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Ecclesiastical Mysteries

  • Ecclesiastical Mysteries

Ecclesiastical Mysteries, or Nuns on the Run.  In this mystery sub-genre, the church (or synagogue, monastery or convent) or clergy, rabbi, nuns, or monks take center stage in the story.

Sister Pelagia and the White Bulldog

Boris Akunin

“Pelagia’s family likeness to Father Brown and Miss Marple is marked, and reading about her supplies a similarly decorous pleasure.” –The Literary Review In a remote Russian province in the late nineteenth century, Bishop Mitrofanii must deal with a family crisis. After learning that one of his great aunt’s beloved and rare white bulldogs has been poisoned, the Orthodox bishop knows there is only one detective clever enough to investigate the murder: Sister Pelagia. The bespectacled, freckled Pelagia is lively, curious, extraordinarily clumsy, and persistent. At the estate in question, she finds a whole host of suspects, any one of whom might have benefited if the old lady (who changes her will at whim) had expired of grief at the pooch’s demise. There’s Pyotr, the matron’s grandson, a nihilist with a grudge who has fallen for the maid; Stepan, the penniless caretaker, who has sacrificed his youth to the care of the estate; Miss Wrigley, a mysterious Englishwoman who has recently been named sole heiress to the fortune; Poggio, an opportunistic and freeloading “artistic” photographer; and, most intriguingly, Naina, the old lady’s granddaughter, a girl so beautiful she could drive any man to do almost anything. As Pelagia bumbles and intuits her way to the heart of a mystery among people with faith only in greed and desire, she must bear in mind the words of Saint Paul: “Beware of dogs–and beware of evil-doers.” “Critics on both sides of the Atlantic have praised [Akunin’s] clever plots, vivid characters and wit.” –Baltimore Sun “Akunin’s wonderful novels are always intricately webbed and plotted.” –The Providence Journal From the Trade Paperback edition.

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City of Silver

Annamaria Alfieri

In Potosí, the richest city in the Western Hemisphere, Inez de la Morada, the bewitching, cherished daughter of the rich and powerful Mayor, mysteriously dies at the convent of Santa Isabella de los Santos Milagros, where she had fled in defiance of her father. It looks as though the girl committed suicide, but Mother Abbess Maria Santa Hilda believes her innocent and has her buried at the convent in sacred ground. Fray Ubaldo DaTriesta, local Commissioner of the Inquisition, has been keeping an eye on the Abbess, who is too "Protestant" for his tastes, and this action may be just what he needs to convince the lazy, cowardly Bishop to punish her. At the same time, Potosí finds its prosperity threatened. The King of Spain has discovered that the coins the city has been circulating throughout the world are not pure silver and is sending his top prosecutor and the Grand Inquisitor to mete out punishment. With the imminent arrival of the Spanish officials, many have reason to prove their loyalty, and keep hidden the crimes and sins they've committed. With her life at stake, Maria Santa Hilda finds herself in a race against time to prove the true cause of Inez's death, aided by her fellow sisters, a Jesuit priest with a dark secret from his past, and a tomboyish girl who's run to the convent to avoid an unwanted marriage. Together they will discover that Inez was not the girl she seemed, and that greed has no limits. Annamaria Alfieri writes with astounding detail, showing an appreciation for the complexities and social nuances of this intriguing time in Latin American history when politicians, religious leaders, and an indigenous people all competed for power and survival in the thin mountain air of the Andes.

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The Last Cato

Matilde Asensi

A masterful blend of Christian scholarship and thrilling adventure, The Last Cato is a novel about the race to find the secret location of the Vera Cruz, the True Cross on which Christ was crucified, and the ancient brotherhood sworn to protect it. Holy relics are disappearing from sacred spots around the world—and the Vatican will do whatever it takes to stop the thieves from stealing what is left of the scattered splinters of the True Cross. Brilliant paleographer Dr. Ottavia Salina is called upon by the highest levels of the Roman Catholic Church to decipher the scars found on an Ethiopian man's corpse: seven crosses and seven Greek letters. The markings, symbolizing the Seven Deadly Sins, are part of an elaborate initiation ritual for the Staurofilakes, the clandestine brotherhood hiding the True Cross for centuries, headed by a secretive figure called Cato. With the help of a member of the Swiss Guard and a renowned archaeologist, Dr. Salina uncovers the connection between the brotherhood and Dante's Divine Comedy, and races across the globe to Christianity's ancient capitals. Together, they will face challenges that will put their faith—and their very lives—to the ultimate test.

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Pattern crimes

William Bayer

When a young prostitute, an Arab boy, and a nun are slashed and murdered exactly the same way, David Bav-Lev, the head of Jerusalem's Pattern Crime Unit, must solve the case to attain peace

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The Crown

Nancy Bilyeau

Leaving her Dominican Order to stand by a cousin who has been condemned to death by Henry VIII, novice Joanna Stafford and her father are arrested and ordered by the Bishop of Winchester to recover a religious artifact believed to hold a sacred power.

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Vow of Silence

Veronica Black

When Sister Joan of the Order of the Daughters of Compassion is transfered to the convent in Cornwall she goes wth instructions from the Mother Superior to solve the puzzle in the last letter of a dying nun. On the surface, all is sweetness and light in the convent on the moors, but it does not take Joan long to detect that there are som ugly shadows lurking beneath and some very suspicious circumstances to be explained. There is the novice who vanished, and the statue that doesn't fit, and the accident that might not have been an accident at all. And who is the young man hiding in the bracken? In an atmosphere of silence, prayer and increasing menace, Sister Joan, a natural rebel, tries to discover the truth and set it right without violating the vows she has taken. This mystery novel is the first in a series about a modern young woman who has chosen to live under medieval discipline, and finds that only too frequently her two worlds collide.

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The Heretic’s Creed

Fiona Buckley

Ursula Blanchard must acquire a mysterious medieval manuscript in the latest enthralling historical adventure. February, 1577. Sir William Cecil has a dangerous new mission for Ursula Blanchard. He has asked her to visit Stonemoor House on the bleak Yorkshire moors, the home of a group of recusant women led by Abbess Philippa Gould. In their possession is an ancient book, and the Queen's advisor, Dr John Dee, is eager to get hold of it. However, while the Abbess is anxious to sell the book, others such as her half-sister Bella believe it to be heretical and demand that it be burned. It is not Sir William's first attempt to secure the book. His two previous emissaries vanished without trace. What happened to them - and will Ursula suffer the same fate?

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The Cloister

James Carroll

From National Book Award-winning writer James Carroll comes a novel of the timeless love story of Peter Abelard and Héloïse, and its impact on a modern priest and a Holocaust survivor seeking sanctuary in Manhattan. Father Michael Kavanagh is shocked when he sees a friend from his seminary days at the altar of his humble parish in upper Manhattan--a friend who was forced to leave under scandalous circumstances. Compelled to reconsider the past, Father Kavanagh wanders into the medieval haven of the Cloisters and stumbles into a conversation with a lovely and intriguing docent, Rachel Vedette. Having survived the Holocaust and escaped to America, Rachel remains obsessed with her late father's greatest scholarly achievement: a study demonstrating the relationship between the famously discredited monk Peter Abelard and Jewish scholars. Feeling an odd connection with Father Kavanagh, Rachel shares with him the work that cost her father his life. At the center of these interrelated stories is the classic romance between the great philosopher Abelard and his intellectual equal, Héloïse. For Rachel, Abelard is the key to understanding her people's place in history. And for Father Kavanagh, the controversial theologian may be a doorway to understanding the life he himself might have had outside the Church.

