As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Ostara Publishing, 2013.
(First published 1999) ISBN:978-1-909619-07-4
The cover of this book describes it as Clerical Crime which is an
interesting category! This series about Theodora Braithwaite was previously
published from 1991 to 1999 and there are 8 previous investigations covered
before this reprinted copy. I have read some of the earlier ones and I
don't think that reading them in order is important. Theodora is a deacon
of the Church of England who uses her knowledge of human behaviour and her
connections within the Church to assist the police with their work when murder
happens in relation to Anglicans. In this book she attends a conference
of Church officials and lay people which is held in November in an unappealing
holiday camp in the fens - the camp is called Bolly's Jolly Holiday Homes.
D M Greenwood is a clever
writer who is obviously closely involved in the Anglican Church and who knows
all the quirks of churchly behaviour. She enjoys poking fun at the
incongruity of the holiday camp with the Church attendees. She is biting
about some characters like the Bishop who uses management speak and about whom,
as she puts it, 'it was rumoured that the Bishop did not want particular
changes in the Church, just changes.' She also describes with affection
other attendees at the Conference.
As they gather in Highcliffe,
East Anglia, to consider 'the Millennium Message' the shocking discovery
is made of the body of one of the delegates in a washing machine. He has
been stabbed. Since no-one has a bad word to say about him what reason
could there be for his murder? Theodora is acquainted with the
investigating police officer and he finds her insights into Anglican ideas and
practices very helpful. She, indeed, reaches the solution of the death
and other shenanigans before the Superintendent.
The mystery is clever and
well developed but some of the most interesting parts of the book consider
religious ideas and give a novel of social comment. ------
Reviewer: Jennifer S Palmer
As I wrote earlier this is
the 9th in a series and has been reprinted.
Dr Diane M Greenwood came originally from Norfolk
She took a first degree in classics at Oxford University, then as a mature
student, a second degree in theology at London University. She taught at
various schools before working for the diocese of Rochester. She retired as diocesan director
of education for the diocese of Rochester
has been describedas "a classics
teacher of terrifying erudition and eccentricity".Between 1991 and 1999 she published nine
books featuring Deaconess Theodora Braithwaite (in her thirties).D M Greenwood was last heard of living in Greenwich with her
Jennifer Palmer Throughout
my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my
15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but
occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.