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The Beautiful Mystery

(Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #8)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  36,603 ratings  ·  4,203 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 373 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published 2012)
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Clara Baker Baldwin If you began with #8, STOP, and go back and start at the beginning. They all build up to what is happening with the characters, both Gamache and…moreIf you began with #8, STOP, and go back and start at the beginning. They all build up to what is happening with the characters, both Gamache and Beauvoir. Wonderful story telling.(less)

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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  36,603 ratings  ·  4,203 reviews


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Pat
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richard Derus
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4.75* of five

The Publisher Says: The brilliant new 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
...more
Phrynne
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
I really enjoy this series but this was one that did not really enthral me. I like the books set in Three Pines best, largely because I have become very attached to all of Penny's wonderful characters.

The Beautiful Mystery however is set totally in a monastery and the only characters we know for most of the book are Gamache himself and his off sider Jean Paul Beauvoir. Now I really do not like Beauvoir and find it very hard to understand why Gamache has so much time for him. In this book he sink
...more
Matt
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Louise Penny has taken another gamble with this unique novel in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series. When a monk is found at a remote priory in the Quebec woods, Gamache and Inspector Jean Guy Beauvoir make the difficult trek to investigate. Using this whittled down Homicide squad of the Sûreté du Québec, Gamache soon discovers that the priory is well-known for its chanting monks, who were headed by music director Frère Mathieu, the victim of a significant blow to the head that cost him hi ...more
Holly
2.5 stars

Well, I was warned by several book-friends that this was not going to be one of the better books of this series. They were not wrong. Not every book in this series is set in the imaginary small Canadian town of Three Pines, so the new setting of a monastery cannot be solely blamed for this lackluster novel. Instead it's the bland characters. Monks do all kind of look almost the same in their robes, and this was kind of the literary equivalent of that. I can't seem to recall any of their
...more
Megan Baxter
Apr 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
An Armand Gamache novel not at least partly set in Three Pines? What will I do with myself? I have so much enjoyed knowing a whole town involved in a murder mystery, as well as the detective and his team.

Despite the initial trepidation this set off in my head, it was quickly allayed by the story that Louise Penny laid before me. This was really damned good. Even if it had a heartbreaking ending. Penny's understanding and portrayal of human nature in all its warts and beauties shines through eve
...more
Lynne King

I’ve read some remarkable books this year – it’s like a miracle – and I thought that there was no way that I could find a book that was even better. How wrong could I possibly be?

I knew as soon as I read two Goodread reviews on this book that I would love it. It has actually succeeded my wildest dreams. All the ingredients were there that have fascinated me since I was a child: monks, monasteries and Gregorian chants, with the added bonus of the setting in Québec. The only other book in this gen
...more
Margitte
Historical theme:An ancient order, the Gilbertines, is occupying the monastery with a unique selection of monks singing an ancient collection of Gregorian chants as part of their Divine Office. Their power was not so established in their disciplined, isolated religious calling, as it was divided between their dedication to their music and their silence. In this impregnable wall of divinity and humanity a few cracks appeared. A silent war was raging, pushing a divide through the old institution a ...more
Jim
Readers of this series know that Chief Inspector Armand Gamache arrested Chief Superintendent Pierre Arnot. In doing so he became a hero with the men and women of the of Sûreté du Québec as well as the public. But he also made enemies. There were some who did not want Arnot arrested. They felt it would be an embarrassment to the Sûreté and that he should be allowed to resign. But Gamache knew it was the right thing to do.

"Some malady is coming upon us"

Two dozen cloistered monks live in peace a
...more
LJ
First Sentence: In the earth nineteenth century, the Catholic Church realized it had a problem.

The cloistered monks of Quebec’s self-contained Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups monastery focus their lives on prayer and the simplicity of Gregorian Chants. The murder of their prior and choirmaster, Frère Mathieu, has forced open their doors to Inspector Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec