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A Drink of Deadly Wine

Kate Charles

Father Gabriel Neville has everything going for him as vicar of St Anne's, Kensington Gardens: intellectual prowess, physical beauty, a happy family life and the prospect of promotion to Archdeacon. But his perfect world is shattered when he receives an anonymous letter that has the power to destroy his career and marriage, by threatening to expose something that no one could possibly know. The only person Gabriel can turn to is David Middleton-Brown, an old friend and a man with a few secrets of his own. Against his better judgement, David comes to London, where his discreet enquiries bring to light a whole host of suspects. There's the eccentric church organist, Miles Taylor; the gossip Mavis Conwell; the disapproving Dawson family; the Churchwarden, Cyril Fitzjames, who's in love with Gabriel's wife Emily; and the charming and talented artist Lucy Kingsley. In his efforts to help Gabriel uncover the blackmailer, David hauls numerous skeletons out of cupboards, and enters into a web of relationships that threaten to shatter his own peace of mind.

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Evil Intent

Kate Charles

After the traumatic end of her relationship with fiancé Adam, the last thing Callie Anson needs is any more emotional turmoil. But it seems she is not destined for a quiet life just yet. Knowing that women in the clergy are still disapproved of in certain quarters, Callie is prepared to face some criticism. But the deep-seated hatred shown by some of her respected male colleagues takes her by surprise. Particularly the spiteful attack made by Father Jonah Adimola, a hard-line conservative Nigerian priest. Luckily, however, her good friend and mentor Frances Cherry is on hand to jump to her defense, But when Father Adimola is found strangled to death the next day and Frances is suspected of the crime, Callie must call upon her faith to steer her through the troubling and violent times ahead and help prove her friend’s innocence. Evil Intent is a gripping crime novel that pitches the reader into a dark world of concealment, power, and deception in the 21st century church.

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Fortune Like the Moon

Alys Clare

It is 1157, and a young nun from Hawkenlye Abbey has been found with her throat slashed. The people of rural Kent are quick to jump to conclusions: Surely the murderer must be one of the felons released by the new king, Richard Plantagenet, as a sign of his goodness and charity. When King Richard dispatches a soldier of fortune, Josse d'Acquin, to investigate the shockingly brutal crime, Josse understands that his true mission is to absolve the king from blame. But neither the king nor Josse has reckoned with the one person who is determined to find the truth at all costs--the remarkable Abbess of Hawkenlye, who ultimately joins with Josse to uncover the menace lurking behind the orderly facade of life in the convent and the surrounding manors. Fortune Like the Moon not only recreates the violence and beauty of medieval times but introduces a truly wonderful new pair of detectives.

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Hangman Blind

Cassandra Clark

In November 1382, the month of the dead, Abbess Hildegard rides out for York from the Abbey of Meaux. This is no ordinary journey—it is a time of rival popes, a boy king, and a shaky peace in the savage aftermath of Wat Tyler's murder—and Hildegard has embarked on a perilous mission to try to secure the future of her priory. Traveling alone, she discovers danger, encountering first a gibbet with five bloodied corpses and then the body of a youth, brutally butchered. Who was the boy, how was he connected to the men hanging from the gibbet, and what do these gruesome deaths mean? Hildegard is determined to uncover the truth, no matter how terrible it may be. When even her childhood home, Castle Hutton, turns out not to be a safe haven from murder, Hildegard realizes she will have to summon all of her courage and wisdom to counter the dark forces that threaten her friends and family as well as her country.

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Now and Then, Amen

Jon Cleary

A nun is found murdered on the steps of the Quality Couch, Sydney's most expensive house of ill repute. She is Sister Mary Magdalene, an idealistic young woman who previously had worked at a mission in Nicaragua. Detective Inspector Scobie Malone, that most human of cops, picks up the trail when he discovers that her real name was Teresa Hourigan-the illegitimate granddaughter of Fingal Hourigan, one of Australia's most powerful businessmen, who is currently entertaining some rich contras at his palatial home. The case leads Malone deep into Hourigan's murky past and threatens to expose the secret the old man has kept since 1929: the reason he hurriedly left Chicago in fear for his life. It also threatens to destroy his ambitions for his son, Archbishop Kerry Hourigan: to become the first-ever Australian pope. But Kerry's fanatical anticommunism has already led him to acts that will fatally endanger his standing in the Vatican.

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Killed at the Whim of a Hat

Colin Cotterill

The launch of a brand new series by the internationally bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Coroner's Lunch With worldwide critical acclaim, Colin Cotterill is one of the most highly regarded "cult favorite" crime writers today. Now, with this new series, starting with Killed at the Whim of a Hat, Cotterill is poised to break into the mainstream. Set in present day rural Thailand, Cotterill is as sharp and witty, yet more engaging and charming, than ever before. Jimm Juree was a crime reporter for the Chiang Mai Daily Mail with a somewhat eccentric family—a mother who might be drifting mentally; a grandfather—a retired cop—who rarely talks; a younger brother obsessed with body-building, and a transgendered, former beauty pageant queen, former older brother. When Jimm is forced to follow her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she's convinced her career—maybe her life—is over. So when a van containing the skeletal remains of two hippies, one of them wearing a hat, is inexplicably unearthed in a local farmer's field, Jimm is thrilled. Shortly thereafter an abbot at a local Buddhist temple is viciously murdered, with the temple's monk and nun the only suspects. Suddenly Jimm's new life becomes somewhat more promising—and a lot more deadly. And if Jimm is to make the most of this opportunity, and unravel the mysteries that underlie these inexplicable events, it will take luck, perseverance, and the help of her entire family. One of Library Journal's Best Mystery Books of 2011

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A Very Private Grave

Donna Fletcher Crow

Felicity Howard, an American woman studying for the Anglican priesthood in Yorkshire, England, finds the tranquility of the monastery shattered when her mentor, Father Dominic, is found murdered and her church history lecturer, Father Antony, is wanted for questioning by the police.

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A Killing on Church Grounds

Barbara Cummings

From the storytelling mind of bestselling mystery and romance author Barbara Cummings comes Sister Mary Agnes - an unforgettable and unlikely heroine. She's a nun lacking in nun-ship, a horrible cook, a worse seamstress, but a crack shot. She talks to God, and He answers her. She's years behind in her promises to Him. She's not the favorite nun of her Reverend Mother, and expects any minute to be packed off to the coldest spot in Rhode Island, where - in the winter months - hell has literally frozen over. To add to her woes, she stumbles on a corpse in the cold cellar, and wrestles another murder victim out of the tub in which she was drowned. When it looks as if her childhood friend will be convicted of the crimes he vehemently denies any part of, she defies her superior and gathers together a rip-roaring roster of mismatched amateur sleuths - including her best friend Sister Mary Winifred, a mob boss, his driver, a monsignor, and Agnes' cop cousin. And if that isn't enough - to turn St. Catherine's on its ear, and help her discover the truth, Sister Agnes can always count on her nice little pearl-handled pistol Barbara Cummings is an award-winning author of thirteen novels (comedy, mystery, romance, and young adult), three short stories, and seven poems. She currently teaches English at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia and lives nearby with her husband of forty-five years.

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Day of Vengeance

Jeanne M. Dams

The new compelling mystery featuring Anglophile Dorothy Martin and her husband, retired policeman Alan Nesbitt . . . Dorothy Martin’s husband, Alan Nesbitt, is heavily involved in the complex and lengthy process of choosing a new bishop for Sherebury Cathedral. The very day that the short list is announced publicly, one of the candidates is found murdered in his own church. With a long list of possible suspects, including Alan himself, Dorothy and Alan start to delve into the history of the victim, hoping to find some clue to a motive for murder. Then a second candidate is found dead, and the case becomes very complicated indeed. Who is murdering England’s clergymen and why . . .?

