This is Real Life Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Lists | March 13, 2015

    Hanya Yanagihara: IMG Nine Tips for Finishing That Novel

    My second novel, A Little Life — about a group of men in New York and their friendship over the course of 30 years — will be published... Continue »
    1. $21.00 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

      A Little Life

      Hanya Yanagihara 9780385539258


The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #8)


The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #8) Cover

ISBN13: 9781250031129
ISBN10: 1250031125
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $8.95!



Reading Group Guide


1.  What does "the beautiful mystery" of the title refer to? What are the powers and/or limitations of music throughout the novel?


2.   As we get to know the inner workings of the monastery, how do you come to regard the community of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups and the individuals who choose to devote their lives to it?


3.   To solve the crime Gamache needs "to think about the Divine, the human, and the cracks in between." How do all of these qualities manifest themselves in the story?


4.   What do you see as Gamache's greatest strengths as a detective and as a man? Does he also have weaknesses?


5.   How do you view Jean-Guy Beauvoir throughout the book? What do you think will become of him?


6.   Because the monastery is so cut off from most methods of communication, text messages take on unusual importance for Gamache and Beauvoir. How does Louise Penny use them to convey the tone of real-world relationships?


7.   What do you make of Francoeur's fierce hatred for Gamache? What does the novel tell us about good and evil, and is the distinction between them always clear? For example, see page 318, where Gamache sits through the service in the Blessed Chapel amid "peace and rage, silence and singing. The Gilbertines and the Inquisition. The good men and the not-so-good."


8.   The abbot tells Gamache, "That's the difference between us, Chief Inspector. You need proof in your line of work. I don't." What role does faith play for various characters in the novel?


9.  At one point Gamache finds himself wondering if the abbot's private garden "existed on different planes. It was both a place of grass and earth and flowers. But also an allegory. For that most private place inside each one of them. For some it was a dark, locked room. For others, a garden." How might that allegory apply to particular characters in The Beautiful Mystery?


10.  When Gamache quotes the line from Murder in the Cathedral, "Some malady is coming upon us," Frère Sébastien replies, "Modern times. Thats what came upon the Gilbertines." Do you feel that the monks could or should have remained in isolation from the outside world forever?

11.  How is THE BEAUTIFUL MYSTERY similar to/different from the books set in Three Pines?

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

nana k, February 28, 2014 (view all comments by nana k)
I love the Inspector Gamache series! They are awesome and so much better if read in order. I have enjoyed each one and read them in order. The writing improves and develops along the way. The Beautiful Mystery is marvelous. The author transports you to a beautiful setting, fills it with more beauty and then the evil. It was a page turner that I could not put down. Be prepared fill your head with the notes of Gregorian chants and wonderful mystery.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

Penny, Louise
Minotaur Books
Mystery & Detective - Traditional British
Mystery-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Pi in the Sky New Trade Paper $8.00
  2. Anno's Magic Seeds Used Trade Paper $6.00
  3. The Bat: The First Inspector Harry...
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  4. Alex Cross, Run (Alex Cross Novels) Used Mass Market $3.50
  5. The Cuckoo's Calling
    Used Hardcover $9.95
  6. Three, Imperfect Number Used Trade Paper $10.50

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Bestsellers
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Staff Favorites
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Endcap
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Featured Titles
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Sale Books

The Beautiful Mystery (Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #8) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Minotaur Books - English 9781250031129 Reviews:
"Review" by , "With enormous empathy for the troubled human soul — and an ending that makes your blood race and your heart break — Penny continues to raise the bar of her splendid series."
"Review" by , “Louise Penny has crafted an almost perfect crime — haunting, puzzling, brilliant and indeed a most beautiful mystery. Chief Inspector Gamache is one of my favorite characters in fiction. Here he must penetrate a cloistered monastery deep in the northern woods of Quebec, where a murdered monk is his ticket to get in. This is a tour-de-force for Penny, and a thrilling, intelligent read.”
"Review" by , "A. Ma. Zing! A remarkably courageous — and very beautiful — book that leaps the abyss between faith and despair."
"Review" by , “Elliptical and often oracular…also remarkably penetrating and humane. The most illuminating analogies are not to other contemporary detective fiction but to The Name of the Rose and Murder in the Cathedral.”
"Review" by , “An entire mystery novel centering on Gregorian chants (whose curiously hypnotic allure is called the 'beautiful mystery')? Yes, indeed, and in the hands of the masterful Penny, the topic proves every bit as able to transfix readers as the chants do their listeners.”
"Review" by , “Elegant….This heart-rending tale is a marvelous addition to Penny's acclaimed series. Fans wont be disappointed.”
"Review" by , “Traditional mystery fans can look forward to a captivating whodunit plot, a clever fair-play clue concealed in plain view, and the deft use of humor to lighten the story's dark patches. On a deeper level, the crime provides a means for Penny's unusually empathic, all-too-fallible lead to unearth truths about human passions and weaknesses while avoiding simple answers.”
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at