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The Sleeping Witness

(Father Gabriel #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  96 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In this unusual murder mystery, 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 th
Paperback, 176 pages
Published February 10th 2017 by Ignatius Press
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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  96 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Steven R. McEvoy
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 ...more
Denise Spicer
Aug 25, 2018 rated it liked it
This Father Gabriel mystery is set in postwar England. St. Mary’s Abbey in a small village is having a garden party for the fest of the Assumption when Father Gabriel first notices that something is troubling Marie Paige, wife of the local doctor. Her mysterious past in a concentration camp catches up to her and Father Gabriel must solve the murder of a foreign artist connected to her.
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
Readable enough to finish it; not readable enough ever to reread it. If you want a British priest-sleuth, skip this and proceed directly to William Brodrick's brilliant Father Anselm novels.
Elyse Hayes
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Nothing special. Plot fairly clever. But characters and setting not fleshed out. Even though the book is short, I couldn't keep the characters straight in my head because of the lack of description and development. Very slim pickings. I would give it a miss.
Aug 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fr. Gabriel is an unassuming monk who is as likeable for his sleuthing ability as well as his personal weaknesses. An easy read that will keep you guessing till the end. I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
Nov 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Good concept and interesting story. I think some of the writing could have been better: transitions weren’t always clear and I would have liked a better feel on who Father Gabriel was.
Bill Taylor
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bernie Tomasso
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a good book for light reading set in postwar England with a surprise ending.
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this fast-paced mystery in a single cozy evening. Father Gabriel and his monastic cohorts are a fascinating cast of characters, though I'd have liked more character development. Father Gabriel finds himself defending Dr. Paige, a man he admits is unlikable and who appears guilty--but the priest is convinced there's more behind the attack on the doctor's wife. Set in postwar England, the book touches on some harrowing consequences of the war and the secrets borne even by residents of a sle ...more
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Over hyped. The reviews raised my expectations too high. A decent mystery, certainly above average prose, but retreading well-worn tropes. Good enough that I'm willing to read a sequel to see if the author can get a series off the ground.
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Fiorella De Maria is an Anglo-Maltese writer, born in Italy and currently living in Surrey. She grew up in rural Wiltshire and attended Cambridge University, where she received a BA in English Literature and an MPhil in Renaissance Literature. A winner of the National Book Prize of Malta, she has published nine novels, specialising in historical and crime fiction. Fiorella’s novels have received e ...more

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