A Matter of Roses by David Manuel
A Faith Abbey Mystery
Time Warner - July 2001
ISBN: 0446609889 - Paperback
Private Sleuth

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer, MyShelf.com
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After an unnamed violent storm of the century ravages the Cape Cod coast, the body of MacCurtis, real estate developer, is found murdered on Teal Pond, disemboweled by the knife he had made in Vietnam.

At a recent reception announcing a competition for the rose of the Centennial, Curtis had assembled the judges and competitors for the prize rose. When Sarah Tomlinson - an obsession from Vietnam days - rebuffed him, he lost control and demonstrated his special knife and the method he used to implement it. All who were at the reception are suspects.

Eastport's Chief of Police, Dan Burke, calls on his old friend, Brother Bartholomew to help. Meeting Allison, his love from years ago, again, Bartholomew is experiencing a spiritual crisis in his commitment to God. Together with his fellow monk, Brother Ambrose, Bartholomew and Burke seek out the killer.

This is a suspenseful story with beautiful descriptions of the Cape Cod areas, its ocean, atmosphere, and country. The passages concerning life at the Abbey are most informative. The characters are well presented, made very real. Bartholomew's quandary is treated with sensitivity. It is a well-written, well-constructed plot with enough suspects to keep the reader guessing until the end.

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