8 /10

Reservation for Murder

by June Wright

Snappy Review

Just love Mother Paul as a character and will be getting my hands on the other two, as soon as I can!

Book Synopsis

une Wright had already published three highly praised mysteries (including Murder in the Telephone Exchange) before she created her most memorable detective, the Reverend Mother Mary St Paul of the Cross, in the late 1950s. Mother Paul may seem distracted or absent-minded much of the time, but nothing important escapes her attention—it turns out she has a shrewd grasp of everything that’s going on beneath the surface of events.

In Reservation for Murder, the first of three Mother Paul mysteries, the kindly nun is in charge of a residential hostel for young women who work in offices and shops in Melbourne. Many of the women have received unpleasant anonymous letters, and an atmosphere of suspicion and accusation has spread throughout the house. When Mary Allen finds a stranger stabbed to death in the garden, and a few days later one of the residents is found drowned, an apparent suicide, the tension reaches fever pitch. Is there a connection between the two deaths? Or between them and the poison-pen letters? The police investigation, abetted by the resourceful Mary Allen, proceeds in fits and starts, but meanwhile Mother Paul pursues her own enquiries.

June Wright delivers her trademark blend of intrigue, tart humour, and psychological suspense at its finest in this absorbing, puzzling tale, and leaves the reader wanting more from her unlikely but endearing heroine.