"Jane Willan’s The Hour of Death will be a Christmas delight for fans of G. M. Malliet, set on an island in Wales.
Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn make sleuthing a work of art. But will they paint themselves into a corner when they investigate the Village Art Society president’s death?
As Yuletide settles upon Gwenafwy Abbey, the rural Welsh convent’s peace is shattered when Tiffany Reese, president of the Village Art Society, is found dead on the floor of the parish hall. Sister Agatha, whose interests lie more with reading and writing mystery stories than with making the abbey’s world-renowned organic gouda, is not shy about inserting herself into the case. With the not-entirely-eager assistance of Father Selwyn, she begins her investigation.
Sister Agatha has no shortage of suspects to check off her naughty-or-nice list, until finally, Tiffany’s half-brother, Kendrick Geddings, emerges as the prime suspect. There never was any love lost between Tiffany and Kendrick, and of late they had been locked in a vicious battle for control of the family estate. But if Sister Agatha thinks she has the case wrapped up, she’ll have to think again.
As the days of Advent tick by, Sister Agatha is determined to crack the case by Christmas in The Hour of Death, Jane Willan’s perfectly puzzling second Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery."
If you are a fan of the Max Tudor series by G.M. Malliet, you will love this series. The book story takes place the small village of Pryderi. While the other Sisters are busy making cheese to sell, Sister Agatha is busy investigating the death of Tiffany Reese. The police call it a natural death and are ready to close the case, but Sister Agatha is sure it is murder. After all she listens to a podcast by Inspector Rupert McFarland, who gives instruction in how to be an investigator. She is also trying to write a mystery book, but it seems like murders are getting in the way of that. And if it weren't enough that there is a murder in Pryderi, a developer is trying to bully sheep farmers out of their land.
Sister Agatha also has learned her amateur trade from Inspector Gamache of the wonderful Louise Penny series, Inspector Barnaby by watching Midsomer Murders, and Miss Marple books written by Agatha Christie. She often consults Agatha Christi books to help her in the investigation. References to these famous investigators are cleverly mentioned throughout the story as Sister Agatha often thinks " what would Gamache do?...what would Miss Marple do?...Inspector Barnaby would never do this... What would Jessica Fletcher say?" She carries a notebook and a Sharpie with her at all times, ready to take notes. She has different notebooks for different things she is working on and depending on the time of year. For this investigation, during Advent, she will need an appropriate notebook: "...a lovely notebook bound in purple lambskin, handcrafted in Bethlehem, with 192 leaves of Smythson's signature gilt-edged, cream colored featherweight paper. Both practical and luxurious, the advertising copy touted, 'This mid-size notebook, transitions effortlessly from your desk to your travel bag.' She hoped it would also transition from desk... to oversized red jumper pocket."
Sister Agatha can frequently be found in the Buttered Crust Tea Shop and Father Selwyn. Stop in and say hello.
About the author:
"Reverend Jane Willan is a parish minister and author in Paxton, Massachusetts. She serves the First Congregational Church of Paxton and lives in the church parsonage with her husband Don and their two rescue dogs, Magi and Moses.
Before moving to Paxton, Jane served congregations in the Iowa Conference of the United Church of Christ in the small town of Creston and the larger-but-still-small town of Burlington, Iowa.
Before becoming an ordained pastor, Jane worked in Boston as a science editor, a freelance science writer, a teacher, and a brief stint in biological research at Harvard. In 2003, she became a full-time pastor and took her first church in Iowa.
Jane completed her undergraduate work at Hiram College in Hiram, Ohio. She has a Master of Science degree from Boston University, and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt Divinity School."