Title: Sister Eve, Private Eye
Author: Lynne Hinton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: ARC from the publisher
Number of pages: 336
First line: Chaz Cheston grabbed his keys and quietly made his way out the back door.
Goodreads blurb: Sister Eve knows God moves in mysterious ways. And Eve adores a good mystery. Especially a murder.
Two decades into her calling at a New Mexico monastery, Sister Evangeline Divine breaks her daily routine when a police officer appears, carrying a message from her father. Sister Eve is no stranger to the law, having grown up with a police captain turned private detective. She’s seen her fair share of crime–and knows a thing or two about solving mysteries.
But when Captain Jackson Divine needs her to return home and help him recover from surgery, Sister Eve finds herself taking on his latest case.
A Hollywood director has disappeared, and the sultry starlet he’s been running around with isn’t talking. When the missing man turns up dead, Captain Divine’s case escalates into a full-blown murder case, and Sister Eve’s crime-solving instincts kick in with an almost God-given grace.
Soon Sister Eve finds herself soul-searching every step of the way: How can she choose between the vocation in her heart and the job in her blood?
First, the disclosure. I know author Lynne Hinton, at least a little bit. I know her through my mom. Lynne and my mom were the only two female ministers in the tiny town of Chewelah, Washington, for a period of time, before Lynne moved on to other ventures. They forged a friendship, and I had the pleasure of meeting Lynne through Mom. I then read and reviewed her book, Friendship Cake, which I enjoyed very much. Lynne writes about real women with real struggles, and she doesn’t sugar coat it. Her characters may be faith-filled, or faith-struggling, or faith-seekers – and having been in each of those categories myself, I relate to them and empathize with them. When I heard that she was starting a new mystery series about a Benedictine nun, I was happy to accept a review copy.
Sister Eve, Private Eye is a mystery that you might consider a “cozy,” although I think sometimes cozy mysteries get a bum rap as being “light” and “insubstantial.” That is not the case with this book. While the mystery aspects are not too gritty or gory, the storyline isn’t fluffy. Lynne uses the bones of the mystery plot to fill in the flesh of the characters. Eve and her father, Jackson, have a relationship that is prickly and complicated, and when they are forced to work together, they are unable to avoid dealing with their history. I love both characters. I completely related to Eve’s inner struggle to be a better, more patient, more centered woman. Jackson is gruff and harsh, but only on the outside. The two of them together make a terrific team, and I hope the series continues, especially since I want to see how Eve resolves her passion to solve mysteries with her vocational calling.