Saturday, April 24, 2021

The Religious Body - Classic Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Religious Body (Inspector Sloan #1) by Catherine Aird

Rating: Really Liked It
Source: Purchased

Description:  Inspector C.D. Sloan of the Callehsire C.I.D. makes his first appearance here as he looks into the murder of a nun at the Convent of St. Anselm. First published in 1966, The Religious Body was Aird's first book and immediately established herself as one of the leading exponents of the post-WWII English traditional mystery.

Genre: Mystery - Classic

Why I Picked This Book:  I had read a Catherine Aird book several years ago and have been wanting to read more from her so I couldn't resist the first Inspector Sloan book.

My Impression:  This may be at first glace the ultimate locked room mystery.  Who could have gotten into a convent to murder a nun?  And why on earth would they have wanted to?  At second glance things aren't nearly so simple and involve everything from Guy Fawkes bonfires to corporate secrets all wrapped in the anonymity of a nun's habit.

This is a short read - less then 200 pages - and Aird keeps the story almost stripped to the bone.  In theory there are lots of characters.  The convent has a Community of at least 50 and the boy's school next door has at least that many as well.  But Aird does a good job of getting the impression of a busy facility with only cluttering up the pages with the names the reader really needs to know.  I couldn't even guess how things would work out and the very end definitely had me surprised!

This is the first book in the Inspector Sloan series and I'm really looking forward to continuing.  Not only did Aird create a solid mystery but Sloan is a likable, practical and observant detective.  I am hoping to see him and his colleagues fleshed out a bit more because I couldn't help but want to connect just a bit more.  

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I'm really looking forward to continuing with this series and this author in general.  

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy Agatha Christie I think you'd enjoy this author.  


  1. Sounds like a really great read and an excellent book that started this series. Great you were surprised.