Sister Maureen

(creator: Janet O'Daniel)

Thou Shalt Not Klll cover
Sister Maureen is the director of St Margaret's Home. She is a very capable, business-like, and busy person who used to be a highly effective coach for the boys' basketball team, and also proves to be an observant and shrewd detective. She appears in just the one short story reviewed below.

Janet O'Daniel was the pseudonym for Janet Cichetti (1921- ) and Lillian Ressler Groom who also jointly used the name Lillian Janet for a whole series of historical novels, of which the most well-known was the children's novel Garrett's Crossing. I would welcome more information (and photographs) about them. If you can help, please contact me via my Guestbook.

Death of an Alumnus (1998)
Death of an Alumnus is a short story that is included in the Thou Shalt Not Kill anthology. It is centred around the dedication of a new building at St Margaret's Home (for the orphaned and homeless). The director, Sister Maureen, is a compassionate and conscientous director, as shown by her concern for Roger Mulligan "who had the mind of a child, had lived at the home for so many years that all of them had forgotten how he arrived and where he came from." His "talent for gardening went far beyond mere greenness of thumb. He lived and breathed along with the living and breathing of his plants, understanding them in a way that Sister Maureen found bewildering. God's gift, of course, she thought now. The door that opened when another one closed."

Then ex-resident Eddie arrives for the grand opening. Now an expert basketball player, he gratefully tells Sister Maureen, "I remember your pins. You always had a lot of big safety pins around you to pin up your skirts and your veil when you were showing us how to make jump shots." Another ex-resident Artie Hoffman, on the other hand, had been a nasty piece of work, but Sister Maureen has to greet too many other important guests to worry too much about him. But then his dead body is found - stabbed with Roger's knife. The sheriff soon discovers that both Roger and Artie had had every reason to hate him, but it is Sister Maureen, who had known both the suspects so well, who notices the tell-tale clue that reveals the real murderer. She's an engaging character and it is a pity that this is her only appearance.

There is hardly anything about the authors on the web, apart from references to their pseudonyms which are highly confusing.

Used copies of the Thou Shalt Not Kill anthology are available (but be careful: there are other books with this title).

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The story Death of an Alumnus is included in the Thou Shalt Not Kill anthology, published in 1992.
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