Friday, April 17, 2020

The Passover Murder

The Passover Murder (1996) by Lee Harris

This installment in the Christine Bennett mystery series finds our ex-nun getting involved in a mystery from her friend Melanie's past. When Chris attends the Passover celebration of Melanie's family, she learns about a Passover dinner from 16 years ago when Great-Aunt Iris went to the door to let in the Prophet Elijah and never came back. Iris's battered body was found two days later in an undesirable part of Manhattan. The police were unable to find anyone with a motive and so the case is still open. Chris is persuaded to look into the murder by Melanie and her mother--even though she feels that the family patriarch (whom she just met, but already likes very much) would rather that old secrets stay buried.

Despite the reluctance of Iris's family and friends to answer questions, Chris is able to read between the lines and uncovers a surprising suspect that the police overlooked. Little clues and passing comments lead to a big reveal, though it would take a reader with psychic powers to figure out the complete story before Christine . I'm not complaining, though--Harris's characters are good and the plot is solid. And these mysteries are nice, comfy reads for when you don't want to puzzle over complex plots and intense drama among the players.  ★★ 

Deaths = One (beaten to death)
Calendar of Crime = April (Passover cups on cover)
Mystery Bingo
Card #1: Weapon = Bare Hands; Crime Scene = Car; Red Herrings = Ex-husband

First Line: "What I'm really trying to say," my friend Melanie Gross said over the telephone, "is that it's going to be a slightly crazy experience, but I think you'll enjoy it."

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