The Nun’s Dowry

Dowry front cover

Anguish and intrigue behind the cold stone walls of Saint Therese’s monastery lead to a man’s quest for truth amongst the Creole elite of New Orleans.  Robin Christopher, a flawed young lawyer who spends too much time stoking his already swollen libido, finally falls in love, but the woman in question, Ariadne Alençon, leaves him to join an order of nuns.  Stunned, Robin sets out to reclaim her from the Church, and becomes enmeshed in the affairs of her aristocratic family.  The truth about what happened at Saint Therese’s and the corruption behind it are revealed in the final climactic courtroom scene.

What Others Are Saying

“This book contains all the popular elements of an exciting read: power, sex, greed, land grabs, family secrets, and the mystique of the cultures of New Orleans, (Creole, elite, and Middle class) with a dash of church dispute thrown in . . . [T]he city herself, mansions in the Garden District to bordellos in Storyville, all play a role. The details of the battles for the nun’s dowry (her gift to the Mother House when she joins the convent) the interests of various of  [the hero’s] girlfriends, squabbles among the elite and the discovery of deadly family secrets are cleverly laid out, each intricacy pushing the plot ahead a bit more . . .The tale is complex but all the pieces work well together. Just when I thought I had figured out the story, Thompson came at me with a surprise, making this a puzzle box of a book that many will enjoy trying to solve along with the characters. A lawyer for more than 40 years, Thompson is at his best when describing the legal entanglements and in the descriptions of the climactic courtroom scene.”—Joan Leotta, Myrtle Beach Sun-News

“[T]his complex novel adopts changing perspectives and narrators to impart its story; and while that device could have proved confusing in lesser hands, Alan Thompson’s approach succeeds in creating a winning saga that examines not just one nun’s world, but a number of other lives that orbit around her . . . Readers who anticipate that The Nun’s Dowry will be solely about religious orders and relationships within them will be pleased to find this a complex, multi-faceted novel that embraces history, philosophy, and the influences that lead down a darker road of violence and murder . . . It’s difficult to capture all the nuances of the story without revealing too many of its twists and turns: suffice it to say that The Nun’s Dowry offers more than a diversity of perspectives and lives: it is a novel of intersections and complicated relationships both within and outside the monastery, and is recommended for readers who like their stories well detailed, winding, and filled with food for thought.” – D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“A young New Orleans lawyer endures death and unrequited love in Thompson’s atmospheric legal and religious thriller.  Robin Christopher . . . finds temporary succor in Ariadne Alençon, a member of one of New Orleans’ oldest and wealthiest families . . . [and] quickly becomes immersed in the back-stabbing, promiscuous, and murderous lives of her family. They seek an heir so that their money doesn’t fall into the hands of a wicked, calculating Church, undeserving family members, or opportunistic interlopers . . .  [R]eaders receive brief lessons on law, religious thought, and the history of Louisiana—all subjects on which Thompson is erudite. The author provides profuse story complications . . . [but] ties up all the loose ends neatly by the end of the book . . .” – Kirkus Reviews

“Set in 1960’s New Orleans where the the Catholic church reigns and elite Creole families use and abuse the church’s power, The Nun’s Dowry takes us on an intricate search to discover who is entitled to inherit a young nun’s money and property. The connections between family and church, past and present weave a spider’s web of corruption and abuse. None of the characters emerge unscathed as we learn about their involvement in the case. Alan Thompson knows the law and his novel unfolds with the methodical pace of a high stakes legal argument. The pleasure of reading The Nun’s Dowry comes in solving the jigsaw puzzle of the case against the backdrop of the city of New Orleans with its mansions, its red light district in Storyville, its cemeteries and convents.”–Amazon Reviewer

“The story is told from multiple points of view. In many books I’ve read that can become messy and confusing, but the author of this book handled the challenge beautifully. I suppose I would classify this novel as a murder mystery/legal thriller, but it was so much more than that. The author brought to life the time period, the characters, and the landscape. I was disappointed that I didn’t have the time to finish this book faster.”–Goodreads Reviewer

“Every chapter of The Nun’s Dowry will keep you guessing. It brought out the sleuth in me. Just when I thought I had it figured out (who did what to whom?), I had to return to the drawing board. Thompson’s description of the New Orleans area and the Catholic Church in the 60’s was well researched. A real page turner, this is his best book ever. I would love to see it made into a movie.”–Amazon Reviewer

“Set in New Orleans and other Louisiana sites, locations and ancestry play major roles in the labyrinth of discovery that propels us to the conclusion of this thought provoking drama. Skillful sleuths will enjoy scratching clues from the polished veneer of Thompson’s storytelling. Vivid character descriptions give us people to admire and despise as we follow the complex plot weaving a tapestry of lives involving sex, prestige, money, power, love and abuse. To say more would be to tell too much. Enjoy it. I did.”–Amazon Reviewer




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