The Canadian mystery writer’s visit to Woodstock will be the only stop for the book tour of her latest novel in the Southeast. Penny will discuss and sign her eighth and most recent novel at the bookstore in downtown Woodstock.
Penny was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, where she attended private school and grew up with loving parents, according to her biography. As an adult, she worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, specializing in news and current affairs. The news broadcasting career landed Penny many opportunities, including relocations to Quebec City and Montreal.
After 16 years of traveling and hosting radio shows for the CBC, Penny withdrew from the world of broadcasting in order to pursue her dream of writing a book. Penny is an avid fan of traditional mysteries of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers, and writes with years of interviews as a CBC radio host to serve as personal inspiration.
She is married to Michael Whitehead, former head of hematology at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and holder of the first named chair in pediatric hematology in Canada.
“The Beautiful Mystery” is set in a remote monastery hidden deep in the woods of Quebec, Canada, where the monks have chosen a life of isolation and days of Gregorian chanting to contemplate nature and the Divine without distractions. There is a murder at the monastery that attempts to shatter the peace the monks have cherished. Recurring characters include Chief Inspector Gamache and Inspector Beauvoir.
According to the author, “The Beautiful Mystery” is about the plain chant at the heart of their monastic life and the power of that music to inspire and corrupt.” She said, “Chief Inspector Gamache soon discovers something else, hiding in the silence. Tyranny. Gamache and Beauvoir are faced with an unsettling question. Was the monk murdered by the tyrant, or because he was the tyrant? In the great silence of the monastery, Gamache and Beauvoir come face to face with their own truths, and their own tyrants. While so many are kneeling down, Gamache must discover if he has the courage to stand up. To speak up.”
According to the author’s acknowledgments, the book deals with the effects of music on the human brain, in this case the majesty of the Gregorian chants.
“I wanted to explore this beautiful mystery,” Penny wrote. “How just a few notes can take us to a different time and place. Can conjure a person, an event, a feeling. Can inspire great courage, and reduce us to tears. And in the case of this book, I wanted to explore the power of ancient chants, Gregorian chants. On those who sing them and those who hear them.”
Penny describes her books as being about both terror and kindness. She went on to explain the books cover “that brooding terror curled deep down inside us.”
“But more than that, more than murder, more than all the rancid emotions and actions, my books are about goodness,” says Penny. The Canadian author said that she hopes all readers of her work capture the message that “goodness exists.”
Tickets for the book signing event are available for $30. The ticket to the book signing event includes a first edition of “The Beautiful Mystery” which will be signed by the author. For more information, contact Foxtale Book Shoppe at (770) 516-9989 or visit the website at http://foxtalebookshoppe.com.