QUIET AS A NUN by Antonia Fraser


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What bas Lady Antonia done with the familiar murder-in-a-convent (see Cullinan, above) blueprint? Nothing terribly ingenious, but her slightly tart and awfully graceful tone--introduced via narrator-sleuth Jemima Shore (a British Barbara Walters)--invests the gothicky, creaking motifs with a certain texture uncommon in the genre. Blessed Eleanor's in Sussex is where Jemima went to school, and one of her school chums--an heiress who signed on as a nun--has now died of self-induced (?) starvation/suffocation, leaving behind a message: ""Jemima knows."" Baffled Jemima answers the Mother Superior's call for help and night-stalks the Gauloise-smoking ghost of the convent, linking the dead nun's radical political notions to the Mystery of the Missing Will and the shaky economics of the convent itself. A strangely satisfying blend of the ultimates in sophistication and naivetÉ.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1977
ISBN: 0393318222
Publisher: Viking