LOUISE PENNY’S

Gamache Goes Abroad: The Beautiful Mystery

Gamache Goes Abroad: The Beautiful Mystery

We find ourselves back in Sweden this week with the cover of The Beautiful Mystery. Of the many foreign covers we’ve explored so far, the Swedish edition is the closest we’ve seen to almost matching ours. In previous posts, we’ve talked about the use of light as a powerful symbol, but these two covers put that idea in the forefront. 

In The Beautiful Mystery, Chief Inspector Gamache travels to the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, to investigate the death of a renowned choir director. Tucked into the wilderness, the monastery is a beacon of peace and reflection in the dark woods. The light shining through the trees on both jackets might also symbolize the illumination and discovery resulting from Gamache’s investigation. 

Does the Agatha and Anthony Award callout on the top of the Swedish jacket bring a movie poster to mind? What actor would you pick to play Gamache? 

For more information on the real place that inspired the monastery in The Beautiful Mystery, click here. 

Discussion on “Gamache Goes Abroad: The Beautiful Mystery”

I prefer the US/Canada cover as well. The light on the Swedish cover seems too harsh and direct to me. As I recall, the light in the monastery came from windows set high in the walls, thus falling into the space as the light on the US/Canada cover falls through the trees.

My candidate to portray Armand in a film would be Brendan Coyle, who was Mr. Bates in Downton Abbey. He is the right age and has the physical presence I envision Armand to have.

Beautiful Mystery was the first Three Pines I read, although I actually listened to the audio version. It truly was beautiful as it included some of the chants which in themselves to me always convey mystery. Needless to say, I immediately started to read/listen to them all. The then narrator, Ralph Cosham, had the most calming, kind voice and sadly I have tried listening to Robert Bathurst but he just isn’t Inspector Gamache to me. However, reading the books is just as pleasurable and I can’t wait for the latest edition. As for the cover, I prefer the US version.

I like the US/Canada cover because the light is misty, difuse and mysterious.
Roger Allam of the TV series “Endeavour “ could be Gamache. He just looks right

Loved this book!! So many metaphors and “the Light” is so meaningful. I do prefer the US cover but, the other is the closest I have seen so far. Possibly “the light” is a more common wording? Light can be so powerful in its meaning, lighting paths, leading us to help, to life, etc.
Mysterious? Maybe. I hadn’t thought of that. Enjoying this sharing.

I love the oxymoronic title “Beautiful Mystery”! Contradictory terms that seem to lurk around every corner in this adventure. The Canadian cover is my favorite: light and dark playing off each other. The luminescence of the abbey juxtaposed with a descent into the dark abyss of hell. Divinely human! As for the actor, he must be a bit like Louise’s beloved Michael and a bit older than she (yes, Louise would make the perfect Reine Marie). My vote is for Harrison Ford. However, I always prefer my own imagination when reading of the Gamaches and their life together!! Can’t wait until September!!

I like both, although partial to the US/Canadian version. The shape of the tree branches in the Swedish version is somewhat demonic to me – but that is because I already know the story. Had I not already read this story 4 times, I would have no reason to question one or the other. They both work for me!

I have to say that I like the Swedish one this time. It seems rather eerie with that burst of light that could trick the eye into seeing various things.

I’d pick the Canadian cover and I suggest Anthony Hopkins as Inspector Gamache. Love all the books

Definitely not Anthony Hopkins…I see him, I see horror movies, definitely not Gamache. He could maybe play Arnot

This was the first Gamache story I read… I was totally enthralled. I liked how it is bed on truth. I had read and follow Daniel Levitin so was impressed how it was brought into the story. I was hooked. This is still my favourite an I have read them all. Thank You Louise.

I see that most people seem to prefer the Canadian cover to the Swedish one, but in this case I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that the Swedish cover wins hands down. So mysterious, and it draws me in while giving me the shivers. Just like your wonderful book, Louise.

Beautiful Mystery was the first of the Gamach series that I was introduced to. I was hooked . I have read them all and reread several. I love the series . I look forward to reading about the charecters growth and have found them company in times like these when we are at home and keeping distanced from friends and family.

My favorite Gamache also. While reading this the first time, purchased Gregorian Chant music that I play every Sunday since, along with coffee in Three Pines mug.

This time my choice is the green cover for reasons that have nothing to do with the book. I prefer the letter font and distribution of the letters in the English-language version. Yes, the symbol on the top of the Swedish cover evokes film industry awards. Yes, the image is interesting. But the whole is a bit “stodgy” and inharmonious from where I stand right now. Neither vibrant nor very mysterious, though it does make one uneasy. PS, in some ways this is my favorite Gamache story. For about a thousand different reasons.

I prefer the domestic cover for the gentle natural light coming from above, whereas the Swedish cover has harsh light coming at eye level – could be a train coming at you!
As for an actor to play Gamache, for your consideration: Stanley Tucci, who exudes intelligence, humour, and has very kind eyes. I bet he could manage both an English accent and a creditable French. He’s very fit, but might be willing to put on a few pounds for the role. ;o)

One of my favorite books with Jean Guys struggle. I’m picking the Swedish cover. I am almost seeing a structure…developing from the tree trunks..And a little spark of something amidst. It’s sort of mysterious. We visited the Abbey, so beautiful.
( I agree Louise should play Reine Marie. )

These 2 covers offer a similar idea, but I prefer the colors on the US/Canada cover.
To me, this was the saddest book in the series with Jean-Guy’s-downward spiral.

The Beautiful Mystery was riveting and calming throughout. Good I had the next book on hand because I just couldn’t wait…. Oh, the angst! In ref. to book covers, I love the US version because of the light and the differing beautiful shades of a healthy green nature. There have been many discussions about who should play Gamache. I’m in the ballpark that brings Daniel Day Lewis out of retirement with some quarantine weight that many of us has enjoyed. Daniel can do anything, with any accent, strength, humor and kindness. Louise, I recommend that you make that happen and put yourself in the series to play Reine Marie. Not too shabby working with DDL, eh? Thx for the opportunity to be a little silly. ☮️

I pick the US version. It seems to portray a light from heaven whereas the Swedish version is more of an earthly light (sunrise or sunset)

Both are beautiful. The Canadian/US one has a warmer feel for me while the Swedish cover is somewhat more sinister. Both work to foreshadow elements contained within the book. Mystery and hope.

I really like the Swedish cover. It represents the title well combing beauty and mysteriousness.

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