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Immaculate Heart

Camille DeAngelis

When visiting Ballymorris in Ireland for a funeral, a down-on-his-luck American reporter learns of a story that happened only months after his last visit many years before. A group of four teenagers, three of whom are family friends, claimed to have been visited by the Virgin Mary. Almost twenty years later, one of them denies it ever happened, another has left the small town, never to be heard from again, another has become a nun, and the fourth has been locked away in a psychiatric ward for many years. At the time, news of the visitation brought much wealth and tourism to this dreary Irish town, but as the years went by, and after the Pope refused to officially recognize it as a true Marian Apparition, what had been seen as a miracle began to feel like a curse, and this reporter believes there is more to the story than the townspeople are letting on. As he seeks out each of the four stories, each begins to take a different and sinister turn. Surrounded by secrecy and confusion, the journalist must decide how much of what he's uncovering is the truth, how much of it is lies, and much he can trust the four witnesses-one of whom he's become infatuated with-or for that matter, himself. Immaculate Heart is a novel where nothing is certain and everything should be questioned. Camille DeAngelis will leave you guessing what is real and what is only just a vision.

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Souls of Angels

Thomas Eidson

Ten years after fleeing her troubled family to become a nun in India, Ria Lugo returns to Los Angeles in 1882 to fulfill a deathbed promise to her mother to protect her domineering father, eccentric patriarch Don Maximiato Lugo, who has been accused of killing a local prostitute, but her search for the truth is complicated by unknown perils and by her father's increasingly erratic behavior. Reprint.

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Sign of the Cross

Anne Emery

Monty Collins is a sharp-tongued public defender who just wants to represent an upstanding character for a change. A priest with something to hide isn't quite what he had hoped for, but when the literate, arrogant, and tight-lipped Father Brennan Burke is implicated in the strange murder of a young woman, Monty doesn't just take the case—the case takes him. When Burke won't come clean, Monty is forced to play private detective, traveling into his client's past. Things look good for the case until another body is found, marked with the same telltale sign as the first. Burke keeps mum, alternate suspects are ruled out, and the trial looks like it might be lost before deliberation. As if it couldn't get any worse, Monty's wisecracking ex-wife enters the picture, and she seems to know more about Burke than Monty does. Evidence and coincidence pile up, leading to a revelation neither Monty nor the reader see coming.

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Blood on the Bones (Rafferty & Llewellyn British Mysteries, #9)

Geraldine Evans

'Clever plotting and polished prose make for a cracking good British police procedural.' B00KLIST A Little Laughter. A Little Mayhem. A Little MURDER... 'Crackling Crime Mystery with Depth and Laughs.’ READER REVIEWER Lapsed Catholic British Detective Joe Rafferty is dismayed that his latest murder investigation should centre around the local RC Convent, where a dead (male) body has been discovered in a shallow grave. The nuns' order is an enclosed, contemplative one, and access to their house and grounds, with its surrounding 8-foot-high walls, far from simple. But Rafferty, unlike his Sergeant, Dafyd Llewellyn, who isn't prejudiced by a rigid Catholic schooling, finds it easy as sin to believe that this is an inside job, and that the religious are as capable of murder as other frail mortals. As if to punish him for his blasphemy, the spiteful fates take the opportunity to add some mischief sure to cause Rafferty palpitations. Because amongst his list of 'holy' suspects is his Parish priest and personal bête-noire, Father Roberto Kelly. Turns out the determinedly soul-saving, uber-hypocritical, 'greatest sinner in the parish', is the nuns' confessor. As if all that's not enough for Detective Rafferty to cope with, he is also beset by personal problems of a blackmailing nature, stemming from one of his previous investigations that has come back to haunt him… Rafferty has to dig deep into the past and the mores of an earlier generation to find the killer, and into his own recent past to identify his blackmailer. If only the latter didn't involve considering his sins, which was too akin to the youthful Rafferty's experiences in the Confessional Box for comfort. Get your copy of Blood on the Bones now! RAFFERTY & LLEWELLYN MYSTERY SERIES Dead Before Morning #1 Down Among the Dead Men #2 Death Line #3 The Hanging Tree #4 Absolute Poison #5 Dying For You #6 Bad Blood #7 Love Lies Bleeding #8 Blood on the Bones #9 A Thrust to the Vitals #10 Death Dues #11 All the Lonely People #12 Death Dance #13 Deadly Reunion #14 Kith and Kill #15 Asking For It #16 The Spanish Connection #17 ’A fun read.’ WEBSITE/BLOG: http://geraldineevansbooks.wordpress.com NEWSLETTER SIGN-UP LINK: http://eepurl.com/AKjSj

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Day of Confession

Allan Folsom

A heart-thumping whirlwind of action, suspense & murder that reaches deep into the highest levels of Vatican power & uncovers a demonic scheme to massacre hundreds of thousands of Chinese in an attempt to establish a new Holy Roman Empire on the Chinese mainland in the twenty-first century.

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Quiet as a Nun

Antonia Fraser

"A judicious mixture of puzzle, excitement, and terror."--P.D. James

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The Novice’s Tale

Margaret Frazer

It is the year of Our Lord's grace 1431, and the nuns of England's St. Frideswide sweetly chant their Paternosters behind gracious, trellised walls. But their quiet lives are shattered by the unwelcome visit of the hard-drinking, blaspheming dowager Lady Ermentrude, with her retinue of lusty maids and men, baying hounds, and even a pet monkey in tow. The lady demands wine, a feast, and her niece, the frail and saintly novice Thomasine. What she gets is her own strange and sudden death. Sister Frevisse, hosteler of the priory and amateur sleuth, fears murder. The most likely suspect is pious Thomasine . . . but Frevisse alone detects a clever web spun to entangle an innocent nun in the most unholy of passions—and the deadliest of deeds.

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Not As Far As Velma

Nicolas Freeling

A young widow goes missing. An old Polish Jewish artist turns up in a hotel register even though he has never set foot in the tiny hotel. A bomb is placed in a local convent, and a frightening sum of money is left in a Swiss bank account. Henri Castang investigates and is pulled into seething church politics in an ingenious and dramatic web of deception.

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Saint Brigid’s Bones

Philip Freeman

In ancient Ireland, Sister Deirdre sets out to find the stolen bones of her convent's patron saint, a task that will require her to use all her skills as a nun, as well as those she learned being raised as a bard by her druid grandmother.

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Bury the Bishop

Kate Gallison

Episcopal vicar Lavinia Grey had trouble enough holding her poverty-stricken church together, what with the old parishioners dying off , the young ones consumed with emotional problems, and the neighboring priest coveting her church windows. But things got much worse when her bishop was found dead at the diocesan convention, and the clues all pointed straight to Mother Vinnie. Mystery by Kate Gallison, first of the Mother Lavinia Grey series; originally published by Dell

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A Miracle in Paradise

Carolina Garcia-aguilera

Hired to confirm reports of a pending "miracle" in Miami, Lupe Solano ventures into the Cuban-American community in search of answers to a sacred mystery and a killer who has just left a body on the city's streets. Reprint.

