Book Review: Sister Eve, Private Eye

15 May

691455Sister 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 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?


Lynne_smLynne Hinton was born and raised in North Carolina. She attended Wake Forest University and is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro. She also attended NC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking and graduated with her Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has served as a hospice chaplain and as a senior pastor in Guilford County and Asheboro, North Carolina and in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and as the interim pastor in northeastern Washington.

Lynne is the author of eighteen books, including the NY Times Bestseller, Friendship Cake and Pie Town, the 2011 NM Book of the Year: Fiction/Adventure, Drama Category and 2011 National Federation of Press Women’s Fiction Book of the Year. Her 2014 book, written under the name Lynne Branard, The Art of Arranging Flowers, was also the winner of the NM-Arizona Book Awards Fiction/Adventure Category. In addition, she has penned a mystery series under the name, Jackie Lynn and has one nonfiction collection of essays. She is a regular guest columnist in the Faith and Values Section for The Charlotte Observer and was the 2008 Lucy B. Patterson Author of the Year by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in NC. In 2010, she was the recipient of a Louisville Institute Pastoral Study Grant and was named 2012 Favorite Local Writer in Albuquerque, New Mexico by Albuquerque, The Magazine.


My Impressions:

Sister Eve, Private Eye is the May selection for my Book Club, By The Book. We don’t often read mysteries, although some of us are big fans of the genre. To be honest, mysteries don’t always lend themselves to great discussion, other than who figured out whodunit. But we get into reading ruts, so I wanted to mix it up a bit and thought this one would do the trick. I have to say that while Sister Eve may stimulate some good conversation, it won’t be because of the mystery.

Sister Evangeline Divine (that’s pronounced Diveen, if you please) has been a nun for over 20 years. Her community is undergoing some changes and so is she. After her father, an ex-police captain turned P. I., undergoes an amputation, Eve takes over his care and his one case. Eve has great intuition and insight and maybe likes private detecting a little more than she would like to admit.

The examination of vocation in Sister Eve, Private Eye, is very interesting. Evangeline struggles with the patience and obedience necessary for her life as a nun. She also has to confront whether her religious life has insulated her from the daily joys and sorrows of her family. All of that was good, but where was the mystery? Yes there is a murder and suspects and clues, but it seemed secondary to the story of Eve and her spiritual introspection. I also was not keen on how the reader is left out of the uncovering of the murderer. I didn’t figure the mystery out mainly because I was not included! There is a second book in the series, but I don’t think I will be reading it.

Have you read this book? We would love to know what you thought.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)