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Death Goes on Retreat (Sister Mary Helen, #6)
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Death Goes on Retreat (Sister Mary Helen #6)

3.66  ·  Rating Details ·  181 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Sister Mary Helen and her sidekick, Sister Eileen, on retreat in the Santa Cruz Mountains, encounter a group of hard-drinking pastors, a crotchety cook, a hysterical dishwasher ... and a dead body. The local police don't have a prayer, but perhaps a contemplative nun can see the telltale clue no one else divined.
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published November 2nd 1996 by Dell (first published 1995)
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Linda Rawlins
Jan 05, 2014 Linda Rawlins rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: catholic-fiction
Sister Mary Helen goes on a retreat with her Irish friend, Sister Eileen at St. Collette's Retreat House in Santa Cruz. They find out they are a week too early but decide to stay on with the priests who are starting their retreat. Within a day, Sister Mary Helen finds a body and can't help but try to find the killer with the help of Kate Murphy, her friend who happens to be a homicide investigator from the SFPD.
I enjoyed this book which I would classify as a cozy, Catholic Fiction mystery in the
Mar 19, 2017 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A retreat in the woods an hour from San Francisco provides plenty of drama for Sister Mary Helen and her friend Sister Eileen. They arrive for the retreat on the wrong week (it's a retreat for priests) and since their ride is not available, they need to stay over night. Of course, there is a dead body found and the investigating ensues.
Actually my first intro to Sr O'Marie' likeable mysteries featuring Sr Mary Helen.

Found it kept my attention with unique details and setting. Various subplots happening in tandem with the main plot and characters gave background to their involvement as detectives and connection to the sisters on retreat. Good sense of humour kept it from becoming dark as the plot thickened and took turns for the worse.
For those who love them, a good cozy to warm you up in this cold winter!

"D" now covered for t
Lynn Demsky
Jun 10, 2015 Lynn Demsky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, humor
Sister Mary Helen literally stumbles across another corpse while attending a religious retreat. Her and her bosom companion, Sister Eileen, arrive at St. Colette's Sanctuary, they are dismayed to discover that they are actually an entire week early for their scheduled conference. Un-discouraged, they join the retreat of priests just beginning. While taking an early morning stroll, Mary Helen uncovers the lifeless remains of a former seminarian familiar to all of the priests temporarily residing ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Death Goes on Retreat, by Sister Carol Ann O’Marie, B.
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This is the first time I’ve read one of the mysteries written by this nun. They are definitely cozies. I like Sister Mary Helen, the main protagonist. A mite too religious for me. Still, I might read more in the series. Sisters Mary Helen and Eileen are interesting, and some of the police we were introduced to at least in this book, are interesting characters. In this one, the two sisters are looking forward to a r
A lighthearted murder mystery. As opposed to the stereotypes often portrayed, I appreciated the author's view of the varied and contradictory ways Catholics approach and act on their faith; the author being a nun herself. I found the narrator's voicing of the main character a bit stuffy and over-emphasizing her age, but that's because my own octogenarian aunt in the religious life exhibits such vigor and enthusiasm even in the face of medical and aging challenges.
Jun 11, 2015 Phair rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-books
Did not really like this one. It kept going off on tangents about personal lives of characters not central to the story. The reader, Vera Rosewater, used some really annoying character voices. All-in-all this was too rambling and unfocused. Too much talk & not enough procedure. The who-dunit was pretty obvious and the why-dun it felt totally out of left field. Just OK
I found the two nuns amusing - Sister Mary Helen sometimes pretends to be partially deaf and one of her favorite expressions is "Good night nurse!", which I took to be similar in meaning to "good grief!". Sister Eileen's Irish brogue gets thicker when she's upset. The police in this story seemed to bungle the investigation (IMO) and I found the ending anti-climatic. Still, it was a fun read.
Apr 13, 2013 Kyrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not as good as some of the others, although it does give a glimpse into how some of the religious in the church view things. A glimpse. Not much else. And only some of them.

I thought the ending was really swift, as if she were trying to meet a deadline and just tied up loose ends quickly.

Not my favorite Sister Carol Anne O'Marie book.
Oct 14, 2014 CJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Coming into this series at book 6 was a little daunting, but it stands alone quite well. This mystery was not that complicated, but still not easy to solve. I think I'll go back to the first book and see how the others compare.
Apr 12, 2011 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hadn't read anything in this series in years, but you never know what you'll find in the thrift store when you are out of town and in desperate need of a book. I liked the characters but the plot was a little stretched.
Jun 17, 2010 Lynda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lynda by:
I actually read this at a Catholic retreat center in Buffalo, Minnesota.
The priest in charge of the facility saw me reading it and told me he knew the author and had read all the books. It was a strange place to meet a fellow fan.
Cat Kwiatkowski
Aug 30, 2016 Cat Kwiatkowski rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful mystery reminicient of "Murder on the Orient Express" but in an even more picturesque setting. Great twists to this tale.
Oct 24, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My review for this series is under Novena for Murder.
Marianne Jay
Mar 06, 2009 Marianne Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sister Mary Helen is like your favorite aunt. She is funny and cool and maybe a little eccentric.

I LOVE these cozy mysteries.
Nov 22, 2011 Jaime rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kind-of-read
Fun characters, but not the most compelling story -- maybe it would be better read than heard.
Jun 11, 2008 Donna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Catholic sleuths
Shelves: mystery
Meh. Interesting twist at the end which is quite dated.
Sister Carol Anne O'Marie writes mysteries about what she knows best.. a nun who finds murder victims.

This one is set at a retreat house.

May 06, 2010 Jan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
Two older nuns solve a murder at a retreat. May have enjoyed the one set in Ireland better.
Oct 30, 2009 Quenta rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't get why Sister Mary Helen is so famous for solving murders yet she didn't really solve anything in this story, at least in time to make a difference. Anyway, it wasn't bad.
Staci McLaughlin
May 23, 2013 Staci McLaughlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book I've read in this series. I liked the characters and the retreat setting. Overall, it was a very pleasant read.
Oct 14, 2012 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
I really like the characters in this series. The mystery in this one was ok.
Rita rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2013
Shalimar rated it liked it
Sep 08, 2011
Deb rated it it was amazing
Mar 23, 2015
Elliedakota rated it really liked it
Feb 01, 2013
Lynsie rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2015
Trinette Huber
Trinette Huber rated it liked it
Jul 12, 2016
sara rated it really liked it
May 17, 2008
Emma Lewis
Emma Lewis rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2015
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Sister Carol Anne O'Marie was a mystery writer and a nun in the St. Joseph of Carondelet religious order.

She wrote eleven novels with the protagonist Sister Mary Helen, an elderly nun who solves crimes. Most of the books are based in San Francisco.

Her final book, Like a Swarm of Bees, is about the origins of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the United States.

Sister Carol Anne O'Marie and Sister Mauree
More about Carol Anne O'Marie...

Other Books in the Series

Sister Mary Helen (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Novena for Murder (Sister Mary Helen, #1)
  • Advent of Dying (Sister Mary Helen #2)
  • The Missing Madonna (Sister Mary Helen, #3)
  • Murder in Ordinary Time (Sister Mary Helen, #4)
  • Murder Makes a Pilgrimage (Sister Mary Helen, #5)
  • Death of an Angel (Sister Mary Helen, #7)
  • Death Takes Up a Collection (Sister Mary Helen, #8)
  • Requiem at the Refuge (Sister Mary Helen, #9)
  • The Corporal Works of Murder (Sister Mary Helen, #10)
  • Murder at the Monks' Table (Sister Mary Helen, #11)

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