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No Human Enemy

John Gardner

With southern England under siege following the D-Day landings from Hitler's V-1 flying bombs, Suzie Mountford of the Reserve Squad and her boss and lover, Tommy Livermore, are called in when one of the weapons lands on a Camberwell convent, only to find themselves caught in the middle of feuding families and a Nazi plot to end the war in their favor. 15,000 first printing.

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The Assassini

Thomas Gifford

After the murder of his sister--a troublemaking nun killed while praying in a Princeton chapel--lawyer Ben Driskill investigates, uncovering the deaths of eight others, all of whom were murdered by a brotherhood of killers hired to protect the Church from scandal

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Nun in the Closet

Dorothy Gilman

From the bestselling author of the Mrs. Pollifax books comes a new mystery habit to acquire. From the moment Sister John and Sister Hyacinthe reach the old house left to their abbey by a mysterious benefactor, their cloistered world begins to crumble. First, there is the wounded man hiding in the house, then the suitcase stuffed with money sitting at the bottom of the well, not to mention fearful apparitions in the night. Lord only knows what's going on. That is, until the good sisters, armed only with their faith and boundless energy, set things right--even if it means a shocking revelation or two about ghosts, gangsters...and murder.

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Happy are the Merciful

Andrew M. Greeley

The prosecutor who sent Clare Turner to jail for murdering her adoptive parents begins to doubt the conviction and confesses to Bishop "Blackie" Ryan, who must find the real killer before he becomes the next victim. Original.

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White Smoke

Andrew M. Greeley

The cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church have gathered in Rome for the papal election following the death of the incumbent pope. Torn by internal conflict and with many of its members alienated, the Church faces one of the most serious crises in its history. A coalition of cardinals favors a more moderate and pluralistic style of papal governance, but must contend with shadowy Vatican forces that oppose change and loss of their own power. These forces are determined to destory the coalition's candidate, a gentle and brilliant Spanish scholar. The leader of the coalition is Chicago's wily Sean Cardinal Cronin, aided by his patently indispensable sidekick, Bishop John Blackwood "Blackie" Ryan. A lone assassin stalks the Vatican, his crazed mission: to destroy the next pope as soon as the traditional white smoke issues from the cardinals' meeting room--the Sistine Chapel--followed by the ancient words Habemus papam. Can politics--Chicago style--turn the Catholic Church around? What will happen when the next pope must be chosen? Only Andrew M. Greeley, priest, bestselling novelist, and respected sociologist could have written this blockbuster tale of the forces actually ripping the Church apart, and of the next papal election, when the fate of the entire Catholic Church itself may well hang in the balance.

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Thy Brother’s Wife

Andrew M. Greeley

The direction of Paul and Sean Cronin's lives was shaped the day their father, a self-made multimillionaire, decided that one of his boys would grow up to be a cardinal while the other would become president of the United States. For his elder son, Paul, the father had even chosen a wife—the beautiful Nora, who had come to the Cronin home as an orphan child years before. Obediently, and with a genuine vocation, the younger son, Sean, went into the priesthood. With a more cynical view, Paul went to Notre Dame to prepare for a life in politics until the Korean War intervened. Then came the news—Paul Cronin was missing in action. "If he dies," Sean's father told him, "you must leave the seminary and marry Nora." The words sang in Sean's head. Could he renounce his sacred calling—and marry the girl he had always loved? Long out of print, Thy Brother's Wife is a classic tale by one of America's most loved storytellers. At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

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A Great Day for the Deadly

Jane Haddam

As St. Patrick’s Day nears, a retired FBI agent must solve a sinful crime near a small-town convent: “[An] engrossing murder case . . . enjoyable” (Publishers Weekly). Her childhood friends wanted careers, but Brigit Ann Reilly spent her youth looking forward to her wedding—her wedding to God. When she finally gets to don the habit, her new order sends her to Maryville, where a former sister is poised to become Rome’s first Irish-American saint. Brigit has no time to worry about Vatican politics. She’s about to become a martyr herself. Brigit is found dead in the basement of her local library, her corpse swarming with ten poisonous water moccasins. When ex-FBI investigator Gregor Demarkian hears of her death, he is puzzled by two things: Water moccasins are not native to upstate New York, and Brigit died of hemlock poisoning, not the snakes’ venom. As Maryville whips itself into a pious frenzy in search of evidence for its hometown hero’s sainthood, Demarkian will attempt his own miracle by finding justice for the murdered young nun.

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Yom Kippur Murder

Lee Harris

When ex-nun Christine Bennett can't get into her friend Mr. Herskovitz's apartment to accompany him to Yom Kippur services, she discovers that he's been murdered. The police arrest someone almost immediately, but Chris isn't ready to end her own investigation . . . From the Paperback edition.

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A Shameful Murder

Cora Harrison

Introducing the Reverend Mother Aquinas in the first of a brand-new historical mystery series. Cork, Ireland. 1923. When, one wet March morning, Reverend Mother Aquinas discovers a body at the gate of the convent chapel washed up after a flood ‘like a mermaid in gleaming silver satin’, she immediately sends for one of her former pupils, Police Sergeant Patrick Cashman, to investigate. Dead bodies are not unusual in the poverty-stricken slums of Cork city, but this one is dressed in evening finery; in her handbag is a dance programme for the exclusive Merchant’s Ball held the previous evening – and a midnight ticket for the Liverpool ferry. Against the backdrop of a country in the midst of Ireland’s Civil War, the Reverend Mother, together with Sergeant Cashman and Dr Sher, an enlightened physician and friend, seek out the truth as to the identity of the victim – and her killer.

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Glittering Images

Susan Howatch

Charged by Canterbury with the spiritual monitoring of a wayward bishop, Dr. Charles Ashworth, a young, driven Anglican minister, encounters a genteel world whose deeply embedded apostasy forces him to confront his own inner demons

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As Death Draws Near

Anna Lee Huber

In this historical mystery from the national bestselling author of A Brush with Shadows, Lady Kiera Darby and Sebastian Gage get tangled in a dangerous web of religious and political intrigue. July 1831. In the midst of their idyllic honeymoon in England's Lake District, Kiera and Gage's seclusion is soon interrupted by a missive from her new father-in-law. A deadly incident involving a distant relative of the Duke of Wellington has taken place at an abbey south of Dublin, Ireland, and he insists that Kiera and Gage look into the matter. Intent on discovering what kind of monster could murder a woman of the cloth, the couple travel to Rathfarnham Abbey school. Soon a second nun is slain in broad daylight near a classroom full of young girls. With the sinful killer growing bolder, the mother superior would like to send the students home, but the growing civil unrest in Ireland would make the journey treacherous. Before long, Kiera starts to suspect that some of the girls may be hiding a sinister secret. With the killer poised to strike yet again, Kiera and Gage must make haste and unmask the fiend, before their matrimonial bliss comes to an untimely end...

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Death in Holy Orders

P. D. James

From the award-winning master of literary crime fiction, a classic work rich in tense drama and psychological insight. On the East Anglian seacoast, a small theological college hangs precariously on an eroding shoreline and an equally precarious future. When the body of a student is found buried in the sand, the boy’s influential father demands that Scotland Yard investigate. Enter Adam Dalgliesh, a detective who loves poetry, a man who has known loss and discovery. The son of a parson, and having spent many happy boyhood summers at the school, Dalgliesh is the perfect candidate to look for the truth in this remote, rarified community of the faithful–and the frightened. And when one death leads to another, Dalgliesh finds himself steeped in a world of good and evil, of stifled passions and hidden pasts, where someone has cause not just to commit one crime but to begin an unholy order of murder. . . . “Gracefully sculpted prose and [a] superbly executed mystery . . . Death in Holy Orders is among [James’s] most remarkable and accomplished Dalgliesh novels.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer “An elegant work about hope, death, and the alternately redemptive and destructive nature of love.” –The Miami Herald “Absorbing . . . [James’s] plotting and characterization [are] impeccable.” –Orlando Sentinel “P. D. James is in top form.” –The Boston Globe Open the exclusive dossier at the back of this book, featuring P. D. James’ essay on penning the perfect detective novel.