Penny’s writing is simply superb. Her prose is more than mere words telling a story, her phrases
...more
Michael
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I enjoy the special voice and psychological depth Penny has in this mystery series. In this one the murder of choirmaster in a remote cloistered order of monks leads Inspector Gamache and Agent Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec to travel there and live among the community until the mystery is solved. The site is of a fictional monastery established 300 years before by an order seeking a hide out from the Inquisition, Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups (“Between the Wolves”). They have recently achieve ...more
Sue
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, thriller
I recently purchased "The Beautiful Mystery" (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #8) by Louise Penny, after reading such great praise for this book on Goodreads.I have to admit that I haven't read any of her other novels,so I didn't know what to expect.This novel can be read without visiting previous novels. Little did I know that I was in for such a real treat.I was drawn into this book right from the beginning. Her characters are complex and very human, and I was right there all the way as the pl ...more
Renata
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm really just an occasional mystery reader and by that I mean I will read quite a few mysteries over the course of two years and then be entirely immune to their siren call for the next year or so. After reading a few Louise Penney mysteries my friend Juliann recommended this one and I absolutely adored it. I loved everything about it - the setting in the monastery, the descriptions of the life and various monks living within, the tensions between Armand and his odious superior, and most of al ...more
Monica
Jan 18, 2013 rated it did not like it
A locked monastery mystery - somewhere in the back of beyond in the northern Quebec wilderness there sits a 400 year old monastery inhabited by 24 members of a cloistered order who devote their lives to God and chanting. The unexpected popularity of a recording of their chants has created dissension in their ranks and a monk is murdered. Gamache and Beauvoir are called in to investigate.

The problems I have with this book: the abbot's recruiting of new members, poaching them from other monasterie
...more
Julie
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is a departure from the others in the Gamache series. Set at a monastery rather than the perfect village, Gamache and Beauvoir must find the killer amongst the chanting monks. There is much to like about the novel, particularly the descriptions of the plainchants and the ancient neumes from which they are derived, yet I found the book unsettling rather than enjoyable. The antagonist in this story is not the murderer, but Gamache's boss who has joined them at the abbey, there to do his ...more
Kathy
Gregorian chants are at the heart of Penny's latest Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery. A monk, the choirmaster, has been murdered on a quiet, isolated island off Quebec where the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups has been home to the Gilbertine monks since the middle of the 17th century. Only recently discovered after centuries of obscurity, these monks have the mission of singing and preserving the purity of the Gregorian chant. Gamache and his right-hand man, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, m ...more
Mandy Radley
Mar 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series just keep getting better and better. I'm so glad I'm new to this series if I had to wait a year for the next one it would drive me mad. In this one Gamache and Beauvoir are not in Three Pines and are called to a monastery in the middle of nowhere to investigate the murder of one of the monks. I found this one quite creepy you could almost imagine you were in the monastery, behind the thick stone walls, dark corridors, door leading everywhere, no one around, deathly quiet until you he ...more
Hippie Chick
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A monk has been murdered inside the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups and the only possible suspect is one of the other monks. This order maintains a vow of silence except when singing Gregorian chants. They let no one from the outside in, but of course they must make an exception for Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, who have arrived by boat to investigate the murder.
This order of monks, The Gilbertines, escaped the Inquisition by fleeing to t
...more
Bill
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
I used to listen to the That Stack of Books podcast with Nancy Pearl, a noted librarian and literary critic in the US.
I liked her honest opinions of books and it seemed that she and I shared similar tastes. When I was very early on in Louise Penny’s Gamache novels, maybe 2 or 3 books in, I was struck by what Ms. Pearl had said about them. While she agreed that what she had read she somewhat enjoyed, the fact that each of these were set in the tiny village of Three Pines and following the same se
...more
Sherry Roberts
Feb 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have followed Chief Inspector Armand Gamache from the beginning. He is an old friend so when he hurts, I hurt. This time he must find out who murdered a monk in the isolated monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden on an island in the middle of a lake deep in the wilderness of Quebec. The suspects are 23 cloistered monks living in peace, prayer, and song. Ironically, for a community that has taken a vow of silence, the monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised ...more
Cheryl
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
my first and wont be my last novel by Louise Penny. I was actually with the Chief Inspector during the whole novel. Ms.Penny had me from the very first word, I just couldnt put this book down. At the very end I felt that I wanted more and was disappointed that there wasnt.However after sleeping on it, realized Ms Penny had ended this novel just as it should have been. Can hardly wait to read more of her novels. Thanks so very much Goodreads, for the advanced copy, have been going on about The Be ...more
☮Karen
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, read-in-2015
She is such a great author who always impresses me with how much research she does on the locations and history of her subjects. And as usual, I am eager to read the next one to see how things pan out.
Jon
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Named for Agatha Christie, The Agatha Awards are literary awards given out each year to mystery and crime writers who write in the "cozy mystery" subgenre (I love that term). Cozy mysteries are traditional mysteries that contain little or no sex or violence and are often set in a closed setting with an amateur detective (think Christie's Miss Marple books or TV's "Murder, She Wrote"). Over the last 8 years, Penny has been nominated each year for best novel and has won 5 times. Pretty impressive. ...more
Obsidian
This Gamache doesn't hang together very well. When Gamache and two of his team are called to a monastery to investigate a murder, things once again come to a head with Jean- Guy and Gamache's supervisor who is intent on making him pay for not being corruptible. I also didn't get much of the discussion about the chants/singing that was discussed throughout the book.

