The Beautiful Mystery is not the first novel by Louise Penny, but its the first I’ve read. I was immediately blown away by the relationship between the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache and his partner Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Theirs is a paternal relationship with the elder Gamache filling a father role as well as boss and mentor. One is thoughtful while the other is all about action.
The two are an interesting pair as they enter the closed monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, a Catholic order so reclusive they were lost to the Vatican for hundreds of years. Penny details the imaginary beauty of this silent monastery as well as the ethereal quality of the music. Its easy to get lost with all the interesting characters that pop up in the investigation of a murdered monk as well as the love of the ancient chants that the order sings in prayer to God.
This closed murder investigation has a twist when a Vatican monk who works in the office formally known as the Inquisittion shows up suddenly without prior knowledge of the dead monk. Is there a Catholic conspiracy or a plain old murder here? Louise Penny delivers a beautifully told story that has the reader handing on every word yet the motive of the murderer remains hidden until the end of the novel. Throughout the story the main detectives delighted me with their personal journeys and obvious affection for each other.
This was another recommendation from my aunt-in-law and this author is sure to become one of my favorites.
Read May 2015