Monday 26 August 2019

The Sleeping Witness - Fiorella De Maria - Father Gabriel Mysteries Book 1

The Sleeping Witness
A Father Gabriel Mystery
Fiorella De Maria
Ignatius Press
eISBN 9781681497402

After reading A Most Dangerous Innocence, I picked up all the eBooks available of works by Fiorella De Maria and set to work tracking down the three that do not have electronic editions. And this was the second novel by Fiorella that I have read. It is an intriguing mystery set in a small town in England. The book was incredibly addictive and very hard to put down. This story in some ways feels like a cross between a Blackie Ryan mystery by Andrew M. Greeley and a the Inspector Tom Tyler series by Maureen Jennings. But this one I would classify as Catholic Fiction and the other two as fiction by Catholics. And I enjoyed this as much or even more than either of those other two series. This is the first of two currently available father Gabriel Mysteries.

The Abbey of Saint Mary’s and the small town it resides near are greatly disturbed by a gruesome murder and attempted murder on the abbey grounds. Those events take place after the garden party at the Abbey on the feast of the Assumption. The body of an artist and a local married woman are found, in the cottage shortly after a single gun shot is fired. Marie Paige has been left for dead, and a foreign artist Johannes Pederson and claims he is a war hero from Denmark. Within short order Dr. Paige has been charged with the murder and attempted murder. But something just does not fee right to Father Gabriel. And he keeps pushing the bounds of what he is supposed to be doing, trying to solve this mystery. Father Gabriel is breaking rule after rule because he just feels that the clues do not match what he expects. 

This is a fast-paced story. With the events for the most part transpiring over a few days. But it is also a story with a lot of alluding back. We have the citizens of a small British town after the Second World War. We have father Gabriel, Abbot Ambrose, Bother Gerard. We have survivors on the Holocaust. And a lot of different secrets.  And we have Father Gabriel risking everything to get to the truth.

It is an excellent mystery. Very well written, and thoroughly enjoyable. It will absolutely leave you wanting the next father Gabriel story and likely hoping for more in the future. I should note I would never have picked this up based on the cover, but having read another book by the author I had to give the blurb a read and was hooked before I had finished the write up. It is another great book from the masterful pen of Fiorella De Maria!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Fiorella De Maria:
The Cassandra Curse
Father William's Daughter
Poor Banished Children
Do No Harm
We'll Never Tell Them
A Most Dangerous Innocence
I Am Margaret The Play
Father Gabriel Mysteries:
The Sleeping Witness
The Vanishing Woman

See No Evil
Death of a Scholar

Skaters Series:
The Second Skater of the Apocalypse

Robert Southwell – CTS Saints of the Isles

Books as Fiorella Nash:
The Abolition of Woman: How Radical Feminism Is Betraying Women

Author Profile and Interview with Fiorella de Maria.

No comments: