlighted in this book as much by Gamache's patronizing behavior toward Beauvoir as Beauvoir's treacherous turn regarding Gamache and Annie. Not a satisfying effort since almost all of the continuity for this book rested on the shoulders of Gamache and Beauvoir, who seem unequal to the task. Perhaps Ms. Penny should study Donna Leon's books to see how real characters are developed and real relationships are depicted..Score: 3/5

Beautiful MysteryThis novel was a real disappointment. I have read all of Penny's novels all of which I enjoyed until this latest one. In a quick summary it was very boring until the last 50 or so pages. You really could skip the first 75 percent of this novel and still get the total plot. Very disappointed. The way she revealed the murderer seemed like she couldn't come up with anything clever. It was such a short cut. All of the details about the monks, the singing details, and the monetary details just seemed to be total filler so that the novel had more than 100 pages..Score: 1/5

ExquisiteOne word can describe ... Exquisite. Complex characters, crisp writing, strong emotions, and a fascinating back story. Can't wait for the next one..Score: 5/5

The Beautiful MysteryVery disappointed in the ending. Waited all summer for this book, downloaded it as soon as it was available and then read the whole thing and it was a total disappoint. Don't know if I will buy her next book..Score: 1/5

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The Beautiful MysteryAs usual Louise Penny captivates with the twists and turns of this intriguing mystery. It is gut-wrenching, suspenseful, humorous and uplifting. I read it while listening to Gregorian Chant playing softly in the background. I high,y recommend it..Score: 3/5

British detective???I noticed the "British detective" categorization when I downloaded A Trick of the Light from iBooks. I contacted Louise Penny's assistant who investigated the issue. She told me that publishers or sellers often categorize books on the basis of the audience to whom the book might appeal. She said it was believed that Penny's wonderful Gamache mysteries would appeal to lovers of the British detective/cozy mystery. I too was perplexed as to how a Francophone detective who solves mysteries in rural Québec could be called a "British" detective. Very odd. In any case Louise Penny has created a wonderful series with excellent characterizations. I adore Gamache, many of his colleagues, the odd assortment of characters living in Three Pines as well as Three Pines. Indeed, I'd love to live in Three Pines myself, regardless of the high murder rate! I know this novel is set in a monastery but I really just wanted to use this review as an opportunity to say how erudite, entertaining and enjoyable her novels are. The one set in the British Historical Society in Québec City is a mystery, yes, but it is also a literary mystery, indeed a work of literature. Keep writing your wonderful books Ms. Penny. Thank you for many of the most enjoyable of my reading moment and for your wickedly clever sense of humour. (p.s. I must confess I write this without having yet read The Beautiful Mystery -- I've read all the others, some more than once. What brings me here is my eagerness to download it. If the program permits, I'll write an actual review after I finish reading it.).Score: 5/5

The Beautiful MysteryIt's book is pure magic! It is the first of Louise Penny's books that I have read, and now I will read everything else she has written! She grips you right at the beginning and never lets go. The characters are drawn so clearly you could sketch them yourself. The setting is described so well it is as though you have been there. There isn't a single weak link, not a slow moment nor a flat character. You are there with them, in the chapel transported by the music, in the woods discovering and eating blueberries, or by the lake surrounded by mist. You care what happens to the characters after the book ends, all of them. This is an incredible book, read it, you will love it, I promise!.Score: 5/5

Brilliant!Just like all her other books. No it's not a 'British' mystery, but that is a poor excuse for denying yourself a truly delightful, immersive read..Score: 5/5

The Beautiful MysteryYou have referred to the book category as "British Detective". FYI, the main character lives is a Francophone, definitely not British!.Score: 4/5

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