I think it's been about three months since the events in the last book. Jean-Guy is now dating Annie (Gamache's only daughter) and j
...more
Jeanie
Sep 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Penny is such a superb writer that even at her worst she's a four star winner in my opinion....With that being said, here's the thing...I'm growing weary of Jean Guy's (supposedly a bright guy though that fact is seldom apparent) idiocy, and the continued torture of our beloved Gamache by those circling vultures from the Arnaud case. Please, Ms. Penny...it's time to move on. Either let the vultures have Beauvoir permanently and let Armand retire in peace to Three Pines and spend his time dealing ...more
Martha Francescato
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
This review is from: The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel - A Very Beautiful Mystery marred by an unexpected and unwanted intrusion (originally published in amazon.com)

This is the second novel in the series that strays from Three Pines and the endearing characters who live there (the first one is Bury Your Dead). But it is natural -- Three Pines is very small, and there are so only many murders that can happen there. So, here we are taken to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre
...more
Mary
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it
"That word? I do not think it means what you think it means" (Inigo Montoya, quoting from memory.)

Warning: Spoilers ahead! Like the others in Louise Penny's series, this was a quick and (for the most part) easy read. Briefly, it told two stories: that of a murder in a monastery in northern Quebec, and that of Jean-Guy Beauvior, still struggling to overcome his many wounds (physical and emotional)and to protect his boss, Gamache, from his boss's boss. That second story was convincing and absolute
...more
Susan Meissner
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Louise Penny is a genius. I listened to this book on audio as I have the other books of hers I've "read" and was again swept away by the story and her simple yet insightful prose. Her narrator, by the way, has a velvet voice, and deftly speaks the female roles without ever sounding like he's trying too hard. I'm prickly when it comes to narrators who over-extend to mimic the opposite sex; it never works. This narrator however is perfect. I've been reading the Inspector Gamache books out of order ...more
Bianca
Although this is the eighth novel in the series, it's my first Louise Penny novel.

I enjoyed it enough, despite not liking the narrator that much.
The premise and the setting were original and I thought that Inspector Gamache and his sidekick, Beauvoir, were well drawn.

I can't remember reading about a crime in a monastery before, so that was different. Also, the descriptions and the monks' characterizations were quite detailed. I did think that there was some repetition and the pace could have pic
...more
✨Susan✨
When Gamache, and Beauvoir are assigned a murder case in a remote monastery they step into a different world. These monks have recently released a single of ancient chants that has been at the top of the charts and quickly becomes popular around the world. Their once uncomplicated life suddenly becomes very complicated and it is up to Chief Gamache to determine who among these men of God is capable of murder.

When the corrupt Superintendent Francoeur, Gamache's boss, mysteriously shows up with n
...more
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9,281 followers
LOUISE PENNY, a former CBC radio journalist, is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of fourteen Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has been awarded the John Creasey Dagger, Nero, Macavity and Barry Awards, as well as two each of the Arthur Ellis and Dilys Awards. Additionally, Penny has won six Agatha Awards and five Anthony Awards, and has been a finalist for an Ed ...more

Other books in the series

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Still Life (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #1)
  • A Fatal Grace (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #2)
  • The Cruelest Month (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #3)
  • A Rule Against Murder (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #4)
  • The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #5)
  • Bury Your Dead (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #6)
  • A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #7)
  • How the Light Gets In (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #9)
  • The Long Way Home (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #10)
  • The Nature of the Beast (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #11)
“What did falling in love do for you? Can you ever really explain it? It filled empty spaces I never knew were empty. It cured a loneliness I never knew I had. It gave me joy. And freedom. I think that was the most amazing part. I suddenly felt both embraced and freed at the same time.” 39 likes
“One of the elders told him that when he was a boy his grandfather came to him one day and said he had two wolves fighting inside him. One was gray, the other black. The gray one wanted his grandfather to be courageous, and patient, and kind. The other, the black one, wanted his grandfather to be fearful and cruel. This upset the boy, and he thought about it for a few days then returned to his grandfather. He asked, 'Grandfather, which of the wolves will win?'

The abbot smiled slightly and examined the Chief Inspector. 'Do you know what his grandfather said?'

Gamache shook his head. . . .

'The one I feed,' said Dom Philippe.”
37 likes
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