In wartime England, WDI Suzie Mountford confronts the strange case of the nun who wasn’t.
It’s a time of cautious optimism in battered Old Blighty. With the D-Day landings progressing nicely, the end of the exhausting war has become encouragingly foreseeable. But now, renewing despair, come Hitler’s fiendishly destructive, last-ditch flying bombs. When a V-1 lands near the Anglican convent of St. Catherine of Siena, three nuns are killed. Or so at first it seems until further investigation uncovers, shockingly, the presence of a man in nun’s clothing—a man whose throat had been cut before the bomb exploded. Soon enough, there are additional homicides on the Murder Squad’s plate, and sexy Suzie and her boss, the equally sexy Tommy Livermore, must cope with another headline-grabber. It’s the case of a young woman whose lifestyle was scandalously uncloistered. Is it possible the two cases are connected—and that they’re also connected to Hitler’s doodlebug? Suzie buckles down to find the answers. Good cop though she is, however, the live bodies in her bed have always been a higher priority than the dead bodies in her cases.
The plotting is deft, the prose sprightly, but the exercise is unintentionally valedictory for randy Suzie (Troubled Midnight, 2006, etc.), whose remarkable creator died in 2007 after 80 years and 52 books.