Quaker Silence: An Elizabeth Elliot Mystery

Irene Allen, Author, Arene Allen, Author, E. Kirsten Peters, Author Villard Books $17 (0p) ISBN 978-0-679-41414-8
Reflection rather than heart-pounding action marks this subdued and sober first mystery by the pseudonymous Allen. When a devout member of the Society of Friends in Cambridge, Mass., is murdered, other members of the community confront volatile, timely issues, including homelessness and sexual preference. As the Clerk of the Friends Meeting, 66-year-old widow Elizabeth Elliot moderates Quaker gatherings and informally counsels her peers. It is she who encourages them to accept a homeless man at the weekly services of silent prayer, and she who calmly presides over a vigorous debate about whether to recognize homosexual marriage as valid. The murder victim was a wealthy Quaker businessman who was opposed to gay unions; his announcement that he planned to revise his will , made at a Sunday meeting shortly before his death, suggests that the killer is a Quaker. Saddened by events and determined to see justice served, Elizabeth methodically investigates, a process involving discussing the crime over tea with friends and suspects. This mellow, well-orchestrated debut may seem tame to readers accustomed to violence and displays of intense emotion. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/28/1992
Release date: 10/01/1992
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