THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY
This continuation of Penny’s Inspector Gamache series can be read as a stand-alone, but it will make you want to catch up on the backstory of this wonderful series. The rich and complex plot marries a historical mystery with a current-day murder investigation, and both storylines are fascinating.
Chief Inspector Gamache and his colleague Inspector Beauvoir travel to the wilds of Quebec to investigate a murder in a monastery. The choirmaster has apparently been murdered by one of his fellow monks, after the dissemination of a recording of Gregorian chants causes a deep divide in the monastic community. The chants somehow tie to a musical mystery going back centuries, to when the order fled Europe to avoid the Inquisition. Isolated at the monastery, Gamache and Beauvoir — both still suffering from the physical and emotional scars of a raid gone bad — must confront the corruption within their department along with their own demons. (MINOTAUR, Sep., 384 pp., $25.99)