Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

Chief inspector Armand Gamache #8

          I listened to this one on audiobook. I'm very glad I did. This was a great story. It takes place in Quebec where they speak a lot of French. I do not speak French at all, and I find French words and phrases in books to be very distracting. Same thing with Latin, which makes quite a few appearances here as well since the story takes place In a Catholic monastery. They also played some cool music at the beginning and end of the book.

          At any rate, I really enjoyed this story. This is the first of the Gamache series I've read, and had little trouble jumping right in and keeping up. The inspector and his sidekick arrive at an ancient monastery in the forests of Quebec where someone has murdered the prior inside the abbot's personal garden. Inside, they find twenty-three men living a cloistered and self-sufficient life. They live within a vow of silence except for the Gregorian chants they are famous for. The suspect pool is limited. Even though he is expected, the inspector found it difficult to get through the front gate. No mysterious stranger did this. One of the remaining monks murdered his brother.

          Inspector Gamache soon discovers that beneath the veil of silence, contemplation and cooperation lies a roiling mass of discord and interpersonal turmoil. A case could be made for almost any of the monks to have been the murderer, and the men's natural disinclination to speak can make uncovering information quite challenging.

          Gamache perseveres, and the killer is brought to justice. But not before his own boss arrives bent on making trouble, and a modern day Inquisitor arrives from Rome in search of a hidden treasure held within the monastery.

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