The Beautiful Mystery
From Shelley's list on where great art leads to even greater crimes.
In this installment of her beloved Three Pines series, Penny locates the crime in a remote abbey in Quebec, where a couple of dozen monks – renowned for their singing – are cloistered. When the choir director is murdered, enter the series hero Inspector Gamache, who unfolds a story of timeless yet sinister beauty about the origins of Gregorian chant. This is the second book on my Best Five list that is set in a monastery, which speaks to how I can’t resist well-written mysteries set in closed communities – there’s just something so frightening and compelling about that small ring of victims and suspects, not to mention palpable atmosphere and themes that matter. I’m really interested in the psychology of a killer who places an obsessive love of an art object above the sanctity of life.