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Saint's Gate: Sharpe & Donovan Series Book 1

Cover of Saint's Gate: Sharpe & Donovan Series Book 1

Saint's Gate: Sharpe & Donovan Series Book 1

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Two people, isolated by their pasts. An obsessive killer who will force them together. Welcome to Saint's Gate.

Emma Sharpe is summoned to a Maine convent, partly for her FBI art crimes work, partly because of her past with the Order. At issue is a mysterious painting of Irish lore and Viking legends. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI's most valuable deep-cover agents. Back home in Maine after his latest mission, a contact clues him in to an intrigue of murder, international art heists and long-held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing--Emma Sharpe is at the center of it all.


Two people, isolated by their pasts. An obsessive killer who will force them together. Welcome to Saint's Gate.

Emma Sharpe is summoned to a Maine convent, partly for her FBI art crimes work, partly because of her past with the Order. At issue is a mysterious painting of Irish lore and Viking legends. But when the nun who contacted her is murdered, it seems legend is becoming deadly reality.

Colin Donovan is one of the FBI's most valuable deep-cover agents. Back home in Maine after his latest mission, a contact clues him in to an intrigue of murder, international art heists and long-held secrets that is too tempting to resist. As danger spirals ever closer, Colin is certain of only one thing--Emma Sharpe is at the center of it all.
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    Emma Sharpe steeled herself against the sights and sounds of her past and kept up with the nervous woman rushing ahead of her in the dense southern Maine fog. They came to a tall iron fence, a folk-art granite statue of Saint Francis of Assisi glistening with drizzle among purple coneflowers and cheerful golden daylilies by the gate.

    The little bird perched on Saint Francis's shoulder still had a couple of missing tail feathers.

    Sister Joan Mary Fabriani stopped at the gate. On the other side was the "tower," the private work space where the Sisters of the Joyful Heart performed their restoration and conservation work. In violation of convent protocol, Sister Joan had escorted Emma onto the convent grounds without having her first stop at the motherhouse to register as a visitor.

    And a visitor she was, in boot-cut jeans, a brown leather jacket, Frye boots and a Smith & Wesson 442 strapped to her left calf.

    "The gate's locked," Sister Joan said, turning to Emma. "I have to get the key."

    "I'll go with you."

    "No. Wait here, please." The older woman, who'd spent the past thirty years as a member of her order, frowned slightly at the gate, which crossed the meandering stone walk two hundred yards from the main gate at the convent's entrance. "I thought I left it unlocked. It doesn't matter. I'll only be a few minutes."

    "You're preoccupied, Sister," Emma said. "I should go with you."

    "The shortest route to the tower is through an area restricted to members of our community here."

    "The meditation garden. I remember."

    "Yes. Of course you do."

    "No one will be there at this hour. The sisters are busy with their daily work."

    "I'm in no danger, Emma." Sister Joan smiled, her doe-brown eyes and wide, round face helping to soften her sometimes too-frank demeanor. "It's all right if I call you Emma, isn't it? Or should I call you Agent Sharpe?"

    Emma noted an almost imperceptible bite in Sister Joan's voice. "Emma's fine."

    With a broad hand, Sister Joan brushed a mosquito off the wide, stretchy black headband holding back her graying dark hair. Instead of the traditional nun's habit, the Sisters of the Joyful Heart wore plain clothes; in Sister Joan's case a dark gray hand-knitted sweater and calf-length skirt, black tights and sturdy black leather walking shoes. The simple silver profession cross hanging from her neck and the gold band on her left ring finger were the only external indications that she was a Roman Catholic nun.

    She looked pained. "I've already broken enough rules by having you here without telling anyone."

    Sister Joan hadn't given any details when she'd called Emma in Boston early that morning and asked her to make the two-hour drive north to the convent, located on a small peninsula on a beautiful, quiet stretch of rock-bound Maine coast.

    "At least give me an idea of what you want to talk to me about," Emma said.

    Sister Joan hesitated. "I'd like to get your opinion on a painting."

    As if there could be any other reason. "Do you suspect it's stolen?"

    "Let me get the key and show you. It'll be easier than trying to explain." Sister Joan stepped off the walk onto the lush, wet grass, still very green late in the season, and looked back at Emma. "I want to thank you for not bringing a weapon onto the grounds."

    Emma made no comment about the .38 tucked under the hem of her jeans. She'd left her nine-millimeter Sig Sauer locked in its case in her car...

About the Author-
  • Carla Neggers is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 60 novels of contemporary romance and romantic suspense, including her popular Sharpe & Donovan and Swift River Valley series. Her books have been translated into 24 languages and sold in over 30 countries. Carla is always plotting her next adventure--whether in life or for one of her novels. A frequent traveler to Ireland, she lives with her family in New England.

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