The Hour of Death
By: Jane Willan
Crooked Lane Books
The Hour of Death is the second book in the Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn series.
Sister Agatha is content with her life at the Gwenafwy Abbey in Northern Wales. She loves books and is the Abbey’s librarian. Her free time is spent reading mysteries by authors such as Agatha Christie (her namesake), Louise Penny, and Janet Evanovich. Not only does she read mysteries, but she is writing a mystery novel as well. When not busy reading or writing, Sister Agatha spends a lot of time in the village of Pryderi. There she visits the local library, drinks tea at The Buttered Crust, spends time with Father Selwyn, and visits St. Anselm Church. One Saturday during Advent, Sister Agatha is in the village when sirens erupt. She follows the sound of the sirens and finds them stopped in front of St. Anselm Church. Agatha inquires as to what has happened and finds out one of the Church parishioners, Tiffany Reese, is dead. Tiffany Reese was not well like, and Sister Agatha suspects foul play. With the help of Father Selwyn, Sister Agatha sets out to solve the mystery of Tiffany’s death. Around every corner she seems to find another suspect and another secret.
This book was such a great, unique read. There were vibrant characters in an idyllic setting. Each nun introduced in the story has her own unique personality and varied interests. I also love that the nuns are modern and are portrayed as such. They aren’t portrayed the same as Middle Age nuns would be. The story is also very realistic. At one point, Agatha wants to take prints off a teacup, but she abandons the idea because she doesn’t have access to the national database of fingerprints. She must solve this mystery with only the resources available to her. As Agatha uncovers each clue, and moves from suspect to suspect, the reader moves from one possible solution to another. The book left me guessing all the way until the end.
I think anyone who enjoys cozy mysteries will be entertained by this book. For those that love references to other literary texts within a story, this book may be right up your alley. This book also reminded me of the Father Dowling Mysteries from the late 80s. I think fans of that show will like this book as well.