“Anand has sketched her characters deftly and thrown in a guinea pig, Bonjour! who only speaks French but has a whole hearted admiration for smart members of the animal species like cats.”

NO MAJOR SPOILERS

A bunch of nuns armed with swords is the last thing the ordinary child would expect. Manisha Anand – the fact that she is based in the UK shows – has created a very different set of superheroes in her Assassin Nuns with 12 year old Ann there as a guide. The nuns specialise in rescuing the people of the small village of Pistachio where they are based but in this second book they feel they deserve a holiday. Conveniently the order of Assassin Nuns has a cottage by the seaside, so the Reverend Mother leads her flock and Ann to what they hope is R&R by the sea.

However, as every reader knows, there is no rest for superheroes. Something murky is afoot in Peppercorn Bay and it apparently flies a Jolly Roger. The old Mr Nesbitt has spotted it but no one pays attention to him until Ann sees something suspicious too. There are also, unexpectedly in a children’s adventure barring Harry Potter, two violent deaths which strike a jarring note in the general eccentric idyll of the surroundings but which help to make the danger seem real.

Anand has sketched her characters deftly and thrown in a guinea pig, Bonjour! who only speaks French but has a whole hearted admiration for smart members of the animal species like cats. Anand’s Sisters have quaint names guaranteed to raise a chortle among convent-educated children, taken from their occupations and quirky behaviour in some cases.

What one could ask for perhaps is a smidgeon less of the delightful details that on occasion hold up the story while the reader digests delicious fish and chips, or more action to balance the delight. Reading the first book in the series is certainly recommended to find out how it all began.

 

Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 12th March 2017

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Anjana Basu

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