San Francisco, February 15, 2017 – Catholic author Fiorella de Maria is a masterful story-teller, often weaving in history – and its impact on current events – into her novels. An exciting new series of books follows this path, beginning with The Sleeping Witness: A Father Gabriel Mystery. The story opens when the tranquility of Saint Mary’s Abbey is shattered by the discovery of a gruesome crime in a cottage on the abbey grounds. A foreign artist and war hero seeking refuge from the world has been murdered. Marie Paige, the frail, sickly wife of the village doctor, lies beside him beaten into a coma.
The police arrest Marie’s husband, convinced that they are looking at a crime of passion. But Dr. Paige finds himself with an unlikely champion: Fr. Gabriel, a blundering but brilliant Benedictine priest who believes in his innocence and feels compelled to search for the truth.
In a country struggling to come to terms with the devastation of the Second World War, even a secluded English village has its share of secrets and broken lives. It is not long before Fr. Gabriel and his companions find themselves embarking on a dangerous journey into the victims’ troubled war histories and a chapter of Europe’s bloodiest conflict that is almost too terrible to be acknowledged.
Publishers Weekly claims, “Catholic writer De Maria deserves a wide audience.”
Lucy Beckett, author of A Postcard from the Volcano, says, “This exciting murder mystery set in a peaceful English village has a satisfyingly tangled story, and its uncannily perceptive detective, an aging Benedictine monk, is always one step ahead of the police.”
“This marvelous mystery is not a formulaic reworking of an established genre but a wonderful work of detective fiction in its own right. I hope that this lovable Benedictine detective might have many more mysteries to solve in the future. More of the same please!” says Joseph Pearce, author of Literary Converts.
Michael Richard, author of Tobit’s Dog, says, “De Maria’s clear and confident writing produces a ‘can’t put it down’ effect. This story will stay with you for a long time.”
Author Fiorella de Maria explains her inspiration for this book and series, “The Fr. Gabriel Mysteries are set in rural England at a time of uncertainty and austerity, as a nation struggles to rebuild following the carnage of the Second World War. For those whose lives are shattered by wars, the conflict never truly ends. The sense of loss, of dislocation, may be felt for many years. The characters Fr. Gabriel meets and the crimes they commit, are all shaped by recent events and the key to the mysteries are almost all to be found in the past.”
About the Author:
Fiorella de Maria was born in Italy of Maltese parents. She grew up in Wiltshire, England, and attended Cambridge, receiving a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Renaissance Literature. She lives in Surrey with her husband and four children. A winner of the National Book Prize of Malta, she has published three other novels with Ignatius Press: Poor Banished Children, Do No Harm and We’ll Never Tell Them.
Fiorella de Maria, the author of The Sleeping Witness, is available for interviews. To request a review copy or an interview with Fiorella de Maria, please contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press at (239) 867-4180 or firstname.lastname@example.org