Continuing my nuns in mysteries series of reviews, the main character’s name is Mother Lavinia “Vinny” Grey, but it turns out she is an Episcopal priest, not a Mother Superior. I went to Episcopal church when I was in high school and we referred to the priest as Father, so it makes sense that women priests would be referred to as Mother.
This is not the first book in the series, but stood alone quite well. Several mysteries happen – where is the grave of a man who died 40 years before during the big flood and how did he die, who is stealing statuary and gravestones from the cemeteries in town and who is buried under the old Acme Supermarket?
Mother Vinny is a widow who has lived in Fishersville in New Jersey for several years at St. Bede’s Episcopal church. The church does not play a big role in this book, apparently other books have involved church life and such. Mother Vinny has one man interested in dating but is still recovering from a former friend who went back to his ex-wife. She does feel a strong calling to help the poor and lost, which leads to the beginning to the book.
The story starts with Mother Vinny taking in two very wet and cold people – Mark Smith and his daughter Shannon – who had been at the cemetery looking for the grave of James, father and grandfather of the Smiths. They would like to bury the ashes of their mother/grandmother over her ex-husband James. Mark was very young when the flood came, his father died and they left town to move Arizona. As the story progresses, he starts remembering what happened just before and during the flood. Turns out, someone would rather he did not remember what happened.
I enjoyed Kate Gallison’s writing style. The plot was fairly complicated and all the separate storylines come together in the end for a nerve-wracking climax. I will read other books in this series when they come in.