Friday, November 30, 2012

The Beautiful Mystery

Even if Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series wasn't one of my favourites and even if I hadn't been waiting for my turn to read the latest (#8), I would have picked this book up just because of the beautiful cover.
Armand Gamache and his second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, have been summoned to Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, a monastery hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec, because the renowned choir director has been murdered. Gamache finds a small community of two dozen monks, almost evenly divided against one another over whether or not to release another recording of their beautiful Gregorian chants after the first one was such a popular and financial success.
Solving the mystery was just the first story-line in The Beautiful Mystery. The second, and more interesting to me, is what is going to happen to Jean-Guy as he continues his fight against his addiction to the pain killers he got hooked on while recovering from the wounds he received in the previous book. Especially now that Gamache's boss, who wants to discredit the inspector in order to get rid of him, has his evil hooks in Jean-Guy. This is the biggest problem with reading a series - I have to WAIT for the next book to come out.

The first time I looked at this book it didn't come home with me. I took a second look and decided to give The House of Velvet and Glass a try. Sibyl Allston is a young woman living in her father's elegant townhouse in Boston's Back Bay. She is trying to come to grips with the loss of her mother and sister on the Titanic by attending seances with others who lost loved ones in the sinking and hope to contact their spirits or receive some 'message' from them.

When I began writing about the books I had read it was in an effort to keep track of them and their authors and to perhaps rate them in some way. I am not a reviewer even though it seems I have gotten into trying to review what I have read. It has become somewhat of a chore. I had planned to do something different beginning in the new year, but I have decided, "Why wait? Why not start now?" So, though I haven't worked out details yet, after today, I think I will just list the books I've read, their author, and some type of rating system - either 1 thru 5 or A to F.

I will give this second novel of Katherine Howe's a 3 and say that I hope to read her first novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, when I can find a copy of it.

The Light Between Oceans is M.L. Stedman's first novel. I'm giving it a 4. It is the first book in a long time that has kept me awake to finish reading. (Which means I got about five hours of sleep last night.) The book is about a lighthouse keeper and his family who live on Janus Rock about one hundred miles off the coast of Western Australia. The time period is after WWI. It is not a mystery. It is a beautiful book of human drama and the choices we make. Okay, maybe a 5......

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