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Death Takes Up a Collection

(Sister Mary Helen #8)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  202 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Readers have come to delight in the murder-solving exploits of septuagenarian Sister Mary Helen and her cohort Sister Eileen, two nuns with a nose for nabbing killers. Publishers Weekly calls the Sister Mary Helen Mysteries "refreshingly different" and a "heady mix of humor and suspense." Once you meet this spry, clever sleuth, you'll want to make a habit of reading her ad ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published March 12th 2001 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published September 28th 1998)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  202 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Alton Motobu
This was more of a tribute to Agatha Christie than a Sister Mary Helen mystery. A monsignor who has been embezzling funds from the church is murdered, and there are 8 suspects, all of whom had a motive to kill him. The story line gives us backgrounds and motives for all of the suspects, then Sister Mary Helen figures out whodunit, and the finale involves re-enacting the crime scene and getting the culprit to confess.

Slow moving and ponderous. There is very little action since the story line is a
Marsha Valance
While delivering loaves of homemade Irish soda bread on St. Patrick's Day to all Mount Francis College benefactors, Sister Mary Helen and Sister Eileen interrupt a mysterious meeting at St.
Agatha's Church and find themselves investigating the poisoning death of Monsignor Joseph Higgins.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Monsignor is not a nice man and ends up murdered. The sisters and others work to determine who the culprit is. You'll never guess!
Jun 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pleasant little jaunt to San Francisco, and a murder mystery solved by two dear old nuns. Everybody had a reason to kill the monsignor, but who actually did the deed? Sister Mary Helen and her buddy, Sister Eileen, figure it out in the end.
The characters are engaging, the victim really won't be missed by anyone, and there's just enough mystery to keep you engaged through the book. This is mystery light, and should not take long to read.
The author has written a number of mysteries with Siste
Jul 11, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, mystery
I wanted a book that wasn't going to take up too much space in my brain but that would still provide entertainment and likable characters. That's what I got in this mystery. The story line is the old "locked room" story line, but with a slight twist. The characters don't develop much as the series moves along, but I don't find that disturbing. It's nice to have a book I can just listen to, enjoy, and put aside without any large social issues coming to the fore.

Barbara Rosenblatt was the narrator
Jul 16, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Sister Carol Anne had apparently been reading a lot of Agatha Christie and it seeped into this story.

Who killed the Monsignor Higgins. (More accurately, did anyone NOT want to kill him?) It's got lots of potential murderers - all in one room - all feeling guilty.

Sister Mary Helen quotes or references Hercule Poirot nearly as often as Sister Eileen comes up with sayings from Ireland.

It's a nice escape, but not deep.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cozy, or close to it. Nuns as protagonists make it a nice change of pace. The location of San Francisco makes it an interesting location, but doesn't make a huge impact. It is just a location instead of a character as other authors might have made it.

While religion does make a large portion of the storyline, it doesn't get preachy or overly weighty.

I'd pick up another, but wouldn't actively chase one down.

Willa Guadalupe Grant
I got this book for free & I wasn't expecting too much- figured a murder mystery by a nun sounded right up my alley, though & it was really a fun read.There was a lit continuity problem here & there & the end was a bit of a surprise (I wonder when the characters will figure out who REALLY done it) but over all i would say this is a great potato chip book & I am going to look into others by this author. ...more
Lynn Demsky
Jun 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, mystery
The two dare-devil sisters are forced to tread where angels fear to fly because they had delivered the soda bread to the father of St. Agnes Parish on St. Paddy’s Day ---that could have been the source of poison that found him dead the next day! Very vivid characters, light humor and fun to read!
Nov 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining mystery that features two nuns who solve mysteries. Written by a nun who runs a ministry for homeless woman in California. The two nuns solve the murder of an unpleasant monsignor who has a taste for the finer things in life. Each parish council member had a reason to dislike him. who killed him? Great characters. Will lok for more to read
Kathie H
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young adults on up
You know, the plot was intriguing, & I went to Catholic school all my life (including college), but God bless her, Carol Anne O'Marie is just not a good writer. I didn't give up on this book though; I read the whole thing. But I won't break my neck getting to the library to check out any more of this series. ...more
Cherie Waggie
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've only read a few of these by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie. They're fun and different, although I don't like the detectives much, especially the male. How can you blame everything bad that happens on nuns who would rather not stumble over things?
Oct 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This was an interesting mystery. I don't think I've ever read one about nuns and priests. haha. I liked how the author wrote different parts of the book from different suspects point of view.
Christine Wahl
Nov 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Start date November 4, 2014

Finished November 6, 2014

Cute mystery. Light. Fun. Would recommend. Nice characters. No big twists but easy to get through.

Aug 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Entertaining.
Mar 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
As usual for this series, well-written, with a great locked-room mystery. Reader of audiobook was very good.
Scott L.
I don't like mysteries where I have it figured out before the "detective" does. All-in-all, the reading is enjoyable even if the mystery is transparent.
Apr 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
These nuns are cool.
A priest is poisoned and everyone has a reason to hate him.
He has stolen money, slept with ex-nun, etc. A bad person.
Good book.
Lynn Shurden
Nice clean mystery!
Cat Kwiatkowski
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story, and you have to love how the murdered man really deserved what he got.
Betty Ann Baer
Mar 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A cute book about two nuns that solve the murder. It goes through each person that is a suspects life and the police trying to find out who did it. Very light read.
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Colleen Sowden
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May 24, 2015
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Liz V.
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Feb 13, 2018
Mary E.
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Aug 08, 2012
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Nov 29, 2014
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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

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 Goes on Retreat (Sister Mary Helen, #6)
  • Death of an Angel (Sister Mary Helen, #7)
  • 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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