Friday, September 11, 2015

The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny

I am a huge fan of mysteries and all things Canadian, so I was very surprised that I had not heard of Louise Penny until about two months ago. She has been writing her Chief Inspector Gamache novels based in Quebec for about 10 years now.  Her novels have all the French Canadian flavour you'd expect, and she's won many awards for her writing. Her newest novel has just come out, making the series 11 in total.

It was the announcement of her eleventh novel that caught my attention. At my local book store they were having a deal on the first three of her novels in a box set for a really good price. I was almost certain I would love her work, but instead I went to the library to find one of her books to give it a try.

This is the book I picked up, the only one of the series in stock. It's the eighth one in the series, and this one takes place at a small secluded abbey full of monks. One of the monks is killed, and Inspector Gamache is called in to find out whodunnit. It's not a very complicated mystery in all, but your focus becomes more on the other characters. It's a bit hard to explain, but it is very interesting either way.

Her writing is beautiful. She is a detailed writer, but not obnoxiously so. Her characters are perfectly imperfect but so engaging you fall for them almost immediately. You will become seriously invested in their lives right off the bat. She has a way of switching points of view between the characters that is so seamless you hardly notice, but somehow it just makes sense.

I did end up picking up the box set of the first three novels, and as I write this, I've actually picked up the fourth as well. I am well and truly hooked! I don't really like to write about each book in a series when they are so similar, but I can't help myself. I will be reviewing and gushing over each one as I read them!

Recommendation: It's got a brilliant detective, amazing writing, and an interesting mystery. What more could you ask for?

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