Postcards from Three Pines: The Beautiful Mystery

The Beautiful Mystery Postcard
“Just spent a quiet night at the Abbey of Saint-Benoît-du-Lac. The only sound was the monks singing Gregorian Chants. Hope I can capture this feeling of peace in the book. This really is a “beautiful mystery”.”

The abbot led the small procession, followed by Frères Simon and Charles. Then Captain Charbonneau at the head of the stretcher and Beauvoir behind. Gamache was the last to leave the abbot’s garden, closing the bookcase behind him.

They walked into the rainbow corridor. The joyful colors played on the body, and the mourners. As they arrived at the church, the rest of the community stood and filed from the benches. Joining them. Walking behind Gamache.

The abbot, Dom Philippe, began to recite a prayer. Not the rosary. Something else. And then Gamache realized the abbot wasn’t speaking. He was singing. And it wasn’t simply a prayer. It was a chant.

A Gregorian chant.

Slowly the other monks joined in and the singing swelled to fill the corridor, and join with the light. It would have been beautiful, if not for the certainty that one of the men singing the words of God, in the voice of God, was a killer.

Discussion on “Postcards from Three Pines: The Beautiful Mystery

  1. Eva says:

    Monserrat in Spain, and other Abbeys in Europe are stewards of traditions reaching back centuries. Abbeys in St Benoit du Lac, Oka, and Dolbeau-Mistassini, are beautiful places to visit in Quebec. From cheese making, chocolate covered blueberries, and delicious products from the apple orchards, everything is done in the glory of and in obedience to God. Adherence to the Rule of St Benendict is paramount. The tradition of Gregorian Chant can grip and haunt the most stalwart soul. I have been blessed to visit all of the four aforementioned Abbeys, and attended Mass at one. The monastic life is a mystery, but the Abbeys are well suited for a retreat, especially a silent one. With the call to prayer, one is able to witness and participate in an a unique way of communicating with God. Think Orff’s Carmina Burana, the music of Era, or Enigma; all use that same style of singing!

  2. Noël says:

    So fun to read the comments, so much in common. This was my first Gamache listen, and got my mom to love them too. When she was in the hospital dying, I turned to this specific audiobook as I walked the corridors and it was comfort where there was none, listening to this beautiful story.

  3. Donzelle (Donnie) says:

    Louise on our trip to knowlton top of the list was meeting you next was our visit to the abby and for the service hard to describe ones feelings the gregorian chanting beautiful and so was the
    book it was hard to clear that from ones mind for it stayed with you. A wonderful experiance
    look forward to your new book out soon.

  4. Kaaren Grimstad says:


    I congratulate you on your nod to Monty Python in the beginning of Ch. 28 of The Beautiful Mystery. That was wonderfully witty! Do come to St. Paul, MN sometime.

  5. I loved all the previous books, but THIS is the one that truly swept me away. Beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking.

  6. Bettie says:

    Pat writing above named her favorites. I was introduced and began reading with A Great Reckoning. It was terrific. But I quickly realized there were hints of so much that had happened in earlier books. I started over at the beginning with Still Life. I am rereading, in order, and Bury Your Dead is where I am. Two things I want to share. First, I read such a variety of things that I was missing Armand and his people. So, I have begun reading a chapter every day I can. Early in the day, it is my meditation time. I am in touch and happy. Then afternoon rest and bedtime are for the other stuff. I have had my Gamache time. Back to Pat. The five books beginning with The Brutal Telling through How the Light Gets In are the best. The people become more known, wisdom is shared, depth makes Three Pines live in your mind, they have become irresistible. I still put A Great Reckoning high, as well. And so enjoy reading others words about the appreciation of Louise Penny we share. Thanks for these opportunities!

  7. Carolyn M Cain says:

    I was crazy about The beautiful mystery. I have read the entire series in order because I was lucky enough to stumble on the first book. I am in love with each character and most especially Louise and 3 pines. I am so excited she is coming to Tallahassee soon and I will see her.

  8. Shawn says:

    While reading this wonderful book, I had Pandora play me a music channel called “Gregorian Chants.” Very atmospheric

  9. Jeanne Tapp says:

    I love all the Gamache series books, but Beautiful Mystery is my all time favorite – so far. Since I have a degree in music, sing in our church choir, and taught middle school music for several years, this particular story resonates with me.

  10. JoAnne Himmelman says:

    My first book and I was addicted.

  11. Laurie Reissler says:

    This is my favorite one in the series…so far. The setting appeared to be calm, peaceful and meditative. The chanting added to the atmosphere. But what secrets were hidden there?
    Oh Jean Guy, my heart cries for you.

  12. Ed Klein says:

    Won a copy of ‘Kingdom of the Blind’ on ! I had to buy all your other books , well worth the investment . Let us know if you ever visit the Flight 93 National Memorial , we will have you stop by for dinner . ( Don’t expect Bistro Quality) .

  13. Suzette Williams says:

    It is so exciting to be able to see Louise Penny in person in Tallahassee in November! I could hardly believe that I will be given this opportunity next month. The Kingdom of the Blind. What a poweful title. I have read all the Three Pines mysteries in the last 4 months.

  14. Mary Anderson says:

    I so enjoyed the book. I am in a prayer partners group of 3 and the book added a lot to my journey.

  15. Pat Malcolm says:

    This is my favorite book of the series, just because of the wonderful feeling of peace that surrounds and underlies the action in the story. The prayer intervals and stations of the cross, the circular nature of the chants, give a profound sense of the continuity of life and spirit that transcend human enterprise. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Louise!

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