Ken Montville's Reviews > The Beautiful Mystery

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
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Jan 11, 13

Read from January 01 to 11, 2013

With each successive book, Louise Penny's writing becomes more deft and subtle.

In this book, she digs deep into the psyche of her main characters, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. It is a harrowing journey.

Yes, there is the requisite murder set in a monastery hidden from public view for centuries. The monks, all devotees of Gregorian chant, are hand picked for their voices and devotion. Yet, one of them is a murderer.

The plot lines are complex and, to me, a bit meandering. In addition to the murder investigation, itself, there is the added element of Gamache's superior officer and nemesis that suddenly appears on the scene. His mission is not to help the murder investigation but to find out some other secrets and, more importantly, undermine the relationship between Gamache and Beauvoir.

You really have to read it to get the full flavor. I will say, however, that it doesn't end tied up with a nice bow. Yes, the murderer is found but there are other aspects that left me both a bit depressed and a bit disappointed.

Perhaps, the ending was a teaser for Penny's next novel ala the old serials. Or, perhaps, it foretells a new path for some of her characters.

Quite honestly, I was distraught at the end. That may be a sign of a well written book.
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Reading Progress

01/02/2013 page 48
12.0% "Great writing, so far, and an interesting premise. It has a few echos of "Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco and I'm hoping it's not a rip off of that book. Louise Penny is too good for that."
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