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The Last Templar

Michael Jecks

Paris, 1307. A Knight Templar weeps as he watches his friends, broken by torture, go to their deaths at the stake. Pope Clement has destroyed the Order, persuaded of corruption within it. All that remains is the desire for vengeance against those who defiled the Order’s name. Devon 1316. Simon Puttock is the newly appointed bailiff of Lydford Castle, but has little experience of violence. A charred body is found in a burned-out cottage, and only the new lord, Sir Baldwin de Furnshill, deduces that the victim was dead before the fire began. Together, Simon and Baldwin begin to piece together the events of the man’s last days. Then word comes of another murder, and this time the victim was burned alive…

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The Inquisitor

Catherine Jinks

I hereby record those events which took place in and around the city of Lazet relating to the assassination of our venerable Brother Augustin Duese in the year of the Incarnate Word, 1318. So writes Brother Bernard, an Inquisitor of Heretical Depravity, following the discovery of his superior's dismembered corpse. At a time when heresy is a heinous offence, routed out with ruthless determination, Brother Bernard is accustomed to dispensing harsh justice. But as he attempts to make sense of this shocking crime, he himself becomes an object of persecution-thanks to his passionate involvement with a mysterious suspect and her beautiful daughter. Pursued as a heretic, implicated as a murderer, Bernard must now face his accusers. To fail such a task, in fourteenth century France, means certain death. Catherine Jinks has crafted a magnificent tale of murder, forbidden lust and betrayal.

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Shadow of Death

Alison Joseph

Trawling through piles of tatty Victoriana and mawkish lives of the saints in the library at the Order of Bermondsey, Sister Agnes discovers the seventeenth-century Hawker archive, a collection of hand-written journals telling the story of Alice, her husband Nicolas and their son who died in infancy. The story seems to haunt the present, as the line between past and present grows hazy. Agnes becomes convinced there must be a connection with the Hawker archives, and she must hurry to protect an innocent child and lay some ghosts to rest.

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The Convent

Panos Karnezis

A spellbinding, major new novel from one of Britain's finest young writers. A taut, suspenseful tale of an unexpected arrival at a Spanish convent and the intrigue that ensues among the order. Those whom God wishes to destroy he first makes mad... The crumbling convent of Our Lady of Mercy stands alone in an uninhabited part of the Spanish sierra, hidden on a hill among dense pine forest. Its inhabitants are devoted to God, to solitude and silence; six women cut off from the world they've chosen to leave behind. This is all to change, on the day that Mother Superior Maria Ines discovers a suitcase punctured with air-holes at the entrance to the retreat. Soon she is to find the box and its contents are to have consequences beyond her imagining, and that even in her carefully protected sanctuary she is unable to keep the world, or her past, at bay. The Convent is storytelling at its very best: enthralling, highly readable and wonderfully atmospheric. From the Hardcover edition.

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The Rosary Murders

William X. Kienzle

Wily, young, and worldly Father Robert Koesler faces agonizing choices as he becomes involved in the events of a dead priest and a dead nun

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Devil-Devil

Graeme Kent

Sergeant Ben Kella of the Solomon Islands Police Force, who also happens to be a local spiritual peacekeeper, teams up with American nun Sister Conchita to solve a series of bizarre murders. A first novel.

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The Marriage Test

Betina M. Krahn

A true culinary genius in the kitchen at the Convent of the Brides of Virtue, Julia of Childress, under the strict guidelines of the abbess, becomes the personal chef to Griffin de Grandaise, who vows to keep her virtue intact, but her delectable concoctions lead him down a path of sin. Original.

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Enter Second Murderer

Alanna Knight

Detective Inspector Faro has reopened the case of the 'Gruesome Convent Murders' for which one murderer has already been caught and executed, although he claimed to be innocent of the second murder. Faro's stepson Vince is determined to help with the detection. Behind the middle - class exterior of Victorian Edinburgh society lie betrayal and greed. The list of prime suspects is long because many had good reason for silencing the lovely, exotic, and amoral Lily Goldie, and even a police colleague is under suspicion. Alanna Knight is still writing new mysteries and has just written her fiftieth novel. 'Enter Second Murderer' is the first in the series featuring Detective Inspector Faro.

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Dante Game

Jane Langton

Quietly in Their Sleep

Donna Leon

A nun has left her convent after a series of suspicious deaths: “Leon’s novels are always a pleasure.” —The Washington Post In Venice, Italy, Commissario Guido Brunetti comes to the aid of a young Catholic sister, who has left her convent after five of her nursing home patients died unexpectedly. In the course of his inquiries, Brunetti encounters an unusual cast of characters, but discovers nothing that seems criminal. The police detective must determine whether the nun is simply creating a smoke screen to justify abandoning her vocation—or if she has stumbled onto something very real and very sinister that places her own life in imminent danger. “Leon’s books shimmer in the grace of their setting and are warmed by the charm of their characters.” —The New York Times Book Review Also published under the title The Death of Faith

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Counterparts

Gonzalo Lira

When Sister Marianne, a nun with a past, becomes the target of an assassin, FBI agent and single mother Margaret Chisholm teams up with CIA agent Nicholas Denton to uncover an international intrigue leading to the Vatican

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And Then There Were Nuns

Kylie Logan

The national bestselling author of The Legend of Sleepy Harlow returns to South Bass Island, where the League of Literary Ladies has to find out who’s killing off nuns. B and B owner Bea Cartwright has taken on the responsibility of taking meals to ten visiting nuns, who are on retreat at the Water’s Edge Center for Spirit and Renewal on picturesque South Bass Island on Lake Erie. But the peace of the retreat is shattered when one of the nuns is found at the water’s edge—murdered. And when a second nun is killed, Bea and the other members of the League of Literary Ladies—Chandra, Kate, and Luella—start to wonder about eerie parallels with the Agatha Christie mystery classic, And Then There Were None. Since Bea has the trust of the sisters, the local chief of police asks her and the other Literary Ladies to interview each of them. Expecting a confession may be asking for a miracle, but Bea hopes she can at least find the killer before another nun gets crossed off the guest list...

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Force of Habit

Alice Loweecey

Giulia Falcone is convinced she's going to Hell. First, because she left the convent. Second, her new job with a private investigator has her sneaking around and lying. Adjusting to life in the outside world isn't easy. Makeup, dating, and sex are all new to her. And despite a crush on her boss Frank Driscoll—a foul-mouthed, soft-hearted ex-cop—Giulia is sure he'd never fall for an ex-nun. Her first case involves drop-dead handsome Blake Parker, a man with immense wealth and an ego to match. He and his fiancée are getting disturbing "gifts" with messages based on biblical verses. When Giulia is drawn into the stalker's twisted game, salacious photos of her appear, threatening her job and her friendship with Frank. No one imagines—least of all naïve Giulia—the danger ahead, when following the clues turns into a fight for her life. Book one in the dangerously habit-forming Falcone & Driscoll Investigation series Praise: "A spirited debut...her fresh take on crime fighting is a delight."—Publishers Weekly "Loweecey will have a wonderful opportunity in future books in this series to further develop these characters...[fall] in love with what is sure to be a hit series."—Suspense Magazine

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A Demon Summer

G. M. Malliet

*Nominated for the 2014 Agatha Award* Agatha Award-winning author G. M. Malliet has charmed mystery lovers, cozy fans, and Agatha Christie devotees everywhere with Wicked Autumn, A Fatal Winter, and Pagan Spring, the critically acclaimed mysteries featuring handsome former-spy-turned-cleric Father Max Tudor. In A Demon Summer, someone has been trying to poison the 15th Earl of Lislelivet. Since Lord Lislelivet has a gift for making enemies, no one—particularly his wife—finds this too surprising. What is surprising is that the poison was discovered in a fruitcake made and sold by the Handmaids of St. Lucy of Monkbury Abbey. Max Tudor, vicar of Nether Monkslip and former MI5 agent, is asked to investigate. But just as Max comes to believe the poisoning was accidental, a body is discovered in the cloister well. G.M. Malliet continues to delight readers in this standout mystery, the fourth book in her clever and engaging Max Tudor series.

