The Beautiful Mystery: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel
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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 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.
time. Without him. * * * “Would you like to see what’s behind that?” The voice, more than the question, made Francoeur jerk in a small spasm of surprise. The Superintendent had been looking at the plaque to Saint Gilbert when Gamache walked quietly across the Blessed Chapel. Without waiting for a reply, Gamache reached over and depressed the two wolves. The door swung open to reveal the hidden Chapter House. “I think we should go in, don’t you?” Gamache placed a large, firm hand on
him. Gamache did see pain in the face of one of the monks. Dom Philippe. The abbot. “Do you know who did this?” Gamache asked again, quietly. So that it was only audible to the abbot and the sweet autumn air around them. “If you do, you must tell me. I’ll find him eventually, you know. It’s what I do. But it’s a terrible, terrible process. You have no idea what’s about to be unleashed. And once it starts, it won’t stop until the murderer is found. If you can spare the innocent, I’m begging you
chants and neumes enough to mock them. Yes, it was done on purpose, as an insult.” “Someone here, you said. Who?” Gamache watched the young monk. Frère Luc was quiet. Gamache waited. Then he spoke, recognizing that sometimes silence was a useful tactic. Much more oppressive and threatening than hurled insults. But here silence was their comfort. It was the spoken word that seemed to frighten the monks. “Who hated Frère Mathieu enough to mock his life’s work?” Gamache persisted. “Who hated him
seeing the look on the Chief’s face. “I’m not really sure.” Gamache turned back to the abbot and motioned toward the wharf. “Shall we?” The plane had almost reached the dock. The pilot cut power, the props slowed, and the plane, on its pontoons, drifted the last few feet to the dock. Gamache and the abbot grabbed the struts and steadied the plane. Then the Chief reached for the ropes dangling in the cold lake. “I wouldn’t bother,” said the abbot. “They won’t be staying long.” The Chief
and Frère Antoine wouldn’t want that.” “Yeah, maybe. But do you think that’s why the abbot did it?” “What do you mean?” Gamache leaned forward. “He could’ve appointed anyone. Could’ve taken the job himself. But maybe he gave it to Frère Antoine just to screw with the prior’s men. A mind fuck. Do the opposite of what they expect. Prove he’s above their stupid little fights by making Frère Antoine the choir director. Maybe the abbot wanted to show he’s better than them. It’s a smart move, if you