This was a one of those mysteries that is enjoyable but not because it's a pageturner with a complicated plot. No, I enjoyed the descriptions of people and settings, and it takes you into an interesting world, which the author understands well. It's also better written than many of this genre.
The story begins with the detective character, Sister Mary Helen, going on a retreat with her friend Sister Eileen. Unfortunately, they arrive at this beautifully located California retreat house a week early (mixup with dates) and there's a priests' retreat going on. They intend to just spend the night and return home, but a murder means that they must remain in residence while the law enforcement officers are investigating the case. The police detectives are convinced it's one of the people on the property at that time that committed the crime, so they're basically looking at nuns and priests -- a small group, who we get to know fairly well.
Sr. Mary Helen is the one who finds the body, and she is unable to restrain herself from conducting her own investigation -- not that I blame her, because I'd want to know who among the people I was with was a killer (although questioning possible killers is not a good idea, if you ask me.)
I read a lot of mysteries, so that may explain it, but I had a hunch who the killer was from the front. I kept waiting for an explanation of the motive, because I think people don't kill without good reason, but even at the end, the motive just didn't seem adequate -- which is probably why I enjoyed reading the book but came away a bit disappointed by the ending.
This is my second book by this author and I intend to read more.