When Sister Mary Helen and Sister Eileen are dropped off at St. Colette's for the nuns' annual retreat weekend, the two nuns from Mount St. Francis College expect to have a quiet two days away from the hustle and bustle of San Francisco. Instead, they discover that they're a week early and it is in fact a priests' retreat. Unable to reach Sister Anne (their transportation) until morning, and somewhat trapped by the German shepherds growling at the doorstep, Mary Helen and Eileen are convinced by Sister Felicita to stay.
However, when Laura, the cook's assistant, comes out threatening to quit, the two nuns begin to realize St. Colette's will probably provide for a less than peaceful retreat! Out for a walk, Sister Mary Helen has the unfortunate surprise of stumbling upon the body of Greg Johnson, Laura's rebellious boyfriend and a former student of the priesthood. Realizing he's dead, Mary Helen runs panting down the hill to get help. At first it looks like Greg fell, but upon further examination it becomes clear that he was murdered. And the worst part of all is, until policemen Little and Kemp uncover who did it, Sergeant Loody considers all the people at the retreat suspects, including Sister Mary Helen. No one is allowed to leave.
For once both suspect and sleuth, Sister Mary Helen begins an investigation of her own. Moving slowly through the list of suspects, she confronts all who knew Greg, from Monsignor McHugh to Greg's mother, Marva Johnson. Almost everyone had a beef with him. While Kate Murphy, Sister Mary Helen's SFPD connection, grapples with her reservations about moving from San Francisco to Marin County, Mary Helen must decide in her own mind whether being a priest absolves a man from murder.
Original title: Death Goes on Retreat
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Amateur