Death Comes As Epiphany

Written by Sharan Newman
Review by Suzanne Sprague

Scholar Catherine LeVendeur may be headstrong, but she truly cherishes her place as a novice at the French convent of the Paraclete. However, in order to save the convent from rumors of impiety based upon an altered psalter, she must leave its protective confines under the guise of disgrace. Once home, she teams up with a sculptor’s apprentice to discover who is trying to sabotage the work of the Paraclete. What starts as an investigation of a terrible forgery ends up including a search for a murderer.

Populated with a convent, an abbey, and a family full of characters, this novel could have become a confusing tangle of interrelationships. Newman artfully keeps the relationships easy to follow while combining suspense and historical detail into a mystery that is hard to put down. As Catherine searches for the information she needs to clear the Paraclete’s reputation, she also discovers more about herself.

Since its debut in 1993, six additional installations have been written in the Catherine LeVendeur series. Based upon the suspense and intrigue found in the inaugural novel, this series is highly recommended for anyone who likes a mix of medieval with their whodunits.