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Murder at the Monks' Table - Book Review

Susan Helene Kramer


California author, Sister Carol Anne O’Marie weaves intrigue into her murder mysteries, most of them taking place in a setting she knows well - Oakland, California. In real life Sister Carol Anne was a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for more than 50 years, and in 1990 helped found a daytime women’s center. She passed away in 2009 leaving us with eleven murder mysteries to enjoy.


Her main character in the series of books and the voice she speaks through is Sister Mary Helen, who in her 70s has retired from her regular duties at Mount St. Francis College. In most of her books Sister Mary Helen volunteers at a homeless drop-in day center - The Refuge - near her convent in Oakland, California.


Murder at the Monks’ Table has a different setting, though - mostly in Ireland. Sr. Mary Helen’s longtime nun friend, Sr. Eileen has invited her for a vacation where she is in Ireland. Sister Eileen had gone to Ireland to care for her own biological sister who is ill.


Sr. Mary Helen arrives in Ireland within the week and there is hardly any break in action from then on. In addition to all the intrigue that follows we get to know the surroundings of the village where the tale takes place. They are described so vividly that you can “see” and imagine yourself there, right alongside the characters in the story. And when it rains, you feel like you’re walking through the sloshing mud.


I must say that I enjoy novels where I feel included if even on the sidelines. The author has a knack for drawing the reader in to feel part of the scenery and an important part of the story. Learning about the characters in the mystery it seems hard to tell the good from the bad ‘guys’ sometimes. But in the end the right resolve comes about. You won’t want to put this book down.


Recommended for mystery lovers and escape reading.


Details: 256 page paperback; publisher - St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 26, 2007); ISBN-10: 0312357680; ISBN-13: 978-0312357689.


Link to Murder at the Monks’ Table at


Review by Susan Helene Kramer; I bought my copy from and am an associate.

Copyright 2012-2015 Susan Helene Kramer
Santa Barbara, California USA
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Published by Creations in Consciousness
web site


page created May 4, 2013