This is a Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novel. Imagine an old stone monastery at the head of a large lake, surrounded by low bush blueberries and a lonely path through endless woods. Inside are two dozen monks who adhere to a vow of silence, but sing Gregorian chants so beautifully that listeners are transported to what seems like a new level of sound. Their order was thought to be completely gone for centuries. Only this small group remains, undisturbed by any demands from Rome or elsewhere. Now imagine that one of the monks, the choirmaster, has been murdered and Gamache and his lieutenant, Beauvoir, have intruded into this special place to solve the crime. The murderer has to be one of the monks. Which one?
Anyone who has read a Louise Penny novel knows she is in for a real treat, but this mystery is so much more due to the setting and the characters. I love her books set in the village of Three Pines, but Gamache has changed because of another case. Still more has Beauvoir changed since he nearly died in that prior case and his love for Gamache's daughter. The monastery serves as a place for them to be away from everyone and heal. Unfortunately, Gamache's boss who wants to get rid of him shows up, but that creates more intrigue and another plotline.
If you've never read Louise Penny, I plead with you to hasten to do so. She's a Canadian author who, if you start from the first book (Still Life) and I encourage you to do that, will introduce you to Three Pines and her unique characters. Those characters will be as real to you as your neighbors and you'll never regret making their acquaintance. Penny's novels have won many awards as they should.
Source: my local library