Books by Alison Joseph

THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH by Alison Joseph
Released: April 11, 1997

A second outing for the author's chic, impulsive Sister Agnes (Sacred Hearts, 1996)—once married, long divorced, now working with friend and mentor Father Julius at St. Simeon's Church in London. She and Julius take turns visiting the sick at nearby St. Hugh's hospital and medical school. On this particular day Agnes is summoned by Surgery Professor Burgess to help with funeral arrangements for Gail Sullivan, an administrator who has died suddenly—seemingly by accident or suicide. Agnes suspects a cover- up—an idea fostered by the observations of keen-eyed elderly patient Kathleen McAleer. Thus begins a series of increasingly implausible events: a double autopsy (one in secret); several attempts on the life of genetics Professor Tom McPherson; a string of threatening anonymous faxes; Agnes's overpowering attraction to artist Alexander Jeffes, presently working on a portrait of soon- to-retire Professor Burgess; and hospital infighting over the destruction of an old medical building, an old church, and old hospital records, as a new wing takes shape. All this and more as Agnes, helped by medical student Julia Hart, uses stolen keys to snoop through pharmacy records and private correspondence—between sittings for a volatile Alexander whose own past calls for plenty of scrutiny. The author's lively, incisive, confident prose renders just bearable the overpopulated, contrived jumble of happenings conjured up here. Readers might hope that in Sister Agnes's next appearance the plot will flow half as well as the conversation. Read full book review >
SACRED HEARTS by Alison Joseph
Released: May 16, 1996

Fifteen years after driving his long-suffering first wife out of his hearth and home and into a convent, the magnetic, dangerous Hugo Bourdillon, who's capable of sending you flowers and a fat check the morning after attacking you with a wine bottle, has murdered his second. Or so it seems to the Gloucestershire police. But Sister Agnes, who's left her order in London to return to her ex-husband's unlovable side, doesn't believe Hugo really stabbed Philippa Bourdillon to death; despite his amply documented history of abusive behavior, he'd never been one for knives or bondage gear, as Philippa's flamboyant friend Athena Paneotou, who seduced Hugo on commission from Philippa, duly notes. Guided by Athena and an unlikely gaggle of sullen teenagers, Agnes delves into Philippa's equally sordid private life and uncovers a clever, ruthless blackmail plot Philippa shared with her ``business partner'' David Mellersh—a plot much more likely to have led to her murder, as it's likely to lead to others. Though charismatic, monstrous Hugo and self-tormenting clotheshorse nun Agnes aren't the most realistic characters you've ever met, first-novelist Joseph writes with such pointed authority that she has you believing in them in spite of yourself. Read full book review >