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Murder at the Monks' Table: A Sister Mary Helen Mystery (Sister Mary Helen Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 11 of 11 in the Sister Mary Helen Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

At the start of O'Marie's delightful new entry in her clerical cozy series (Novena for Murder, etc.), Sister Mary Helen travels from San Francisco to Ballyclarin, Ireland, "home of the Oyster Festival." Sister Mary Helen and her friend, Sister Eileen, are looking forward to a wonderful week in the peaceful village enjoying all the festivities, from an art contest to a hurling match. Then Sister Mary Helen stumbles on the body of local reporter Willie Ward, who has a reputation for being a gossipmonger, in the ladies' room of the local pub, the Monks' Table. The Irish police order her to stay out of the investigation, but soon Sister Mary Helen is deeply involved through no fault of her own. Miss Marple would admire Sister Mary Helen's good intentions and even more her resolve to find the murderer, whose identity many readers will discover before our heroine. Despite this weakness, a fresh setting with lots of Irish color will keep fans turning the pages. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Who killed Willie Ward, leaving him perched unceremoniously on the toilet in the ladies' restroom at the Monks' Table? That is what the indefatigable Sister Mary Helen and her faithful sidekick, Sister Eileen, intend to find out after their holiday in Ireland is interrupted by the homicide. No stranger to the dark side of human nature, the perceptive Sister Mary Helen puts her uncanny intuition to good use as she assesses the residents of Ballyclarin, attempting to decide who is capable of cold-blooded murder. Initially reluctant to let her in on the case, the local police quickly discover that beneath her piety, the good sister is quite the crackerjack detective. O'Marie, a num herself, continues to provide first-rate whodunits enlivened by sharply drawn characterizations. Margaret Flanagan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sister Mary Helen Mysteries (Book 11)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks (June 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312357680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312357689
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,551,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By W. Christmann on October 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was the 11th of the 11 Sister Mary Helen murder mysteries. With the death of the author, Sister Carol Anne O'Marie, sadly there will be no more. I read all 11 novels and enjoyed them immensely. As a reader of heavy political commentary books, these mysteries were fun and light. Sr. Carol Anne developed the characters to become believable and lovable. I often pondered whether they were based on acquaintances of Sr. Carol Anne's. Too, I pondered whether Sister knew "Monks' Table" would be here last considering her last wishes in the novel. Wonderful series.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Sister Mary Helen has gone to Ireland and still manages to get involved with a murder. This clever nun doesn't go seeking dead bodies but does tend to trip over them somehow. Her great humor and quick mind finds answers before the police but then this is the only crime she has to worry about. Sister Mary Helen is always fun to read and the Irish setting gives it a new flavor. There was good characterization here.
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By Stargram on September 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The story itself was good but I thought other ones were a bit better. Perhaps it felt (to me) slightly off-putting with all the irish sayings...somewhat stereotypical...what we think the irish should be. As one of irish descent and a daughter living there for 30 years (with many visits from me!) they are a charming people full of wit and ready talk. Yes, the driving is edge of your seat as they whisk about in a rush. But cute? Gossipy? Mean spirited? No more than the rest of us. And yes, I am going to get another one to read....the nuns are 'real folk' and don't mistake the religious life for dull uniformity.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sister Mary Helen is in Ireland visiting her friend Eileen and gets to do her sluething in "the old country." She is trying very hard to stay out of it, but bodies show up practically on her doorstep, so what's she supposed to do?! If you've read others in the Sister Mary Helen mystery series, I think you'll agree Carol Anne O'Marie has written another winner. I enjoyed it and bought one for my 88 year old mother for Christmas, also a fan of this series.

I highly recommend it! It's a good mystery in the tradition of the English "Cozy". Enjoy.

MJ Samer
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Format: Hardcover
The relatives of Sister Eileen buy her and her friend Sister Mary Helen tickets to attend the Oyster Festival in Ballyclarin, Ireland. The two nuns appreciate the kind gesture and quickly enjoy all types of activities at the gala. They especially gain pleasure meeting some of the local eccentric residents.

The good time comes to an abrupt halt when Sister Mary Helen discovers the murdered body of detested reporter Willie Ward in the ladies' bathroom at the Monk's Table. Detective Inspectors White and Reedy investigate; they quickly learn the victim made many enemies who would want him dead and from the San Francisco Police department that the two nuns tend to get involved in homicide investigations (see REQUIEM AT THE REFUGE). Though they caution the Sisters to stay out of their investigation and both try to adhere to the official warning, Sister Mary Helen and Sister Eileen keep stumbling into the middle of the case.

The killer is obvious and the clues found by the Sisters are more caused by chance than real investigating, yet readers will love this delightful Irish police procedural-amateur sleuth tale. The story line is amusing as the two detectives begin to wonder if the visiting Sisters have heavenly intervention as they seem to lurch from one clue to another that the cops missed. Fans of the series will enjoy the latest traveling escapades of the Nuns sleuthing on the run.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
What adds to the pleasure of being with Sister Mary Helen in this novel is her being with Sister Eileen in Ireland. They participate in a village's annual Oyster Festival, which provides some local color and adds interest. Though I missed Sister Anne and the San Franscisco cops, the change of scene was refreshing.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sister Mary Helen visits Sister Eileen in Ireland. The picturesque Irish village seethes with anger, envy, greed, and lust and the good sisters are in the midst of it. Sister Mary Helen discovers the body of the local newspaper gossip columnist in the ladies' room and she cannot resist delving into the mystery, even though the police detective warns her off the case. Naturally, the two good sisters begin finding clues and find ways to let the police know.

This is a fun cozy mystery. It is not fast paced (why I gave it 4 stars instead of 5) but it is satfifying. If you have read the other Sister Helen books this one should be at the top of your to read list.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've read most of her other mysteries,and then got this one. the change of scenery was nice, the plot was too simplistic and the motive as well as the guilty party was obvious early on. The Irish cops were not very bright and the ending was to anti-climactic. Obviously the author's heart was not in this story.
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