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The Fifth Woman

Henning Mankell

From the #1 international-bestselling master of Scandinavian noir: a “marvelously told mystery” of murder in Sweden and corruption in Africa (Austin American-Statesman). In an African convent, four nuns and an unidentified fifth woman are found with their throats slit. The local police do little to investigate . . . and cover up the unknown woman’s death. A year later in Sweden, Holger Eriksson, a retired car dealer and birdwatcher, is skewered to death after falling into a pit of carefully sharpened bamboo poles. Soon after, the body of a missing florist is discovered strangled and tied to a tree. Baffled and appalled by the crimes, the only clues Inspector Kurt Wallander has to go on are a skull, a diary, and a photo of three men. What ensues is a complex, meticulously plotted investigation that will push the detective to his limits. The key is the unsolved killing of the fifth woman in Africa—who was she, and what did she have to do with the brutal deaths of two seemingly innocent men? Are more victims in danger? The answers will lead Wallander to question everything he thought he knew about the psychology of murder. An international bestseller, this “scary and cunning tale” (Rocky Mountain News) “achieves the satisfying density of plot and characterization” (The Baltimore Sun) that established Henning Mankell as one of the twentieth-century’s finest crime writers. His Kurt Wallander mysteries are now the basis for the hit TV show Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh.

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A Matter of Roses

David Manuel

When the prominent and much loved scientist Maurice Tomlinson dies of bee stings at a time of year when bees are dormant, many suspect foul play. Soon, Police Chief Dan Burke is on the case with the help of his childhood friend Brother Bartholomew.

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Blood Sisters

Graham Masterton

Katie Maguire never thought Ireland's nuns would need her protection... In a nursing home on the outskirts of Cork, an elderly nun has been suffocated in her sleep. It looks like a mercy-killing – until another sister from the same convent is found floating in the Glashaboy river. The nuns were good women, doing God's work. Why would anyone want to kill them? But then a child's skull is unearthed in the garden of the nuns' convent, and DS Katie Maguire discovers a fifty-year-old secret that just might lead her to the killer... if the killer doesn't find her first.

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Her Death of Cold

Ralph McInerny

Father Dowling must turn detective when his parish, which has remained undisturbed by the highways that roar past it to Chicago, becomes the scene of a chilling murder

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St Peter’s Finger

Gladys Mitchell

A VINTAGE MURDER MYSTERY Rediscover Gladys Mitchell – one of the 'Big Three' female crime fiction writers alongside Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Mrs Bradley, renowned psychologist and private detective, is summoned to the convent school of St Peter’s Finger, where a girl’s body has been found in a bathtub – did Ursula kill herself, or, as the nuns fear, is a murderer at large in the school? Opinionated, unconventional, unafraid... If you like Poirot and Miss Marple, you’ll love Mrs Bradley.

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Falconer’s Judgement

Ian Morson

In the mists of Oxford, Regent Master William Falconer, philosopher and amateur sleuth, searches for the whereabouts of his mentor, Roger Bacon. But political chaos is about to explode. The Papal Legatee's brother is killed during a student riot. Now, the man of reason must enter a labyrinth of madness--where ambition, deceit, and murder are the order of the day. Martin's Press.

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A Psalm for Falconer

Ian Morson

In 13th century Oxford, Regent Master William Falconer witnesses the recovery of a body from a sandbank--a body that is soon identified as that of a monk who disappeared over fifteen years ago.

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The Eight

Katherine Neville

The “fascinating” #1 international bestseller of a quest across centuries by two intrepid women to reunite the pieces of a powerful, ancient chess set (Los Angeles Times Book Review). A fabulous, bejeweled chess set that belonged to Charlemagne has been buried in a Pyrenees abbey for a thousand years. As the bloody French Revolution rages in Paris, the nuns dig it up and scatter its pieces across the globe because, when united, the set contains a secret power that could topple civilizations. To keep the set from falling into the wrong hands, two novices, Valentine and Mireille, embark on an adventure that begins in the streets of Paris and leads to Russia, Egypt, Corsica, and into the heart of the Algerian Sahara. Two hundred years later, while on assignment in Algeria, computer expert Catherine Velis finds herself drawn unwillingly into the deadly “Game” still swirling around the legendary chess set—a game that will require her to risk her life and match wits with diabolical forces. This ebook features an illustrated biography of Katherine Neville including rare images from her life and travels.

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Death Comes as Epiphany

Sharan Newman

Set in twelfth-century France, a historical thriller follows Catherine LeVendeur as she travels across the land tracking down evil priests, stolen jewels, and heretical manuscript

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Blind Sight

Carol O'Connell

A blind child and a Catholic nun disappear from a city sidewalk in plain sight of onlookers. When the nun's body and three other corpses are found on the lawn of New York City's mayor, it will take all of Detective Mallory's skills to stop a stone killer. Tall Premium Edition.P. Putnam's Sons.

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Novena for Murder

Sister Carol Anne O'Marie

Readers have come to delight in the murder-solving exploits of septuagenarian Sister Mary Helen, a nun with a nose for trouble. Publishers Weekly calls the Sister Mary Helen Mysteries "refreshingly different". Once you meet this spry, clever sleuth, you'll want to make a habit of reading her adventures again and again. Sister Mary Helen isn't ready for retirement. Instead she's arrived at a San Francisco women's college to teach history and perhaps shake things up. An earthquake does that before she can, and amid the rubble lies a body. An "Act of God" is not responsible for the death, but rather murder. One of Sister Helen's fellow nuns begins a novena to St. Dismas, "the Good Thief" predicting the saint will reveal the murderer within nine days. Sure enough the police soon nab a suspect...but Sister Mary Helen believes it's the wrong man and begins her own pursuit of the killer. Her motive is justice...and her inspiration, simply divine.

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Skeleton God

Eliot Pattison

In Eliot Pattison's Skeleton God, Shan Tao Yun, now the reluctant constable of a remote Tibetan town, has learned to expect the impossible at the roof of the world, but nothing has prepared him for his discovery when he investigates a report that a nun has been savagely assaulted by ghosts. In an ancient tomb by the old nun lies a gilded saint buried centuries earlier, flanked by the remains of a Chinese soldier killed fifty years before and an American man murdered only hours earlier. Shan is thrust into a maelstrom of intrigue and contradiction. The Tibetans are terrified, the notorious Public Security Bureau wants nothing to do with the murders, and the army seems determined to just bury the dead again and Shan with them. No one wants to pursue the truth–except Shan, who finds himself in a violent collision between a heartbreaking, clandestine effort to reunite refugees from Tibet separated for decades and a covert corruption investigation that reaches to the top levels of the government in Beijing, China. The terrible secret Shan uncovers changes his town and his life forever.

