Jessica Rosner | 2/14/2014
" In my real life now I am dealing with a not gracefully aging mother, the death of my beloved cousin, and an overwhelming workload with looming deadlines. This book took me away every time I listened to it. It began life with me as an audio book, but I bought the hardcover to have. So I listened while I worked, and when I was ready for bed, dove in to the words. It was escape, but more than that. It was a mostly non violent murder mystery, if that makes any sense. No serial killers, no dismemberment, no clever psychopaths killing with never before heard of methods. Just a murder. One man, a monk is killed. In a monastery. Where no one but monks have lived, or have left. So, as the inspector (Gamache) and his number one, Beauvoir, enter the monetary, so do we readers. Even with a murderer in their midst, I was envious. I wanted to chant, to pick blueberries, to know what each day would be like. So, for an hour or so each day, I was able to do just that. Would recommend to anyone. "
Michale | 2/5/2014
" This series just keeps getting better. I particularly enjoy the way Penny weaves in story lines, whose seeds she planted in previous books, that come to fruition a few books down the line. Gamache and Beauvoir's relationship is filled with a beautiful tension she has nuanced through the entire series. I also can't help but notice that Gamache's talents - watchfulness, patience, the ability to ask simple yet direct questions, and the ego-less way he acknowledges what he doesn't know provide a good model for offering pastoral care, not just for solving murders. I was glad this book was not set in Three Pines, for a change of pace, and enjoyed the descriptions of the Abbey of St. Gilbert and its residents. Can't wait for the next one! "
Candace | 1/22/2014
" I found this book fascinating. Not only was the mystery interesting, the book took you into a world you don't normally see, a monastery in Quebec, and a look into the history of something musically mesmerizing, the gregorian chants. I love books that give me so much more than expected,and I was entralled from the beginning. "
Harry Lane | 1/22/2014
" Penny's characters are well developed and evolving through the series. Part of the charm is the Canadian setting, and in this particular volume, a remote monastery. Populated by only 24 monks, the murderer has to be one of them, making this close to a locked room mystery. Penny evokes an atmosphere that almost makes one feel the interplay of emotions among the suspects and investigators. Plus there is conflict among the police, which is unresolved at the end of this book. To be continued . . . . "
Annelie Wendeberg | 1/20/2014
" This is the best work of fiction I have read since years. If there is something like fine art fotography, THIS is fine art writing! "
Sally | 1/16/2014
" O Bravo!!!!!!! The best so far :) "
Lexie | 1/11/2014
" Mixed feelings about this one. I was most struck by the conflict between Gamache and Beauvoir ... and their mutual boss -- a man whose character opposes Gamache at every turn. The story, set in a remote monastery, had an almost meditative tone ... and not one character from Three Pines! Several cliffhangers by story's end ... and the tenacious effects of near-fatal traumas suffered a few books back. This series could go on forever -- there is so much richness of experience and character to delve into. I miss, though, the depth of descriptive writing, and the longer sentences, of previous Gamache stories (except for A Trick of the Light). Short, choppy sentences disrupted the flow of the story. Perhaps the author had in mind the officers' ruinous experience in Bury Your Dead, and its effects. The choppy writing style mirrors the lingering aftermaths of trauma, including the effects on cognition. The speeded-up style doesn't suit Armand Gamache, and I miss the tone of the earlier stories.
I'd love to know what music author Louise Penny listened to while composing this book :-)
Spoken by a longtime monk: "If you go to the Vatican we're always hurrying down corridors looking important. Most of the time we're just trying to find a bathroom. The sad convergence of great Italian coffee and a shocking distance between toilets in the Vatican." (made me laugh out loud!)
"... the Church doesn't like mysteries, except those of its own making."
... "I'm more the slow and steady type," said the abbot, looking straight ahead as they [he and Gamache] walked the slightly flawed path. "Not given to soaring."
"But neither do you fall?"
"We can all fall," said the abbot.
