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Hardcover Quiet as a Nun Book

ISBN: 0670585564

ISBN13: 9780670585564

Quiet as a Nun

(Book #1 in the Jemima Shore Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good

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Book Overview

When a murder takes place in a secluded tower at Blessed Eleanor's Convent in Sussex and the victim is an old school friend, Britain's most popular TV reporter Jemima Shore finds herself in the middle... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


After all the positive reviews I was looking forward to this book. Unfortunately I could not connect with the protagonist. I think the author intended her to be a strong modern woman, but her life, responses and actions seemed empty. Never pulled me in like a Poirot novel, for example. Character had no sparkle. Wish she did.

Excellent English mystery!

I love this book! It was made into a superb (and very, very spooky) mini-series by BBC starring Joanna Lumley as Jemima. I hope it gets released on DVD!


What a good and clever job of a book this is. Antonia Fraser, not surprisingly, writes fluently and well. A nun dies of anorexia, it would seem. There is not much support for the convent in the surrounding community. Convents are too austere, too strange for ordinary people to conceptualize in present day England. It turns out that an old girl, Jemima Shore, a TV personality, an investigator of causes and outrages, is summoned to look into the matter of the death. The nun is her former classmate. Jemima attended school at the convent for two years during the war. The dead nun was an heiress. She had ownership of the grounds on which the convent is situated. Through her untimely death, the convent gained the land. She had threatened to turn the property over to poor people. Jemima Shore's television program, unbeknownst to Jemima, had triggered a controversy over the property in the convent community. Initially Jemima refuses to get involved. When a contemplated trip abroad falls apart, she reconsiders her decision. The number of deaths and inexplicable occurrences grow and Jemima Shore is compelled to enter labyrinths-- physical in terms of the convent lay-out, mental in terms of the minds and personalities of the inhabitants.

The best mystery writer since Christie!

It's odd to note that Lady Antonia Fraser, famous for her historical biographies, decided to try writing mysteries as a lark; she turns out to be the best mystery writer I have read since Agatha Christie! Possibly that's because, unlike so many other mystery writers, she does not copy or imitate Christie, Doyle or the other old masters of the genre. Instead, in Jemima Shore, she has created a startlingly original character; one who does not resemble any literary detective of the past. Fraser is also great at characterization (one of Christie's weak points); her creations are vivid and frighteningly real. This is her first Jemima Shore novel; sadly, many of the others are out of print, but if you can find them, read them.

There's a Reason They Call them Classic Mysteries

Antonia Fraser (better known to many for her historical novels) is a stellar mystery writer in the classical style. It's been twenty-some years since this mystery book was written, and it doesn't feel stale or dated to read. Jemima Shore is an interesting detective-- conflicted, maturing, and unsure of herself-- she makes an excellent vehicle for exploring a nunnery on the brink of change and for finding a murderer within its walls.
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