Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Trick of the Light and The Beautiful Mystery

Title: A Trick of the Light and The Beautiful Mystery
Author: Louise Penny
Series: A Chief Inspector Gamache, book 7 and 8
Genre: Mystery
Published: 2011 and 2012
Rating: 7/10

A Trick of the Light is the next book in Gamache series that is predominantly focused on Clara, who has her debut solo show and then discovers a dead body in her garden the day after. Of course Gamache and his team come down to investigate the murder and the usual inquiries begin.

In addition to the part of the plot dealing with current investigation of the book, there are also quite a few plot advancements in the larger story arch here. There is a subplot dealing with Jean-Guy's painkiller addiction as well as changes to Clara and Peter's relationship.

A common theme in the book is the issue of forgiveness. There are multiple characters looking for forgiveness or trying to forgive and a number of different contrasting situations where the outcome is very different. A few relationships are restored this way and others are ruined, but the stories are nicely woven together and compared.

The Beautiful Mystery is a bit different in that it's not set in Three Pines and actually doesn't involve anyone from the village. Instead Gamache and Beauvoir fly off to a remote monastery to solve the murder of a monk.

I thought the setting of the book made it pretty interesting and I liked the character set and descriptions of the monastery life the Louise Penny integrates into the narrative. There is some religious lore, but also neat hidden rooms, mysterious hidden treasure, and chocolate blueberries.

One might think this book is a break from the larger story arch, but we manage to get some developments there in the relationship between Beauvoir and Gamache. I was somewhat dismayed at the direction their relationship took in this book and felt some of the changes were too fast and too forced. I hope this won't drag on past the next book in the series.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the last few books a bit less than some of the earlier books in the series, but the mysteries are still fun and surprising to me and the characters still draw me in enough to keep reading the series. Now I have to wait for the next book to be published.


  1. I find the cover for A Trick of the Light very stunning; so much so that it made me go back and look at the other book covers. They are all really well done consistent and they look uniform too. 'Branded' if that makes any sense.

    1. I like the covers also, though I bought them as e-books and only found the covers for the blog. They really convey the book atmosphere quite well. I find the first one (Still Life) is done in a different style from the rest though.