Recently I was researching the murders of three Nuns in Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa. The terrible slaughter of these innocent woman was blamed on on man Christian Butoyi Claude. It was hard to imagine one man could slaughter three Nuns the way he did all by himself, but local Police seemed satisfied.
Then I read how a real NUN who took a leave of absence after serving in Africa for several years filled out an application to become a CIA worker. I was hoping they would recruit her for spy missions but that was not the case. Anyway, this spurred my imagination and I am now writing a fictional book using these events as a background. My new serial detective, slash CIA field agent is Sister Angelina who was a Sister for the Sisters of Charity in Riverdale, New York. I take the reader back to Bujumbura the capitol of Burundi where all the Hutu and Tutsi civil wars took place in the 1990’s. A well connected younger brother of Sister Madeline who was one of the Nuns murdered inquires of the Vatican Holy See as to what really happened in Bujumbura? Politics set into motion and the USA CIA is also interested what the real story is and whether a Hutu or Tutsi uprising is going to happen again. Sister Angelina of the Sisters of Charity in the Bronx, N.Y. served in Africa for 15 years and then became ill and took a leave to attend to her medical problems which were cancer. After her cancer was cured she decided to leave the Sisters of Charity order and find a real job. She signs up for the CIA with a standard application thinking she could make money as a secretary in the CIA and get to move to Washington, D.C. from New York. The CIA looking for a person who could speak French and Swahili took notice of her application and summoned her to Washingtion, D.C. for an Interview. They were impressed with her African experience in Kenya, NRC Congo, and Burundi as a teacher and administrator of funds. She is hired as a CIA Field agent and sent to various cities for training. A favor from the Vatican to the USA CIA to investigate the terrible murders of the Sisters of Mary, Nuns in Bujumbura, Africa is passed through private channels. Sister Angelina although technically not a Nun anymore is given a false identity as a Nun of the Sisters of Mary and the Vatican Holy See provides the backup paperwork to prove she is a current Nun. After all her training she is sent to the convent in Kamenge in the outskirts of Bujumbura, Burundi, Africa. The Mother Superior of the Kamenge Convent is told Angelina is a replacement for the slaughtered Nuns. Sister Angelina is given a CIA contact an African name Swami who delivers food to the convent each week.
As the weeks go by Sister Angelina attempts to find out from the other Nuns what happened with the murders. She arouses the suspicions of the Mother Superior and is eventually revealed to be working for the Vatican unofficially and the USA CIA to solve the murders. Meanwhile, Christian Butoyi Claude is put in a mental hospital because he was caught with the Convent’s keys on his person and a cell phone from one of the murdered Sisters. Christian is a simple man who was brain damaged as a child from a blow to his head by a Hutu tribesman who also killed his parents. He becomes the fall guy for the murders that Police are all to willing to arrest and blame to close the case.
The next sequel will be about stolen art pieces by the Nazis during WWII in Italy and how the Convent hid some of the valuable paintings from the Nazis. Sister Angelina is sent by the CIA with the approval of the Vatican Holy See again to investigate where the paintings were hidden. Only two Nuns survived WWII and they never revealed the hiding place because only the Mother Superior, who was killed in the war, knew where the paintings were hidden. Sister Angelina arrives in Rome and is allowed access to the Vatican files regarding stolen paintings by the nazis during WWII. Sister Angelina’s focus is on paintings stolen from Monesteries or Abbeys in Italy. The story takes many twists and turns as Sister Angelina finds out how difficult it is to see under the vail of secrecy in the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church in Italy.