The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery
Series: #8 in the Inspector Armand Gamache series
Publisher: MacMillan Audio
Publication Date: 2012
Length: 13 hours, 35 minutes
Read by: Ralph Cosham
Source: Library

The Short Version:
Once again Louise Penny takes a couple of the regular cast to a new location and this time it’s a cloistered monastery where a monk has been murdered.

Why I Read It:
This is one of my favorite audio series. I love Ralph Cosham’s narration and will wait for the audio rather than read the print.

The Book:
Once again Louise Penny takes the action and a couple of characters away from the usual settings village of The Pines and Montreal. When a series is set in a relatively small environment like a small Canadian village it’s tough to keep things going without having the body count become ridiculous. Penny has managed this by occasionally taking the story elsewhere. The trade off is that it’s not practical to have too many of the regular cast of characters relocate along with the story.

The timing of separating Gamache and Beauvoir together works well at this point in the ongoing plots of the series. For many reasons their personal and professional relationships are at a crucial juncture. Having them isolated together in a restricted environment works well for their story. The surprise arrival of the Chief Superintendant only adds to the tension already in place.

I love the little gems that Penny tosses into the narrative. I catch myself often rewinding to re-hear a sentence or paragraph here or there along the way.

That was what Gamache and his team did. They sieved for that often tiny event. A word. A look. A slight. That final wound that released the monster. Something had made a man into a murderer. Had made a monk into a murderer, surely a longer journey than most.

He and the abbot had been discussing the garden. He wanted to bring the interview back to a more conversational tone. It was like fishing. Reel in, let go. Reel in, let go. Give the suspect the impression of freedom. That they were off the hook. Then reel them in again.
It was exhausting. For everyone. But mostly, Gamache knew, for whoever was on the hook and writhing.

Emotions, Gamache knew from years of kneeling beside corpses, were what made the body. Not a gun, not a knife. Not a length of old iron.
Some emotion had slipped the leash and killed Frere Mathieu. And to find his killer, Armand Gamache needed to use his logic, but also, his own feelings.

Ralph Cosham is excellent as the narrator for this series. In my mind his voice is the voice of Armand Gamache. His narration has a lot to do with why this series is a favorite of mine.

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the book

4.5 stars Rating 4.5/5 for the narration

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.