ffb: A Nun In The Closet

this is the 173rd in my series of forgotten or seldom read books.

A Nun In The Closet by Dorothy Gillman. nuninclosetUpon recently reading an article in Mystery News on Mrs. Polifax author Dorothy Gilmore, I realized I’d not read anything by her. Not wanting to read one of the Pollifax spy novels, I decided to try this one,  A Nun In The Closet. Written in 1978, the book is very much a product of it’s time. It’s a story of two nuns who go to inspect a piece of property which has been bequeathed to their Nunnery. Once there they find a suitcase full of money in the well, followed soon after by a body in a closet. Ignorant in the ways of “the outside world”, the two Sisters stumble from one event to another, including a run-in with hippies camped in the woods on the 150 acre property, a homeless man who collects garbage for it’s recycle value, and other interesting characters. The mob shows up, then the Sheriff, then… well you’ll just have to see for yourself. I’m not usually a reader of humorous mysteries, so I wasn’t enthralled with this, but many readers no doubt will be.

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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12 Responses to ffb: A Nun In The Closet

  1. Richard, I don’t mind a little humour in everything I read including mysteries, and I like the plot of this novel whose author, Dorothy Gilmore, is new to me. Thank you for the review.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I like humor in a mystery if it’s done well (a la Westlake). I’m not saying slapstick, as I don’t generally like what I’d consider over the top farce (unless I know in advance the book is an over the top farce). I’ve never read Gilman either (perhaps a short story?) and don’t think this will be the first.

    • Richard says:

      Jeff it met tell you something that I don’t like Westlake because I don’t care for funny crime. If I’d known going in this was going to be what it turned out to be I doubt I’d have read it.

  3. I’ve had pretty much the same reaction to Dorothy Gilmore’s work that you experienced. I was underwhelmed. The books seem dated to me, too.

  4. John says:

    What was it about “the mob” and the 1970s? The book I wrote about for this week also has mobsters in it. Two big turn offs for me on any crime fiction book blurb are “drug dealing” and “mobsters”. I think I just got overdosed on both topics from all the 1970s crime movies and TV I saw growing up. I don’t like to read about either anymore. If I do read a book with either aspect it’s usually by accident.

    • Richard says:

      John, in this case, since it’s a humorous novel, the mob people stumble over themselves and are ineffective, but you’re right, there was a lot of mob consciousness at the time, I guess. Not that I remember that, I was too busy getting started with a working life after finishing college.

  5. Yvette says:

    I read most of the Dorothy Gillman spy novels (Mrs. Pollifax) years ago – enjoyed them. Recently I listened to a few on audio (youtube has them) and still enjoyed them. If you don’t like a certain sort of humor in your mysteries and/or thrillers and/or suspense novels, these books are probably not for you. Though the humor is not of the laugh out loud kind.

    • Richard says:

      I guess I just expected this one to be more classic Brit mystery, unlike Polifax, and I was wrong. I finished it, I reviewed it, but it won’t make any favorite books of the year lists.

  6. Todd Mason says:

    I like witty or even farcical crime writing when done well…but it’s easy to lose traction in that, as say, episodes of THE SOPRANOS or latter day COLUMBO would sometimes demonstrate…

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