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Requiem at the Refuge by Sister Carol Anne…
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Requiem at the Refuge (2000)

by Sister Carol Anne O'Marie

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Sister Mary Helen, fearful that a new head of St Francis College will replace her and force her to retire, she resigns her position to assist Sister Anne at The Refuge, a shelter for homeless women. Although Sister Anne herself first suggested the idea to Sister Mary Helen, she is still surprised the elderly nun accepted her offer to help out and she is worried it will prove to be too much for her. But it is Sister Mary Helen, who, upon finding a body on their doorstep, pursues the clues to track the killer, restoring a sense of safety to the women at the shelter. Author Sister Carol Anne O’Marie writes an interesting mystery that rings true with characters who seem real. Part of the charm of this series lies in the variety of the continuing characters, both old and young, professional detectives and committed nuns, who work together, sometimes by choice, sometimes brought together by circumstance, for the greater good. ( )
  Maydacat | Jul 29, 2012 |
When a new president takes over Mount Saint Francis College, Sister Mary Helen, afraid of losing her job, decides to quit her job and volunteer at a women's shelter with Sister Anne. The job is quite a change and challenge for Sister Mary Helen and she is tired but happy. Happy that is until she finds the badly beaten body of one of the young women who frequented the shelter. The last thing Sister Mary Helen wants is to be involved in yet another murder investigation, but she has no choice. The police are hoping to make a quick arrest but it soon becomes apparent that the case is far more complex than anyone realizes and Mary Helen's own life is in great danger.

"Requiem at the Refuge" is a delightful cozy mystery. Sister Mary Helen, a nun in her seventies, is a refreshing heroine who is willing to admit that she doesn't know everything. Author Sister Carol Anne O'Marie, a nun in real life, does a wonderful job depicting the seamier side of life and what life is like for prostitutes, former prostitutes, and their pimps. She also gives peeks into the life of the police investigating the case and I was as anxious as Kate Murphy to find out what was wrong with her partner Dennis Gallagher. The mystery itself is nicely plotted, with some gigantic red herrings, although it's pretty obvious all along who the murderer is. I was a bit perplexed as to why the murderer would so willingly turn over the murder weapon when it easily could have been hidden, but that's a minor quibble.

This was my first time reading a mystery featuring Sister Mary Helen, but it won't be my last. Nicely done. ( )
  drebbles | Jan 8, 2010 |
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To the women of A Friendly Place, who have taught me so much about courage and optimism.
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When Sister Cecilia, president of Mount St. Francis College, missed morning Mass, Sister Theresa was very concerned.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312938217, Mass Market Paperback)

DIVINE INTERVENTION

How do you make God laugh? Tell Him you've got a plan. That's what Sister Mary Helen reminds herself when she sets out to start a new life--as a volunteer in a women's homeless shelter. A savvy octogenarian with an adventurous streak, Mary Helen is no stranger to the shady side of San Francisco's hilly streets. So when a young resident at the Refuge shelter is found dead, Mary Helen makes it her business to solve the murder. Soon this lady of the Order gets herself into a holy mess involving corrupt local politicians, a prostitution ring, and a tangled web of private-eyes, police officers, and the 'refugees' themselves. Mary Helen calls upon her beloved sisters at St. Francis College for salvation, but it's going to take a lot of prayers to protect Mary Helen from the dangerous characters--and shocking confessions--that come in her wake...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:15 -0400)

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When elderly Sister Mary Helen is offered a position at a shelter for homeless women, Sister Anne quickly learns that nothing daunts the doughty old woman, not even murder.

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