Thursday, April 11, 2002

Saving Death: a Sister Cecile Mystery by Winona Sullivan

Fawcett Books, 080411899X, $5.85

Sister Cecile of the Sisters of Our Lady of Good Counsel is back, and sought out by a wealthy Central Florida farmer to solve a twenty-year old murder case whose primary character witnesses are either dead or unwilling to dredge up the past. Though Sister Cecile appreciates the private investigation work, which keeps her Miami retirement home for aging nuns maintained, she is reluctant to take money when she believes the case cannot be solved after so long. What she does not know is that that man who hired her was arrested and convicted wrongly for the said murder. Having established a new life twenty years after escaping prison, he is eager for the truth, and for closure.

It turns out, however, that as Sister Cecile investigates, somebody else wants closure. In fact, somebody wants to close the coffin lid on the good nun herself before she discovers too much.

Cecile's detective work (not to mention the urgency to elude a hired assassin) takes her to Providence, where she mixes with some relatives of fellow nun Sister Linda, who's hiding a few secrets under her own veil and gets too deep into the mysterious case that, even when her benefactor wants to quit, she find she cannot stop until the case is solved, even if it means her own life.

I'm a big fan of Sullivan's mystery stories, and Saving Death is a well-written, fast-paced installment to an overall terrific series.

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