Title: The Good Friday Murder
Author: Lee Harris
Publisher: Fawcett Gold Medal 
No. of Pages: 1999
At 30 Christine Bennett has left behind her life as a nun and moved into the house she inherited from her Aunt. The town she’s moved to is debating whether or not to allow an institution for mentally handicapped people to move into the area. People’s biggest objection is that one of the residents of the institution may have murdered his mother 40 years before and their is fear that he might still be dangerous. Christine offers to do some research to see if the man, whose twin brother was also thought guilty of the crime but who lives in a different institution, was really guilty of the crime or not. The townsfolk agree that if he wasn’t guilty (and therefore isn’t dangerous) then the institution’s application will be approved.
The first of what has become a 16-series book of holiday-themed mysteries, The Good Friday Murder has an engaging, fairly credible plot (although the number of people who can remember with clarity events of 40 years ago is a little unbelievable). There wasn’t anything particularly unique about the resolution to the mystery and it was the thread relating to the twins and their reliance on each other that was fascinating and kept me turning pages.
An ex-nun as protagonist is certainly an unusual device for a cosy and Harris has treated the subject well: making Christine a quite believable character. Being the first novel in the series there are lots of other characters introduced, several of whom could easily become ongoing players in the series.
For me, everyone was a little too earnest and a little lacking in odd traits to be truly memorable and the complete lack of even a hint of humour means I won’t rush to look for more in the series but if you enjoy a tightly written, quick read with nice wholesome characters then this is for you.
My rating 2.5/5