Olivia Matthews is the cozy mystery pseudonym of award-winning, best-selling author Patricia Sargeant. Patricia has been inspired by writers such as Walter Mosley, Dick Francis, and Tami Hoag, who put ordinary people in extraordinary situations and have them find the Hero Inside. Her Sister Lou character was inspired by Catholic sisters whose courage, determination, and faith have helped build communities and formed rich, lasting legacies.
Olivia Matthews’ Sister Lou Mystery series was inspired by Sisters from the Dominican Sisters of Peace, a congregation of Catholic Sisters based in Columbus, Ohio. Olivia talks about how the Sisters inspired her stories and title character. Audience: Adult.
ALIBIS & ANGELS (2019): With the Lenten season fast approaching, Sister Louise “Lou” LaSalle looks forward to a final day of indulgence before giving up her favorite sweets. But one Briar Coast resident won’t get the chance to repent. Opal Lorrie, the mayor’s director of finance, was just found in the parking lot of the Board of Ed—with a broken neck.
The sheriff’s deputies are calling the apparent slip-and-fall a freak accident. But Opal was driving her boss’s car and wearing her boss’s red wool coat. Mayor Heather Stanley has been receiving threatening letters and is clearly the real target. Offering her sanctuary could put the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Hermione of Ephesus at risk, but how can Sister Lou turn her back on a neighbor in need? Aided by her loyal sleuthing partners—her well-connected nephew Chris and reporter Shari Henson—Sister Lou must confront the mayor’s myriad detractors during this critical election year. And as the first day of April nears, it’s up to her to unmask an unrepentant killer who has everyone fooled.
PERIL & PRAYER (2018): When a member of her congregation is suspected of murder, a Catholic sister and her team of amateur sleuths must identify who’s framing her and why in order to protect the Congregation’s reputation.
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…