Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Suddenly however, the prior (who is also the choirmaster) is found murdered, and the monks must admit outsiders to their world, shattering their silence, their peace and their isolation. As Gamache and Beauvoir slowly, calmly, and quietly begin the difficult process of determining which of the brothers is in fact a murderer, they must also confront their own demons, particularly the residual effects of the disastrous raid and hostage situation from previous books in the series. The soothing cadences of the chant don't always work enough magic to keep the pain of the past from surfacing.
Penny's strength is in her characters. By now, if you've read all the book in the series, you feel that you know Armand Gamache almost as well as he knows himself. But she can still add more to this deeply introspective and compassionate officer. His protégé Jean-Guy's character is still evolving and not always in the direction we might want. Penny shines in her ability to portray the depth of emotions and feelings of her characters, allowing them to expand as the story does. She is not afraid to allow them to be flawed.
While the strength is in the characters, the beauty is in the setting, with its quiet, its secrets, its history, and its mysteries. The murder mystery itself, of the classic closed room genre, is brilliant. Everyone is a suspect. There are only a few pieces of physical evidence, the setting is self-contained and virtually impregnable, and Gamache must help the brothers to accept the fact that one among them is a killer. Finally, there's the music! Penny writes so beautifully, that the reader can almost hear it. It is the story itself, and the characters, the setting, the plot provide the backdrop for the story of the music, truly a "Beautiful Mystery." Even if you haven't read any of the previous books in the series, this one is written with just enough back fill to make it almost a stand alone.
And if you haven't read them, there's still almost 3 months before publication, so what are you waiting for?
Author: Louise Penny
Publisher-Format: Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 384 pages
Publication date: August 28, 2012
Subject: Gregorian chant, murder
Setting: monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups,
Series: Chief Inspector Gamache novels
Genre: mystery, police procedural, closed door murder
Source: ARC from the author
Posted by Tina at 12:02 AM