Top critical review
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The weakest so far - but still worth reading and continuing with the series.
on 11 July 2017
I have read all the Gamache books so far and loved each one for various reasons. However, The Beautiful Mystery just didn't quite hit the mark for me sadly.
That's not to say I disliked it completely - the setting of an isolated monastery was wonderful, the images the author conjured up were quite breathtaking and the reader is given a rare insight into the lives of monks and how often they feel conflict between their beliefs and devotions, and the life they have left behind on the "outside".
That said, the book as a whole just didn't seem to read as easily as the previous novels in this series, the main plot was somewhat overshadowed by the ongoing conflict between Franceour and Gamache & Beauvoir, and for me the ending was somewhat lacklustre. On the whole, the mystery side of the story didn't seem to really "get going" - it was almost there as as afterthought.
However, because I absolutely love Armand Gamache and am now feeling quite protective towards Jean Guy Beauvoir after reading this book, I am giving it three stars purely for the fact that I am certainly not put off this series and am just about to start book 9.