(written as Olivia Matthews)
A Kensington Publishing release
Cozy mystery
December 2017
ISBN-10: 1496709387
ISBN-13: 978-1496709387
$7.99 U.S., mass market paperback
$5.99 U.S., ebook

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A Los Angeles transplant, Sister Louise “Lou” LaSalle feels right at home in Briar Coast, New York. After all, her beloved nephew, Chris, works at the college founded by her congregation. But while Sister Lou has always played by the rules, she’s about to have her faith in herself tested—by murder . . .

Sister Lou expects some pushback when she invites her friend, Dr. Maurice Jordan, to be the guest speaker for the St. Hermione of Ephesus Feast Day presentation. The theology professor is known far and wide for his controversial views. What she’s not prepared for is finding him dead in his hotel room, bashed over the head.

When the local deputies focus on the members of her congregation as suspects, Sister Lou takes matters into her own hands. Against Chris’s wishes, she teams up with a cynical local reporter to delve into Maurice’s life. The unlikely partners in crime-fighting uncover a litany of both devotees and detractors. And though it might take a miracle to find the killer, Sister Lou vows to carry on until justice prevails . . .

Excerpt from Mayhem & Mass: A Sister Lou Mystery

Necessary Risks

Sister Lou blew a disgusted breath. “It’s been about forty-three hours and the sheriff’s deputies are still questioning people who had nothing to do with the murder.”

“It’s ridiculous,” Sister Carmen said.

They jogged in silence for a while. The sun lifted higher in the sky, chasing away the morning dew. The bird’s song accompanied their steps as they jogged the first lap of the campus oval.

Sister Lou broke the companionable silence. “Marianna’s furious and she has every right to be.”

“The interrogations aren’t pleasant.” Sister Carmen waited until they crested the hill leading toward the residence halls before she continued. “They try to trip you up. You know you’re telling the truth but by the end of the interrogation, you start to doubt yourself.”

“Meanwhile, a murderer is at large, perhaps still in Briar Coast.” Sister Lou exchanged a nod of greeting with a group of students they passed on the unofficial jogging path. The seven or eight young women moved as a tight, synchronized group as though they’d been running together for years.

“Are you going to do your own investigation?”

“I told Chris that I’m going to work with the Telegraph reporter, Shari Henson, to investigate Maurice’s murder.”

“What did Chris say to that?”

“He wasn’t happy, but this is my decision.”

Sister Carmen gave a breathy chuckle. “Just remind that overprotective nephew of yours that the will of God never takes you where the grace of God can’t protect you.”

“Amen.” Sister Lou wiped the sweat from her brow with the back of her hand. “I’ll call Shari Monday morning. I’d rather talk with Jess myself before going to the deputies.”

“Just as long as you tell me everything.”

“You know that I will.”

“And please be careful. You are investigating a murder.”

“Do I need to remind you of God’s grace and protection as well?” Sister Lou smiled at Sister Carmen.

“Just tell me you won’t take unnecessary risks.” Tension shook Sister Carmen’s voice.

“I won’t.”

I’m not worried about unnecessary risks. It’s the necessary ones that concern me.