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The Seville Communion

Global Dogan

SUMMARY: A“diabolically good” hacker puts a message on the pope’s computer, pleading for him to save a seventeenth-century Spanish church—a church that is killing to defend itself.Although Our Lady of the Tears is but a crumbling baroque building in the heart of Seville, it is also the center of a multilayered mystery—one that will force ecclesiastical sleuth Father Lorenzo Quart to question his loyalty, his vow of chastity, and his faith itself.

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A Morbid Taste For Bones

Ellis Peters

In 1137, the Abbot of Shrewsbury decides to acquire the remains of St Winifred. Brother Cadfael is part of the expedition sent to her final resting place in Wales and they find the villagers passionately divided by the Benedictines' offer for the saint's relics.

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The Nun’s Tale

Candace Robb

In 1366 England, the frustrating case of a young woman who claims to be the resurrected Joanna Calverley, a nun who had died some months before, is given to Owen Archer, but rather than investigate, Owen must protect his wife and unborn child from Dame Joanna. Reprint. PW.

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Black Lotus

Laura Joh Rowland

In September of 1693, the Black Lotus Temple, spiritual center for hundreds of Buddhist nuns, monks, priests, and orphans, is burned to the ground leaving three dead and one orphan running for cover. Veteran samurai-detective Sano Ichiro, the Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations and People, is called on to investigate the incident. He quickly discovers that despite appearances, the victims did not die in the fire: they were brutally murdered before the fire even began. With a triple homicide on his hands, Sano's search for a killer leads him to Haru, the orphan girl found at the scene of the crime. But Sano's wife Reiko, investigating the case against Sano's wishes, is convinced of Haru's innocence. Reiko's investigation leads her behind the walls of the Black Lotus Temple. It is within these walls that she discovers a sect involved in extortion, prostitution, and hedonistic rituals. Could one of the sect's members be the killer? Will Reiko risk her marriage to Sano in order to prove Haru's innocence? Set in the luscious finery of the samurai court of medieval Japan, this latest installment in the best-selling series by Laura Joh Rowland, is filled with shocking surprises and suspense as readers are once again allowed access into the world of Sano Ichiro.

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Wine of Violence

Priscilla Royal

With a Foreword by Sharon Kay Penman. It's summer 1270, and England is as weary as its aging king, Henry III. The Simon de Montfort rebellion is over, and in the small priory of Tyndall on the remote East Anglian coast, the monks and nuns of the Order of Fontevraud long to return to their tranquil routine. But then the young, inexperienced Eleanor of Wynethorpe is appointed their new prioress. It's a political move and not popular. The day after she takes up her office, a brutally murdered monk is found in the cloister gardens. Then Brother Thomas arrives. Sent to investigate the Order's shaky finances, the young priest is also paying the price for a crime that could see him burn. As Thomas battles to accept his new life, Eleanor, struggling to gain the respect of her terrified and resentful flock, must cope with violence, lust, and greed to find a vicious killer.

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Sidney Chambers and The Shadow of Death

James Runcie

The first of the Grantchester Mysteries, and the inspiration for the primetime PBS/Masterpiece television series, Grantchester. It is 1953, the coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II . Sidney Chambers, vicar of Grantchester and honorary canon of Ely Cathedral, is a thirty-two-year-old bachelor. Tall, with dark brown hair, eyes the color of hazelnuts, and a reassuringly gentle manner, Sidney is an unconventional clerical detective. He can go where the police cannot. Together with his roguish friend, inspector Geordie Keating, Sidney inquires into the suspect suicide of a Cambridge solicitor, a scandalous jewelry theft at a New Year's Eve dinner party, the unexplained death of a jazz promoter's daughter, and a shocking art forgery that puts a close friend in danger. Sidney discovers that being a detective, like being a clergyman, means that you are never off duty, but he nonetheless manages to find time for a keen interest in cricket, warm beer, and hot jazz-as well as a curious fondness for a German widow three years his junior. With a whiff of Agatha Christie and a touch of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown, The Grantchester Mysteries introduces a wonderful new hero into the world of detective fiction.

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Nightside

Soledad Santiago

A former nun, Anna Eltern has dedicated her life to the teenage runaways who populate the Time Square area, and she has her hands full when a teenage prostitute is murdered and another accuses her of sexual misconduct.

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A Deadly Habit

Andrea Sisco

Penelope is a probation officer. When her big shot lawyer ex-husband is murdered, she's the primary suspect. She decides to take charge of the case-- and manges to dig herself deeper into trouble.

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Death Wore Gloves

Ross H. Spencer

A Chicago PI faces a deadly world of femme fatales and not-so-saintly nuns in this crime novel from a “wild, shrewd, mad, and unexpectedly funny” author (The New York Times). When Sister Rosetta’s niece goes missing, the nun (whose favorite poison is anything bottle-bound and boozy) hires shifty PI Tut Willow to find dear Gladys. But as Tut pulls back the curtain on Gladys’ checkered past—which includes a few racy pictures that’d make a sailor blush—he also discovers that someone doesn’t want her found. And soon bodies start piling up. Is Sister Rosetta behind the deaths of those out to harm her niece . . . or are Tut and Gladys just pawns in a much darker game? Full of laugh-out-loud comedy and the darkest of intrigue, Death Wore Gloves is “a lively story, both in and out of bed” from an author with “a keen sense of humor and a sharp writing style . . . Top of the line, this one is” (The New York Times). “This book could have played well at Minsky’s.” —Publishers Weekly “There is something of Donald E. Westlake in Mr. Spencer’s makeup. Like Mr. Westlake, he revels in absurdities that perhaps turn out to be not so absurd after all.” —The New York Times

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In the Bleak Midwinter

Julia Spencer-Fleming

It's a cold, snowy December in the upstate New York town of Millers Kill, and newly ordained Clare Fergusson is on thin ice as the first female priest of its small Episcopal church. The ancient regime running the parish covertly demands that she prove herself as a leader. However, her blunt manner, honed by years as an army pilot, is meeting with a chilly reception from some members of her congregation and Chief of Police Russ Van Alystyne, in particular, doesn't know what to make of her, or how to address "a lady priest" for that matter. The last thing she needs is trouble, but that is exactly what she finds. When a newborn baby is abandoned on the church stairs and a young mother is brutally murdered, Clare has to pick her way through the secrets and silence that shadow that town like the ever-present Adirondack mountains. As the days dwindle down and the attraction between the avowed priest and the married police chief grows, Clare will need all her faith, tenacity, and courage to stand fast against a killer's icy heart. In the Bleak Midwinter is one of the most outstanding Malice Domestic winners the contest has seen. The compelling atmosphere-the kind of very cold and snowy winter that is typical of upstate New York-will make you reach for another sweater. The characters are fully and believably drawn and you will feel like they are your old friends and find yourself rooting for them every step of the way.

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Mortal Grace

Edward Stewart

Murder and religion collide in this compulsively readable police procedural by the bestselling author of Privileged Lives and Deadly Rich Suffer the children . . . The first body is found in a hamper in the woods. Her feet were tied with a leather belt. There are traces of incense on her dismembered body, candle wax on her skin, and strange crumbs on her lips. As more butchered adolescent corpses turn up—the victims of a serial killer whose signature is the communion wafer left in each one’s mouth—the evidence leads NYPD lieutenant Vince Cardozo into the sacred and moneyed world of Manhattan’s exclusive parishes. Desperate to find the monster who preys on vulnerable runaways, Cardozo uncovers a conspiracy that reaches to the city’s highest levels of power.

