21 July 2014

Review: MURDER IN THE MONASTERY, Lesley Cookman

  • published in 2013 by Accent Press
  • ISBN 9-781908-917751
  • 309 pages
  • source: my local library
  • #11 in Libby Sarjeant Mysteries series
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

The eleventh book in the Libby Sarjeant series of British murder mysteries which features a retired actress as the female sleuth and are based in the picturesque village of Steeple Martin.

Libby Sarjeant is invited to look into the provenance of a jewelled Anglo-Saxon reliquary which has appeared on a website.

The nuns at St Eldreda's Abbey are curious, as it apparently contains a relic of St Eldreda herself. Libby's friend Peter obtains permission to mount a play based on St Eldreda's story in the ruins of the original monastery called, naturally, Murder In The Monastery.

 And then, inevitably, a real body is discovered, and Libby and her friend Fran find out that this is not the first.

My Take

Helpfully at the beginning of this novel there is a Who's Who in the Libby Sarjeant series. I did end up using it a few times to get relationships between people sorted out. There are a number of occasional references to events that Libby and her friends have been involved in in previous titles.

I think I may need to add the village of Steeple Martin to my list of places not to visit, although the village itself sounds pretty interesting. (If you remember others include St. Mary Mead, and anything including the word Midsommer.)

The action of the novel centres around a quickly written play about the life of St. Eldreda to be accompanied by the display of a reliquary which contains her finger bone. Of course we are expecting a murder because of the title of the novel, but the identity of the victim comes as a surprise to all. Libby engages a researcher to trace the descendants of the family whom the reliquary has belonged to over the centuries. The results of this research provides a lot of surprises.

This is a real cozy, lots of characters to sort out, and red herrings do abound. Libby has a good working relationship with a local police DCI because she has been involved in a number of earlier cases. There is probably a good argument for getting into this series at the very beginning, so you have the build up of character information that will result from that.

My rating: 4.2

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have thought about trying this series though the idea of eleven volumes is daunting. If I enjoy it - and I probably will - I'll have to go on and on ;)
But it's tempting as it seems as if most of the readers of my Knavesborough series buy her books as well.


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