A Return to Three Pines: The Beautiful Mystery

A Return to Three Pines: The Beautiful Mystery

Listen to the excerpt

Sound, particularly Gregorian chanting, plays an integral part in The Beautiful Mystery

Speaking of sound, do you prefer to read or to listen to Louise’s books? 

To further explore The Beautiful Mystery, download our Book Club Kit.

Discussion on “A Return to Three Pines: The Beautiful Mystery”

I have just discovered “A beautiful mystery”! I am from Quebec and it’s interesting to hear stories of the area. However there’s one thing that bugs me immensely! The narrator has wrong pronunciation of a couple of names and it just bugs me. Someone should’ve told him how to pronounce these names.

Both. I enjoy listening to the audio version of a book I’ve read and loved. Somehow it gives me an even richer experience doing both. Even though I rarely drive long trips, I have a book CD in my car at all times to listen just driving to the grocery store. But there must be a good reader!

Each form has its advantages. I’m currently listening to the book but also reading the hardcover. I think Ralph C. is just fabulous in his vocal portrayals of the characters. I find his voice incredibly soothing providing a perfect foil to escalating emotions of the story. And since I listen while walking the pooch, I’ll walk longer. Another benefit.

Reading the hardcover is a different experience because it’s tactile, visual, and emotional. The smell of the book can evoke memories as can the feel of the pages. You can see your progress through the story and experience the story’s pacing by paragraph length, sentence structure, how much white space there is.

Tired eyes or frisky pooch means audiobook. Quiet “me” time is best suited for the hard copy. Lucky to have a choice

I, and everyone else here in the convent, began with The Beautiful Mystery, and then went back and began with Still Life, and went through the whole series. Now this is the way we recommend the series. Only today, one of the Sisters asked me when the new Louise Penny would be out? Then we all talked about how much we love these books ! Thank you so much, Louise !

What fun! The ultimate locked room mystery. Locked in an extremely remote monastery with only one door in and within a private garden with a hidden entrance behind another locked door. Love the change of pace – no technology, minimal scene of crime forensics.

Many years ago, when I drove a bookmobile, we had a retired dentist who always wanted murder mysteries with a minimum of sex and violence. Our go to for him was the prolific John Creasey (and his various pseudonyms). These are much, much better. Wish I could go back in time and give them to him.

Nothing like the feel of the book in the hands, sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate.

I always enjoy reading them, but don’t like audio books. For some reason, I don’t like being read to. I don’t concentrate on it as well as when I read for myself.

Great article in latest”New Yorker” about plainchant. Fits SO well with “mystery”. . . I’m sending the book and the article to a music professor I know m

I love audio books, and the French pronunciation is better with Audible rather than having Alexa read a Kindle book. On the other hand, if I’m reading an ebook, I can poke one of those French words and get a translation.

The hallway featured in this photograph looks suspiciously like the one in the abbey near Austin, Quebec which I visited in June of 2016. The hall led to the chapel, but along the way were plaques and descriptions of the abbey’s long, and to me-interesting, history. The abbey sold wonderful cheeses and spiritual books among other things in their store that is open to the public.

I love to listen and to read the books. Both narrators are wonderful! I work at a catholic school with a convent on site and I often eat lunch with the sisters and discuss the latest Gamache novel. Thank you for your books!

I’ve only listened to the books. Bathurst read the first one too fast—slow it down and it’s perfect! The 3rd book he’s done was amazing. He’s acquired perfect voices for each of the characters. I dread coming to the end of the series—will have to read, I suppose!

Beautiful mystery was my introduction to the Gamache series. I was hooked , I went back and read the previous books and have read them all but not in order. Louise writes so well that one can follow what has happened previous to any given story line and know what occurred. I wanted to know what happened to Jean – Guy and have been a faithful followers ever since. I’m looking forward to the return to Three Pines.

I have listened to all of the Gamache books and thoroughly enjoyed listening to Ralph Cosham and Robert Bathurst. By listening, I can take the Three Pines family with me while walking my dog, gardening in the back, or even doing mundane chores. And while I am an avid reader as well, there is something about hearing a superb reader transporting me directly to Three Pines.

I read – love the feel of a book, the soft turn of a page, and the sense of intimacy with the characters and the story. The history of formal musical structure was fascinating, and the story, of course, was brilliant. I was so upset and anxious when Jean Guy did not leave with Gamache – just beside myself with worry! Oh, Louise – how you stir our emotions!!

I read first then wait a bit and listen to the audiobook on my daily walks when I can pay close attention. Both forms have something to offer especially the fun of having someone tell me a story! I loved Robert Colsham most because he gave the characters such life and was the first, but I also have enjoyed Mr Bathurst’s interpretations. “The Beautiful Mystery” is a favorite due to it’s setting and the wonderful and realistic description of Jean Guy’s addiction and Gamache’s tough love for him. It’s the layers each character brings to the stories that make them so wonderful and worth revisiting both the print and audio versions.

I agree with Carol. I love to immerse myself in the world that Louise Penny has created. Each time I re-read the books I feel drawn closer to the people who inhabit them and feel a greater love for them. I enjoy the audiobooks and have them all in my library but there is something very special about reading a real print book. The feel of the paper and the intimacy that books give me with the amazing people that Louise Penny has brought to life is one of my greatest joys. I can’t wait to get the newest book in September.

In my mind, the abby was darker/gloomier. I’m glad to see this picture to help me rethink it. This book made it tough to see Jean Guy in such a struggle. I had to go online to listen to recordings of chants after reading it.

Generally I prefer audiobooks. Ralph Cosham was, IMHO, perfect in this series. Just a personal quirk- I have a hard time sitting still to read. That said- I read whatever version I get from my library. There are a few authors (Louise among them) who can make me sit with their wonderful books.

This was my first Game he book. We were at the airport in Winnipeg and I saw the display for The Beautiful Mystery. It looked interesting so I bought it. I have since started at the beginning and bought them to read again. Love this series!

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