Saturday, January 26, 2013

Book Review: The Beautiful Mystery {A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel} By Louise Penney


Book Review: The Beautiful Mystery {A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel}
By Louise Penney

If you love off beat murder mysteries involving charmingly eccentric characters with exceptional plotting, I heartily recommend the series starring Chief Inspector Gamache, a chief inspector with the Surete’ de Quebec. 

In this 8th installment, Gamache and his officer Jean-Guy Beauvoir are called to a remote island to investigate the murder of the prior within the cloistered walls of the monastery of Saint Gilbert –Entre –les-Loups {Saint Gilbert among the wolves}. Apparently the order of Gilbertines, thought long extinct, have been hiding behind the locked walls in the wilderness for more than 400 years studying and singing the Gregorian chants that the monks believed brought them closer to God. After a recording of the chants was released to the public, the monastery earned money for much needed repairs. But they also lost their near total anonymity.

It became clear that the murder was committed by one of the monks. It was up to Gamache and Beauvoir to investigate whom among the cloistered chanting men of God murdered the world’s foremost expert on Gregorian chants.

I absolutely love this series. Perhaps if you’ve not read one of Louise Penny’s masterfully plotted stories, it would preferable to start with one of the of the Three Pines mysteries that take place in a tiny village peopled with a stunning array of fully fleshed out characters.  The first is titled “Still Life” and it is a fabulous introduction to the series. While each book stands on its own, I’ve a deeper understanding of Gamache and Beauvoir by starting at the beginning. Each new installment offers new insights into the motivation, insecurities, fears, history, moral compass and heart of these fictional friends.

Now, I can’t wait for Gamache #9!


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