"But perhaps not as hard and not as fast and not as far as someone who spends his life on the ascent." "
Kathleen Freeman | 1/8/2014
" What a great book, while I missed Three Pines, this was a wonderful story. I wish I didn't need to wait until August for the next in the series to be released. "
Melissa | 12/31/2013
" Love a good mystery, thought the chants/monks was interesting. Would've given it 5 stars if she didn't leave us with a cliff hanger with Inspector Gamache and Beauvouir. Now, I have to wait for her next book! "
Connie | 12/29/2013
" This was a wonderful book! I'm so glad she has left Three Pines and the story of the monastery and the murder of the prior was amazing. The ending was incredibly powerful and sad! Now, all of us just have to wait for the next one in the series! Hope it's not too long! "
Sylvia McNicoll | 12/25/2013
" A slow moving mystery about a murder in a Quebec monastery, at one point it refers back to a deadly gunfight in a previous novel and the bad feelings and emotional fall out from it. I thought I've read all of Louise's work but I missed that one. Have to find that title and read it. "
Kate Sometomato | 11/26/2013
" EXCELLENT!!!! This book has everything: suspense and mystery, beauty, personal struggle, philosophy, visual and auditory descriptions, and the struggle between good and evil. PLUS the author leaves us with a bit of a cliff-hanger resolution so that we CAN'T WAIT for the next book in the series! "
Kelly.higgerson | 11/8/2013
" Wonderful. Looking forward to her next book "
Linda Smith | 10/28/2013
" Just love the main characters. Have read all of her Inspector Gamache books. This book is out of the ordinary as it doesn't include Three Pines. Great French Canadian feel. "
Ruth Vanderhart | 8/30/2013
" Best in the series, in my opinion. Louise Penny writes beautifully. "
Nae | 7/9/2013
" Awesome, awesome, awesome book. I cannot wait to read the other books this author has written! "
Jana Denardo | 6/13/2013
" This is the best Gamache mystery I've read and at the same time the most frustrating. The subplot in this made me want to reach inside the book and slap Beavouir into next week (it doesn't help that I don't like him to begin with). The main mystery, however was very good "
Imasongbyrd | 11/10/2012
" This book was riveting, I couldn't put it down. It had me on the edge of my seat from the beginning to the end. But the ending made me very sad. "
Maja | 10/17/2012
" This was my first Inspector Gamache novel and I really enjoyed it. Suspenseful and intriguing. "
Andrea M. | 9/7/2012
" When I found out that this book has nothing to do with Three Pines and all of the uniquely eccentric characters that live there, I was initially worried that I would be disappointed when I read it. However nothing could have been further from the truth. It ended up being a nice change of pace from the earlier novels (which I have enjoyed immensely). Louise Penny weaves a wonderfully crafted mystery that engaged me throughout. I found it extremely satisfying and recommend it highly. "
A.W. | 9/1/2012
" I love this mystery series and while this book focuses exclusively on Gamache and Inspector Beauvoir and none of the characters from Three Pines I still enjoyed it immensely. If you really like a great mystery this book does not disappoint. "
Cindy Z. | 8/23/2012
" This was a pretty decent entry in the series but I felt like the absence of the Three Pines characters detracted a bit from my enjoyment of the story. I applaud the author for moving in another direction with the series but I really like those characters and they add that little "extra" to the earlier books if you know what I mean. "
cv13 | 8/18/2012
" I honestly think this is the best book in the Inspector Gamache series. It has everything - excellent character development, an intricate but accessible plot and a fantastic surprise ending. I enjoyed it quite a bit as I'm sure you can tell. "
D.P. | 8/12/2012
" This book started off great but eventually veered off course into a tired subplot that the author has frequently over-employed in past books. Unfortunately that ruined the book for me. "
Clara W. | 8/10/2012
" This was a fascinating mystery from a brilliant author IMO. The plot moves along briskly and the ending was a real shocker. A very satisfying read! "