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Nun in the Closet


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When an unknown benefactor bequests a large property to the cloistered nuns of St. Tabitha Abbey, the community sends two of its members-Sisters John and Hyacinthe-to check out their inheritance. The outside world offers them plenty of surprises (from hippies to the Mafia), but all obstacles are overcome by their ingenuity and Sister John's "perfect faith." Fans to the author's Mrs. Pollifax series (e.g., Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle, Audio Reviews, LJ 11/15/93) will easily detect the similarity between that illustrious spy and the indomitable Sister John and will feel at home with the pervasive lightweight humor. Still, this mystery leaves much to be desired. The plot is highly contrived, there is little suspense, and most of the humor rests on the nuns' incredible naïveté. While cloistered nuns doubtless possess a certain aura of otherworldliness, Gilman's unsophisticated religious are entirely too gullible to be taken seriously, even taking into consideration the novel's original publication date (1975). Narrator Roslyn Alexander turns in an excellent reading marked by superior characterization-especially for the masculine voices-and pacing, but this fluffy tale could easily be skipped.-Sister M. Anna Falbo, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo, N.Y.

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