"The Beautiful Mystery" by Louise Penny begins in Montreal. Surete Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is sent, along with his aide, Jean-Guy Beauvoir, to a monastery hidden away in the hills and forests well outside the city. A monk has been found murdered in the garden and the head of the monastery - Dom Philippe - has reluctantly sent for the Surete to investigate the murder. But this is no ordinary monastery; the 24 monks living within have taken vows of silence and express their love of God through their ancient Gregorian chants. The order - the Gilbertines - was actually a renegade religious order who had fled England for Canada 400 years before. The monks had recorded their chants on a CD from which they hoped to earn a modest amount of money to repair their building. But the CD of chants had unexpectedly struck a chord outside the monastery walls and had become a world-wide best-seller. Suddenly the monks were famous for their singing and money, a by-product of their success, had become an issue in the congregation. There was division as the leaders couldn't decide whether or not to seize their success and record another CD of beautiful, voice of God chants.
Just as the Gilbertine monks were caught up in power struggles, so were the members of the Surete sent to work the case. The intrigue and struggle within the Surete is an ongoing presence in all the previous Armand Garmache books.
Penny's novel becomes almost like the beautiful and heavenly Gregorian chants as she combines different plot points and characters to tell an exquisite story that rivals the chants in their intricacy.
I listened to this on audio CDs and the reader's voice was absolutely perfect.