Peril & Prayer: A Sister Lou Mystery by Olivia Matthews

by belinda
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Good Reads Summary

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 . . 

My Thoughts (spoiler-free)

Last year, I read the first book in this series during March Mystery Madness and loved it. So I thought I would include it in my TBR for March Mystery Madness 2020. This second book was just as delightful. Once again, Sister Lou, Chris, and Shari are on the case after a murder occurs. The new person involved in the search is Sister Marianna and just as in the first book, she is her usual cranky cantankerous self. This adds to the comedy in the story in my opinion. She can’t get out of her own way and Sister Lou is the calm, reasoning voice that can tame her.

I found the story interesting and if I were to name anything that bothered me a bit in this book it would be the repetition of mentioning the pin each sister wears. I thought at first it was a clue but it was not. Also, I think she pushed it a little bit with Chris’s daily questions of Shari about her past. I think she could have lost one or two of those scenes and still made the point. For those reasons, I would rate it a little lower than the first book. However, I still highly recommend this cozy mystery series.

I had the flu at the beginning of the month and that fact and the elevated alert for the Covid-19 made this a great choice to see me through both. It is a light story with interesting characters. I will definitely be picking up book three in the future.

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