How do you solve a problem like Marianna?
This year's Advent retreat has been booked for the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Hermione of Ephesus at the pastoral Briar Coast Cabin Resorts in New York. But when the combative Sister Marianna practically loses her religion arguing over minor details with resort co-owner Autumn Tassler, Sister Louise “Lou” LaSalle blessedly steps in as peacemaker.
Only days later, Autumn is found strangled in her office, and hot-headed Sister Marianna becomes the sheriff’s deputies’ prime suspect. They believe her missing scarf may be the murder weapon, but Sister Lou believes Sister Marianna’s being framed. If she has a prayer of keeping Sister Marianna out of prison, she’ll need to once again put her faith in her nephew Chris LaSalle and reporter Shari Henson to help her solve the case. As the trio tries to cross suspects off the list, Sister Lou has no choice but to stick her neck out—if she’s going to unveil who was desperate enough to resort to murder . . .
About the Author
Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym of award-winning author Patricia Sargeant. A voracious reader, Patricia first realized she wanted to be a published author at the age of nine. She’s been inspired by writers such as Walter Mosley, Dick Francis and Tami Hoag, who put ordinary characters in extraordinary situations. Her Sister Lou character was inspired by Catholic sisters whose courage, determination and faith have helped build communities and formed rich, lasting legacies. Raised in New York City, Patricia lives in Ohio with her husband. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at BooksByPatricia@yahoo.com. Visit her Olivia Matthews website, AuthorOliviaMatthews.com, and sign up for her enewsletter to learn about upcoming releases and events.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I just finished reading “Peril & Prayer” the second book by Olivia Matthews in the Sister Lou Mystery. I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review, and I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. As a practicing Catholic, I was impressed with Ms. Matthews professional, clear and concise description of the things that we hold in dear. Things like explaining the Holy Season of Advent, the workings of her Congregation, and the difference between a nun and a sister. I enjoyed the way that Ms. Matthew sets the scene for the murder by having the victim confronted by so many people and one by one methodically eliminate and clearing them as a suspect. Ms. Matthews also fleshes out the secondary subplots from the first novel: the relationship with the police deputies: I for one would like to know what happened to Dep. Ted Tate as a young man that created such open and direct hostility towards Sr. Lou and her Congregation. His inability to get past it reminds me of how our biases and prejudices can so blind us if we are not aware of them. I also like the way we gain more insight into Shari Henson the reporter, as well as, her story and how it impacts her relationship with Chris LaSalle, Sr. Lou” nephew. You wanted to know who killed Autumn, every time you thought you had t, Sr. Lou ends up clearing that person. This time around Sr Lou had a difficult path to navigate and she did it with diplomacy, truth and her own brand od spiritedness. When the pieces come together for her, she still made you gasped when the killer was revealed. I do not know if this was intended by Ms. Matthews, but I felt after reading this book that I needed to take a good look at myself and see how my biases, prejudices, pre-conceived notions truly influence not only my thinking, but my world view.
The Congregation of the Sisters of St. Hermione of Ephesus are holding their annual Advent Retreat at the pastoral Briar Coast Cabin Resorts. It should be peaceful and serene but when Sister Lou and hot-headed Sister Marianna witness issues with the owner at a planning session and then the owner is murdered, Sister Lou has to trade her running shoes for her detective gear to clear Sister Marianna. I love Sister Lou (had nuns as teachers through 12th grade) for her vitality, determination and her willingness to help others even if they aren't necessarily her favorite people. I just wish the police in these mysteries would stop thinking that the nuns are the bad guys immediately.
This was a very good mystery. Three murders within 8 years. 2 murders within 3 months in which the congregation is connected to both. Sister Lou does some investigating because Sister Marianna is accused of murder. A surprise ending to keep you wanting to read.