Book Review of “The Good Friday Murder” by Lee Harris

I was lucky to have the first book in this series about ex-nun Christine Bennett. She has been out of the convent 3 weeks when the book starts and still wakes up at 5 am. She spent 15 years of her life in the convent and throughout the story, she sometimes has trouble with every modern life. She lives in the house her aunt lived in until she died and left it to Christine.

The mystery starts when Christine (Kix to her good friends) finds out that the group home her mentally disabled cousin stays at is having trouble getting permission to buy a home near where she lives now because one patient was committed because he was accused of murdering his mother, with his twin brother’s help (he is in another institution) 40 years ago. Some in the neighborhood are afraid to have a mentally disturbed murderer in their midst. 

Now, this is a book from the early ’90’s and it uses the word “retarded” to refer to the mentally disabled. That is a word that I have always used to refer to the severely mentally disabled and was not offended, unless a character spoke dispraisingly.

Anyway, Christine offers to investigate whether these two brothers stabbed their mother on a Good Friday. The brothers were savants who could recite everything they saw and heard, from radio shows to what people were wearing on any given day. They were studied by researchers but after the murder, both of them lost this ability and never spoke to anyone about what happened that day.

I enjoyed this book. The plot is well thought out with each step taken to find witnesses and information in the time before the internet. It is believable. Christine also gets used to living in the world, adapting to a new schedule, new clothes, meeting her neighbors, and preparing to teach English at a college but not as a nun.

I would definitely recommend this book and especially reading it first in the series. It explains so much about Christine’s early life and set up her new life for the future books.

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