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A Sudden Death at the Norfolk Café

Winona Sullivan

A new entry in the popular nun-as-private-eye genre, as an award-winning mystery series starring Sister Cecile continues

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Crooked Heart

Cristina Sumners

From a luminous new voice in suspense fiction comes this wise, witty, and uplifting novel--a mystery with heart that will illuminate more than just whodunit and why. In her stunning debut, Cristina Sumners, an Episcopalian priest brings to life an unforgettable town, a less-than-perfect crime, and two flawed souls hoping to solve the mysteries of life, death...and possibly even love. Life isn’t easy for Tom Holder. Middle-aged, appallingly married, and bored out of his wits, Tom is Chief of Police in Harton--an idyllic New Jersey town where, in spite of its eccentric cast of characters, nothing ever seems to happen. His dreary routine is brightened only by his visits to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, where he can be sure of seeing the clever Reverend Kathryn Koerney, with whom he is secretly and hopelessly smitten. Tom is quietly wishing for a nice, interesting crime, if only to have something to discuss with the lady priest, who seems almost as confused by their nonrelationship as he is. He’s about to get all that--and a whole lot more than he bargained for. When an affluent housewife is reported missing by her clearly hostile husband, Tom not only has a bona fide murder mystery on his hands, he has a perfect excuse to enlist Kathryn’s help. The only person who may know what happened to Grace Kimbrough is a feverish child, and Tom--past master at nosy neighbors, flirtatious shut-ins, and the usual small-town neurotics--has precious little experience with children. Now, with a second woman missing, Tom’s and Kathryn’s sense of urgency to learn the truth about the disappearances--and about their feelings for each other--deepens. Together Tom and Kathryn will unravel more than just the secrets holding together the seemingly peaceful town, secrets that may conceal a crime of passion, jealousy, and rage. They will probe the mysteries of their own all-too-fallible, all-too-human hearts. And the miracles that might, just might, occur--even after a lifetime of playing it too safe.

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Bad Faith

Aimée Thurlo, David Thurlo

Once she was Professor Mary Naughton, investigative reporter, teacher, and free spirit. Now she is Sister Agatha of Our Lady of Hope, a cloistered, financially-struggling monastery in New Mexico. As an extern-a nun who handles her order's dealings with the outside world-she is used to having her faith and newly-acquired patience tested. But when popular chaplain Father Anselm is poisoned to death in the middle of Mass, Sister Agatha has to bring all her worldly skepticism and savvy instincts to uncover the truth before scandal and unjust suspicion destroy Our Lady of Hope's future. She's up against a hostile local sheriff, an ex-lover who's never forgiven her for 'abandoning' their life together. She's got no shortage of suspects-with-secrets outside-and inside-the monastery. And she'll have to race the clock to stop one remorseless murderer before there's more hell to pay...

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Absolution by Murder

Peter Tremayne

In A.D. 664, when someone murders the Abbess Etain during the synod between the Roman and Celtic churches, Sister Fidelma of the Celtic Church and Brother Eadulf of the Roman church must find the killer and prevent civil war

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Murder at the National Cathedral

Margaret Truman

"One of her most enjoyable books." ASSOCIATED PRESS The brutal murder of a friend drags Mac Smith and Annabel Reed from their newlywed bliss into an unholy web of intrigue and danger. When a second murder is commited in England, which the honeymooners had just visited, the Smiths go back across the seas, and straight into the center of an ungodly plot of secret agents, a playboy priest, a frustrated lover, a choleric cleric...and a murder so perfect it's a sin.

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A Beer at a Bawdy House

David J. Walker

The first book in Walker's Wild Onion series, A Ticket to Die For, has collected rave reviews for its rich plotting, intense characters, and breathtaking suspense. Now in the second installment, the husband-and-wife investigative team is hired by Chicago Bishop Peter Keegan to look into disturbing messages he's received threatening to reveal a dark secret in his past. Kirsten and Dugan are quickly caught up in the whirlwind of danger surrounding the bishop and his estranged police chief brother, who may be more than a bystander in Peter's troubles. Once again, Edgar Award nominee Walker delivers a crafty tale of murder and intrigue in which even the innocent have secrets to hide and even the just can't be kept safe.

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Shattered Vows

Pat Warren

In the wake of a series of murders targeting nuns, Toni Garette finds a personal stake when her cousin becomes a victim and, swept up in an affair with the detective on the case, sets a trap with herself as the bait. Original.

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Troubled Bones

Jeri Westerson

Since losing his knighthood, Crispin Guest has crafted a reputation throughout London. From the shadowy corners of the city to the exclusive halls of the royal court he is known as the Tracker, an investigator for hire who can find anyone or anything. But when the Archbishop of Canterbury hires him to expose the culprit threatening the sacred relics of a holy martyr, Guest finds himself a stranger in an unfamiliar land. Within a city of pilgrims and priests, he unexpectedly encounters his former friend Geoffrey Chaucer, poet, rabble-rouser and liege to Crispin’s former master. Chaucer and his group of fellow pilgrims all have tales to tell...and secrets to hide. After a murder befalls the cathedral, Guest, together with his faithful servant Jack, has been tasked with uncovering the dark truth. Among hallowed tombs of soldiers and saints, in a world of ancient secrets and undying vendettas, Guest must identify the murderous heretic among holy men if he has any hope of returning home. The riveting fourth book in the Crispin Guest series re-imagines the world of The Canterbury Tales in an engaging, suspenseful mystery. Troubled Bones was nominated for the Macavity, the Agatha, Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice, and the Bruce Alexander Historical Mystery awards.

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Pray and Die

Stella Whitelaw

When former policewoman Jordan Lacey decides to become a private investigator, she struggles to find cases in a small and relatively crime-free town in Britain, until a nun is found murdered.

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The Bad Kitty Lounge

Michael Wiley

Michael Wiley's first novel, The Last Striptease, was nominated for a Shamus Award and hailed as "riveting" (The Chicago Tribune), "delightful" (Toronto Globe and Mail), and "hard-boiled fiction with tenderness and compassion" (New York Newsday). Now he offers another exciting, fast-paced page-turner with The Bad Kitty Lounge. Greg Samuelson, an unassuming bookkeeper, has hired Joe Kozmarski to dig up dirt on his wife and her lover Eric Stone. But now Samuelson has taken matters into his own hands. It looks like he's torched Stone's Mercedes, killed his boss, and then shot himself, all in the space of an hour. The police think they know how to put together this ugly puzzle. But as Kozmarski discovers, nothing's ever simple. Eric Stone wants to hire Kozmarski to clear Samuelson. Samuelson's dead boss, known as the Virginity Nun, has a saintly reputation but a red-hot past. And a gang led by an aging 1960s radical shows up in Kozmarski's office with a backpack full of payoff money, warning him to turn a blind eye to murder. At the same time, Kozmarski is working things out with his ex-wife, Corrine, his new partner, Lucinda Juarez, and his live-in nephew, Jason. If the bad guys don't do Kozmarski in, his family might.

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A Habit for Death

Chuck Zito

Each year the nuns of rural St. Gilbert's College hire a city slicker to help with their summer theater festival, but when Nicky D'Amico trades the heat of New York City for rural Pennsylvania, he finds he has a lot to handle--a truly awful musical and murdered cast members. With a suspenseful plot, lovable characters and laugh-out-loud humor, A Habit for Death is one habit you won't want to break.

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