Though this reader did not find this book as pleasing as previous books from this author, this tale is enjoyable and did hold my interest.
I found the story interesting as it forced me to explore the early history of New Mexico - and explore modern maps of the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument and environs. Fiction, historical or otherwise, that drives me to learn more about history, geology, geography, etc., is well worth my time. The history surrounding Sister Maria and her “impact” on the Indians of Southeastern New Mexico and its border with Texas gave the book value to this reader.
Discovering writing from a nun dating back some 400 years - and their theft (actually twice) and the murder of a scholar and the attempted murder of a Catholic monk and sister provided a setting for an exciting story. The author has taken time to weave history into a modern cozy mystery that could hold the interest of any reader interested in this genre.
The first 60% of the book did resemble a great cozy mystery plot; but at some point, the tale became less plot and more of a mental exercise. This was followed by a semi-spiritualized episode that did not fit well with the rest of the story. Mixed throughout was what felt like a junior high attempt to describe a possible romance (Sister Eve’s father called it a “crush”). The result was what felt like a book that was written using multiple genres - cozy mystery, psychological suspense, traditional fantasy, and junior high romance. Though the story made sense, in the end it felt like a jigsaw puzzle in which the pieces did not quite fit together.
Given a mid-spring release, the book is set in the late winter early spring of the great American southwest. The book would seem like a great addition to the library to the traveler, the history buff, or the reader who likes cozy mysteries rooted in history and geography. Will everybody find it satisfying, no; but many will.
______________This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are my own.