HALF PAST NUN by Monica Quill

HALF PAST NUN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Sister Mary Teresa Dempsey (sometimes called Emtee), aged but sharp as ever, presides over the remnants of Chicago's Order of the Sisters of Martha and Mary and its onetime college. All that's left, in the wake of Vatican II, is a Frank Lloyd Wright house on Walton Street and a lake property in Michigan. Living in the house with Emtee, but wearing modern dress, are nuns Joyce and Kimberly, whose brother Richard Moriarity is in the Chicago police force. He's presently involved in the search for a serial killer of three young women, two found in nearby Schaumburg, where Joanne Leit, an alumna of the Order's college, runs the lushly funded library. She's arranged for Richard to give a talk on the much publicized case. There, he meets author Astrid Johansen, who wants to collaborate with Richard on a book about the murders. Another soon- to-appear speaker is Dr. Cecelia Vespartina, famous writer of self- help tomes who's expressed a wish to meet Emtee. Her advance woman Mitzi Earl visits at Walton St., only to be attacked in the street as she departs. Recovered and guarded by police at her hotel, she still falls prey to the killer but leaves behind a composite sketch that leads Richard, after the death of yet another victim, to the certain culprit. Not so certain is Emtee, whose theory that the murders are linked to the Order and its college has old friends concerned about her possible mental deterioration. Needless to say, it's Emtee who has the last word. A bizarre story--scarcely believable and weighted with subthemes--but written with grace and wry humor, and with enough jolts along the way to hold the reader's interest. Livelier than the previous eight in this series (Nun Plussed, 1993, etc.).

Pub Date: July 13th, 1997
ISBN: 0-312-15541-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1997




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