A murder has happened in a monastery. A very private monastery that never accepts visitors. The suspects are all monks, the only clue is a small piece of a Gregorian Chant, except it might be modern.
To complicate the investigation, Superintendent Sylvain Francoeur arrived bringing his own baggage from a prior book. His conflict with Gamache comes to a head, and now involves Beauvoir. Although this conflict beats up, it isn’t resolved and promises to continue in the next book.
The mystery is slow for much of the book, and isn’t one the reader can solve. Clues flow in throughout the book, and is solved suddenly. The book is more about the characters and the chants. The chants are a spiritual influence on the characters. The monastic life of the monks is forefront in the novel. The monks have a natural ability to read people and understand unstated feelings, which provides a challenge to Gamache’s investigation as their skill seems to surpass his own.
Best quote from the book:
Following the arrival of an envoy from the Vatican.
“Jeez,” said Beauvoir. “The Inquisition. I didn’t expect that.”
“No one does,” said Gamache.
ALthough slow in the middle, I found the book very enjoyable. A must read for Gamache or Louise Penny fans, but read them in order!