The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery

By Louise Penny

  • Release Date: 2012-08-28
  • Genre: British Detectives
Score: 4.5
From 1,322 Ratings


The brilliant 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 monks have become world-famous for their glorious voices, raised in ancient chants whose effect on both singer and listener is so profound it is known as "the beautiful mystery."

But when the renowned choir director is murdered, the lock on the monastery's massive wooden door is drawn back to admit Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and Jean-Guy Beauvoir of the Sûreté du Québec. There they discover disquiet beneath the silence, discord in the apparent harmony. One of the brothers, in this life of prayer and contemplation, has been contemplating murder. As the peace of the monastery crumbles, Gamache is forced to confront some of his own demons, as well as those roaming the remote corridors. Before finding the killer, before restoring peace, the Chief must first consider the divine, the human, and the cracks in between.

The Beautiful Mystery is the winner of the 2012 Agatha Award for best novel, the 2013 Anthony Award for best novel and the 2013 Macavity Award for best novel.


  • Worst one in series so far

    By MeTooFab
    I love her books but this part of the series is terrible. The characters are appalling caricatures of themselves. The arnot case needs to end. I had to skim this one and the one prior because it was bogged down with unnecessary facts and repetition.
  • Still Life is too still

    By NormanArthur
    Unless you have internet access to this writer’s brain and pencil and pad at hand, you will not be able to follow what this woman is trying to do or tell you or to peak your sense of the mystery. It is a hodgepodge collection of names and events and sidetracks that make no sense to anyone but, hopefully, the writer. Her style is disjointed and, when attempts are made to connect the curve balls she throws in, presumably as a technique, you are so far past the event and exhausted from trying to remember all the different names she has thrown into the pot, it’s not worth the effort.
  • The Beautiful Mystery

    By Scov2
    I could use many adjectives for this book, but I’ll sum it up with outstanding!! Beautifully written. Love your books, Louise Penny, thank you.
  • Tedious

    By Hat36
    Penny strays from Three Pines into a remote monastery. The story drags, but the reader will learn a great deal about Gregorian chant. I wish she had stayed in the familiar village so overrun with murder. Perhaps she needed a break.
  • Simply Beautiful!

    By Joyseygrl
    This is the first book I read by Louise Penny. Could not put it down. I know I started with the latest of her series, but I did not feel I missed anything. Since then I have started from the beginning with Still Life and I just finished Fatal Grace. She is an amazing writer. Just the right dose of mystery, humor, well developed characters, and a great story line. So far I have not figured out any of the endings before Inspector Gamache. This is what makes for a wonderful mystery. The clues are cleverly laid out so that I should be able to figure it out, but alas, hind sight is 20/20.
  • A Beautiful Mystery

    By She She 1192
    I had such hopes for this book. Louise Penny is without a doubt a superb writer with the gift for creating a relationship between the reader and her characters. Most of the time, I procrastinate doing chores because I can't wait to get back to these fictional people. A Beautiful Mystery lacked, for me, the relational invitation, the desire to sit across from her creations and interact with them, at the expense of other things. I was content to observe and merely read. I felt at points that the author was trying too hard to increase her page numbers by drawing out and repeating information; I thought that she did not keep Gamache as sharp as he has always been and that Beauvois was drawn closer to 25 than 38. The Arnot Case has got to conclude. . Y
  • Exquisite

    By P0oh70
    One word can describe ... Exquisite. Complex characters, crisp writing, strong emotions, and a fascinating back story. Can't wait for the next one.
  • The Beautiful Mystery

    By Mick Sl.
    More like the laborious mystery! Too drawn out, no real character development, minimal suspense, culminating with a hastily put together ending that is void of any real creative depth. I was waiting for the mystery to happen. What a waste of time!
  • Disappointing

    By Stephen Anderson
    I have read this series in chronological order since that is the best way to enjoy character development. This latest one was so very disappointing on so many levels. The two main characters have become caricatures and even unlikable, especially in Beauvoir's case. Their behavior toward each other is unappealing in the extreme, duplicitous, and quite unbelievable. This was highlighted in this book as much by Gamache's patronizing behavior toward Beauvoir as Beauvoir's treacherous turn regarding Gamache and Annie. Not a satisfying effort since almost all of the continuity for this book rested on the shoulders of Gamache and Beauvoir, who seem unequal to the task. Perhaps Ms. Penny should study Donna Leon's books to see how real characters are developed and real relationships are depicted.
  • Another hit!

    By GimliMichele
    Once again I am left waiting for more. When will the next one come? I almost wish I hadn't found Louis Penny yet. Then I would just be beginning these books and maybe by the time I finished, the next book would be out and I wouldn't have to wait!