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An odd but very enjoyable little novel,
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This review is from: Vow of Silence (Veronica Black) (Kindle Edition)
1988. Sister Joan is a lively and intelligent member of a small and obscure order of nuns. Sent by her prioress to the Cornish branch of their order after a letter from an old friend causes disquiet, Joan soon finds that all is not well on Bodmin. A nun has committed suicide and a novice has disappeared. The latter has supposedly gone home to her family but they think she is still at the convent and it looks horribly as if she never left. Is it significant that the Prioress wears scent and nail varnish or is Joan just being petty about a small breach of rules? Joan is even more disconcerted to find the senior nuns in the thrall of a heresy which turns out to be even stranger than she first thinks.
This is an unusual novel, very easy to read, which kept me turning the pages up to a disappointingly anti-climactic ending. There are some bugbears: for example, Joan thinks that the autopsy ordered on the suicide means that the police are suspicious when such a procedure would actually be completely routine. Crime novelists need to know this sort of thing.
It's hard to see how this can be the first of a series: how much serious crime can there be in a small convent?