Sunday, April 28, 2013


“The tower-top choir began, “Hail the day that sees Him rise . . . Christ, awhile to mortals given, Alleluia / Reascends His native heaven, Alle. . .”

The final Alleluia never registered in Felicity’s ears.  It was extinguished by a much nearer shriek.  Her own.

The piercing scream tore a second time from her throat as she watched in horrifying slow motion a cassock-clad figure from the back of the choir catapault across the parapet and arc over the side of the tower.”

Felicity Howard, according to Inspector Nosterfield, is “making a habit of this.”  The “this” in question happens to be an association with murders, and the subsequent victims.  The corpse in question was a former ordinand of Magdalen College, a Deliverance Minister, and a former student of Father Antony.  He was also holding a strange emblem of a double-headed snake in his dead hand.  The police ignore the telling clue and dismiss the death as a suicide.  But Hwyl’s widow is convinced otherwise, and pleads for Felicity and Antony to help her uncover the truth. 

Matters grow murkier as Felicity and Antony, leading a youth pilgrimage through rural Wales, encounter the same sinister symbol as they travel.  Lurking figures follow them.  Then a body is found face-down in a well . . .

Having never read a book by Donna Fletcher Crow, I was very excited to get the opportunity to review what has turned out to be a page-turner and a half.  While the background is solidly rooted in the Catholic faith (hence The Monastery Murders), I feel the book has universal appeal.  There are Catholic offices practiced throughout the book, and the leader of the intrepid group of pilgrims is a Deliverance Minister of the Catholic Church.  Yet one is drawn into the story effortlessly, and soon becomes one of the pilgrims as well.  This is Book Three of The Monastery Murders series, and while references are made to the previous books, this book easily stands on its own.  The characters are refreshing, true to life, and true to themselves throughout the book.  The settings are vividly illustrated through the author’s exquisite command of the Queen’s English, and the pace never falters or runs away from the reader.  History, romance and murder . . . an unbeatable combination guaranteed to keep you up nights!

5 stars

An Unholy Communion: Book 3 of The Monastery Murders
Donna Fletcher Crow
Fiction \ Christian\ Suspense
Lion Fiction
383 pages
£7.99 U.K.
$14.99 U.S.

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