sister eve private eye

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 (pronounced Diveen) 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? (Synopsis from Thomas Nelson Publishers site)   

I’ve read many mysteries featuring nuns, priests, rabbis, reverends, and other religiously affiliated protagonists, contemporary and historical. Amongst all these Sister Eve (Evangeline) still manages to make an impression.  She rides a Harley, has a need for speed (and the tickets to show for it), collects strays, and even after twenty years has a problem with authority.

Sister Eve has spent her years in service at the Benedictine monastery in Pecos, NM. She’s been reprimanded recently for speaking out about the Vatican’s decision to move the nuns. Eve believes the funds would be better spent building an animal sanctuary vs new accommodations for the nuns.  It’s obvious from the beginning that Sister Eve has reached a crisis. Not in her faith but her vocation. Will going home help her decide? Is it apparent to her superiors? Is that why her superior gave her a two month leave of absence?  

Eve thinks she knows her family but she’s been out of the daily loop for twenty years. As is the case with most families the relationships are never easy. Eve’s sister, Dorisanne who’s living in Las Vegas, refuses to come home during The Captain’s surgery and hospitalization, telling Eve it’s her turn since she took care of their mother. This is the first in a series of familial surprises for Eve. The awkwardness and difficulty of trying to see beyond years of misconceptions surrounding those closest to us is reasonably depicted.  

The mystery of who killed Chaz Cheston, Hollywood director and writer, is mildly interesting. The murder isn’t one readers can solve before the protagonist, the facts simply aren’t there. Readers have to solve it along with Eve and the Captain. Mostly it serves as a catalyst to the Divine’s working out some of their issues.   

SISTER EVE, PRIVATE EYE is set in the austerely beautiful desert landscape of Madrid, Pecos, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. However, the setting isn’t utilized. Sadly, the area isn’t as much a character as the people.  

Personally I’d like to see a bit more depth to the characters, a more engaging mystery, and more use of the setting. SISTER EVE, PRIVATE EYE shows promise.

3 stars