A VOW OF SANCTITY by Veronica Black


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 Sister Joan, sometime sleuth of the order of the Daughters of Compassion (A Vow of Chastity, etc.), is spending the end of summer in a spiritual retreat in remotest Scotland--a one-person cave high above a loch. She's welcomed by members of the nearby monastery and decides to make and present a painting of their church in return for their hospitality. The villagers, mostly non-Catholic, are not so friendly, with the exception of store-owner Dolly McKensie and her son and helper Rory. Dolly's womanizing husband disappeared six years ago--around the time Catherine Sinclair, the local minister's wife, died of an accidental overdose of prescribed drugs. Ever since then, the Sinclairs' sullen, sultry daughter Morag has avoided once best friend Rory. Meanwhile, Sister Joan's painting sessions at the monastery are touched with unease; she senses hidden eyes upon her--a feeling heightened by a strange discovery in the church's crypt. The surfacing, in a sudden storm, of a body in the loch, raises a host of questions. The answers, as quietly ferreted out by Sister Joan, are intriguing but contrived, producing happy but unconvincing endings all round. Nicely done craggy, uncomfortable atmosphere for a benign kind of villainy.

Pub Date: Aug. 19th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09408-6
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 1993


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