Rosemarie's Reviews > The Beautiful Mystery

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny
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's review
Aug 28, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: reviewed
Read in August, 2012

This eighth in Penny's Inspector Gamache series does not take place in her favorite village of Three Pines, but in a hidden monastery deep in the Quebec forests. The Gilbertines, a very small sequestered order, fled from the Inquisition hundreds of years ago to build a monastery in the wilderness of the new world. The order maintains a strict vow of silence, except in song. They worship God through practice and perfection of the ancient plainsong Gregorian chants. Their 'heavenly' singing came to the attention of the world when they released a CD, intended to earn money for repairs, to family and friends. The CD went viral. Millions around the world heard and were moved by their music.

For the first time, the Abbot and the music director found themselves in disagreement. The music director wanted to release another CD (the monastery needs more repairs) and relax the vows of sequestration and silence to enable the monks to carry their message into the world. The Abbot feared that would cause the destruction of the order and its purpose.

Then the music director is found murdered in the Abbot's garden, and Gamache and Bouvier are called in to find the murderer in this heretofore placid and holy place.

For readers who have become invested in the characters in Penny's books, this one ends on a very low note. Problems that have been carried over for several books come to an explosive head. I don't know how I'll wait the two years or so to see if there is a better outcome! I will probably read The Beautiful Mystery several nail-biting times looking for foreshadowing clues before she releases the next book. A remarkable story from a very gifted author.
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