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Rueful Death: 02/07/18
Rueful Death by Susan Wittig Albert is the fifth China Bayles mystery and the first one out of these early ones (beyond book three) that I've genuinely liked. China has headed to St. Theresa's Monastery with her friend Maggie to collect her thoughts and relax away from the hustle and bustle of running her shop. There's just one problem — someone is terrorizing the nuns and it looks like it's all tied up with the merger of two orders and the threatened closure of the monastery.
Monastery was the word choice of the book — the author and the publisher. Monastery usually refers to monks, not nuns. I would have gone with convent. It's just one of those odd things that kept me from being completely immersed in this mystery. But it wasn't a big enough detail to completely derail my reading.
The mystery itself is basically contained within a closed community. The clues are obfuscated by ritual and silence. China as an outsider, but knowledgable of herbs and tinctures is curious enough to ask the right questions and to see clues that others might not.
The thing with these closed society mysteries is that there's only so many people who could have done it. Were it someone outside of the initial cast of characters — then it would be horror. With that in mind, it wasn't that hard to piece together who had done it and why, and then to ride out the rest of the book. That said, it was still an enjoyable read.
The next book is Love Lies Bleeding and I have it checked out from the library.