Drebbles's Reviews > Murder at the Monks' Table

Murder at the Monks' Table by Carol Anne O'Marie
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Oct 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2008

Sister Mary Helen could use a break and welcomes the chance to visit her friend Sister Eileen who has been in Ireland for quite some time. The two plan a nice quiet time attending the week-long Oyster Festival in the tiny village of Ballyclarin. But things are never really quiet when Sister Mary Helen is around and soon she stumbles across a dead body. Sister Mary Helen knows a thing or two about murder and can't help investigating this one (with Sister Eileen's help of course). But even she will have a hard time solving the case - the bodies are beginning to pile up and she'll only be in Ireland for a week.

"Murder at the Monk's Table" is another good entry in the Sister Mary Helen cozy mystery series. Sister Mary Helen is one my favorite cozy mystery characters - a septuagenarian nun who just happens to be good at solving mysteries. Author Sister Carol Anne O'Marie shakes things up a bit with this book, moving the location from San Francisco to Ireland, and as a result the book has the feeling of a British cozy mystery in the Agatha Christie style. Since the book is set in Ireland, there is no visit from police detectives Dennis Gallagher or Kate Murphy; instead readers get a glimpse into the life of Garda Liam O'Dea. There are a lot of fun things in this book including the Oyster Festival. The mystery itself is well-done with plenty of suspects and red herrings and readers will have a hard time figuring out who the killer is. However, the book has a few flaws - the plot relies a bit too much on Sister Mary Helen being in the right place at the right time and her reason for withholding an important piece of information didn't quite work (she's a bit too meek in this book). However, despite these flaws, this is a very enjoyable cozy mystery.

Fans of cozy mysteries will like "Murder at the Monk's Table".
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