2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Fabulous Return to Form - The Best in the Series,
This review is from: The Beautiful Mystery: Number 8 in series (Chief Inspector Gamache) (Paperback)
I've struggled with the last few of Louise Penny's "Inspector Gamache" series. I found the stories thin and the citizens of "Three Pines" increasingly irksome. However, "The Beautiful Mystery" marks a return to her best form.
Thankfully, there is no involvement from "Three Pines" in this book and it is the better for it. The story is slow-burn but satisfyingly complex and the addition of a rival police officer into the mix half-way through is inspired.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, although I do have a few reservations. Firstly, Inspector Beauvoir has always been hard to like, and this is particularly true in this book. I thought that might begin to change with the charming love-story set-up at the close of the previous book, but this book turns out very differently. Secondly, I agree with some reviewers that the police-politics sub-plot is getting overcooked. Ms Penny clearly has more to say on this point and I hope she can keep it within the realms of possibility, as they story is getting close to soap-opera.
If you've enjoyed the earlier books then this is to be recommended. The mystery is enjoyable and the setting suitably claustrophobic.