21st out of 73 books — 22 voters
Quaker Silence (Elizabeth Elliot Mystery #1)
by Irene Allen
What happens when murder strikes at the heart of the nonviolent Quaker community? Here is the debut of a refreshing and beguiling mystery series with a new sleuth in the time-honored tradition of Miss Marple - yet with a brilliant deductive style that's all her own. Elizabeth Elliot is a widow of some years and considerable moral authority. Since girlhood she has drawn inn...more
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published October 6th 1992 by Villard
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As mysteries go, there are others that are more well "mysterious" but that is not why I chose to read this. This is a cozy mystery that is not cutesy however. I read it because through story, it reveals a great deal about the Quaker way of thinking and acting, something I am interested in. The beginning had a bit of an unwieldy start as the author tried to introduce a somewhat large cast of characters. Once that was established, however, the mystery unfolded nicely. A nice story, just not a grea...more
Oh, very nice indeed. I did pretty well figure out whodunit fairly early, but the mystery story clicks along nicely all the same, the ending had its unexpected aspects, and the characters and storytelling are excellent. I was deeply impressed by the author’s ability to focus on the spiritual nature of the characters, to make that a very important part of the work, without once becoming the least bit preachy - or boring, either. I was very involved. Good stuff
I loved both of Irene Allen's books (I only found the first two) and will look for the others. The mysteries were good, and the description of a little known (to me) religious practice was super interesting. I also loved that her character was older and sometimes invisible, but also cunning and adept at all situations. Well written for an easy reading kind of experience.
For me, this series is more about daily life of a modern urban Quaker, not so great as a whodunnit. It illustrates several ethical issues that modern Quakers deal with, like gender equality, same-sex relationships, and economic inequities. I enjoy getting inside the head of Elizabeth Elliot, a woman trying to live intentionally and be true to her faith.
There's very little gore and guts in this mystery. Instead you'll find a lot of information about Quakers, their beliefs, their philosophies and how that manifests itself in today's world. the mystery is almost secondary in this novel, and it worked. It will be interesting to see how it plays itself out in the next few books.
Irene Allen is the pen-name of Dr E Kirsten Peters, former faculty member in Washington State University's Department of Geology. She is a native of rural Washington State who graduated with a degree in geology from Princeton University in 1984. She earned her doctorate from the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at Harvard University in 1990. She has also done published research in the late-...moreMore about Irene Allen...