Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Mayhem & Mass (A Sister Lou Mystery #1)” as Want to Read:
Mayhem & Mass (A Sister Lou Mystery #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Mayhem & Mass

(A Sister Lou Mystery #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  57 reviews
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, Ma
Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 28th 2017 by Kensington Publishing Corporation
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Mayhem & Mass, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Mayhem & Mass

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  184 ratings  ·  57 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Mayhem & Mass (A Sister Lou Mystery #1)
Lisa Ks Book Reviews
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A delightful new sleuth is on the scene!

Who do you get when you cross Father Dowling and Jessica Fletcher? Sister Louise “Lou” LaSable. Cozy mysteries have been waiting for her for a long time!

I have only good things to say about MAYHAM & MASS. Brilliant writing, a uniquely wonderful cast of characters and an excellent, hard to guess plot. There were so many twists and turns, I got dizzy! I didn’t guess the killer, even though I thought I was on the right track.

Spending time with Sister Lou has
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cozy-mysteries, 2017
Mayhem and Mass by Olivia Matthews is the first book A Sister Lou Mystery series. Sister Lou LaSalle is a sister with St. Hermione of Ephesus in Briar Coast, New York. She has invited her old friend, Dr. Maurice Jordan to be their speaker for Saint Hermione of Ephesus Feast Day presentation. Sister Lou’s choice was not a popular one since Dr. Jordan, a theology professor, is known for his controversial views. The day of his speech, Maurice fails to show up on time or respond to Sister Lou’s phon ...more
Mary  (Biblophile)
I wanted to like this book but couldn't get past the constant repetition, especially about the colors of everything. The book was seriously over long and drawn out. The nun who investigated her friend's murder has possibilities and may evolve more as the series progresses. I skipped over huge parts of the story as it didn't move things along. There were too many points of view which caused some lack of cohesiveness. Hopefully, some of these negatives will be fixed in future books. ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sister Lou definitely has a clue!

Sister Louise LaSalle, sleuth extraordinaire, brings a fresh new voice to the world of cozies. Inquisitive, determined, and wonderfully kind, she teams up with her beloved nephew and a somewhat jaded reporter to solve the murder of her dear friend Maurice--a man whose controversial teachings attracted a number of enemies. I loved the Christie-style ending, and the bond that slowly developed among the three sleuths promises to deliver more delightful, mystery-solv
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a very cozy mystery. Even including murder this is a rather warm and fuzzy book. I am certainly looking forward to the next book with Sister Lou. She seems to be able to stir up trouble while she works.
Monica **can't read fast enough**
Nice start to the series and I am looking forward to continuing. MAYHEM & MASS has a lot more details/descriptions than the cozy mysteries that I have read before which made it a longer read. Enjoyable characters, well paced story, and nicely atmospheric. Full review to come.

Where you can find me:
•(♥).•*Monlatable Book Reviews*•.(♥)•
Twitter: @MonlatReader
Instagram: @readermonica
Facebook: Monica Reeds
Goodreads Group: The Black Bookcase
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, mystery
I wanted to like this book about a Sister from the Order of St. Hermione (who's got a pretty good story herself, if you're into saints). Unfortunately, the writing got in the way.

In small Briar Coast, Sister Lou has arranged for an old college friend, De. Maurice Jordan, to speak to the congregation about some of his controversial views on women and the church. Unfortunately, the day before his presentation, he's murdered in his hotel room. Since the police department has targeted members of th
Odessa Green
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I’m not Catholic. I’m Baptist. I even taught Sunday School for children for awhile (and managed to increase the amount of children at the church)! My grandmother was Catholic before she moved out of Arkansas. However, there were no Catholic churches near where she lived in Illinois that allowed black people to attend service there, and so in searching for another place of worship and to be around like minded, god-fearing people she joined one of the few black churches in town. It was a Baptist c ...more
Lisa D.
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this cozy mystery by Olivia Matthews and I like the protagonist, Sister Louise LaSalle, aka, Sister Lou. This is my first time reading a cozy mystery; I love watching cozy mystery-themed TV shows, but this was a great book. i am glad Matthews is doing a series and can't wait for the second book, coming out in July. ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, mysteries
Mayhem ensues with a touch of romance and misdirection. This cozy is perfect for lovers of romance and mystery with a dash of religion thrown into the mix.

Look for longer reviews in the Columbus (OH) Dispatch Newspaper and Ohioana Quarterly Newsletter

I received an ARC in exchange for an unbiased review.
Oct 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for the ARC.

Mayhem and Mass is the first in a new cosy mystery series featuring Sister Lou LaSalle of the Congregation of St Hermione of Ephesus.

In this debut, Sister Lou investigates the murder of her great friend, theologian Maurice Jordan, on the eve of his engagement as speaker at the Feast Day celebration of St Hermione. In the investigation she is supported by her nephew, Chris, and reporter, Shari Henson.

While the local police focus on members o
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too much unnecessary details. The color referrals drove me crazy at the end. Almost like the author had a minimum amount of words she had to write.
Dec 14, 2017 rated it liked it
I was fortunate and won Mayhem & Mass by Olivia Matthews from a Goodreads giveaway
This is the first book featuring Sister Lou. A good friend of hers whom she has known for years is murdered and she is determined to find out who murdered Maurice Jordan.
The story could have been a light read and entertaining, but I found it to be repetitive. We have two cops featured that seem to be bordering on dumb and dumber. They don’t seem to want to really follow any leads and are content to let Sister Lou i
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sister Lou invited her dear friend Maurice to come speak with her congregation and was so happy to see him again. Sister Lou never thought she wouldn’t see him again and she is determined to find out who was the person behind his murder. Sister Lou with some help will uncover some secrets that some may wish to stay hidden.

I really enjoyed this mystery novel. Sister Lou was determined to find out who killed her dear friend and she was going to stop at no costs to find out who did this. Throughout
May 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting premise for a new series, but this was a very slow read. The characters were not well developed and, frankly, were not interesting. The plot moved along very slowly; it was difficult keeping interest.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Really about a 3.5. Sister Lou is both anticipating and apprehensive about a presentation given by her old friend Maurice, a religious scholar whose views can be quite controversial... but when Maurice is found murdered, she has to wonder if someone found his views so enraging that it cost him his life. Aided by her handsome nephew Chris and a prickly but attractive journalist, Sister Lou is determined to solve the case.

I wasn't sure I was going to make it through this one at the start as the co
Stanley McShane
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
The protagonist, an LA transplant to the small community of Briar Coast in New York, Sister Louise "Lou" LaSalle has gotten very comfortable at the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Hermione of Ephesus. Sister Lou also has her nephew, Chris, close by working at the college founded by the congregation.

Sister Lou has invited an old friend, Maurice Jordan, to be a guest speaker for their Feast Day presentation. When he fails to stick to his early bird schedule and she cannot get hold of him, she k
Dec 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC copy of this book.

Despite this being more of a Christian-themed cosy mystery, I enjoyed it for the most part. The story takes places at the congregation of St Hermione of Ephesus, which is a community of sisters - not nuns. The differences being that the sisters live a less modest lifestyle, can drive, wear (tasteful) jewellery, etc. Sister Lou LaSalle is an LA transplant who has found her place in the world in Briar Coast, New York, at the co
Jun 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is another where I met the author at the Ohioana book festival and enjoyed talking with her so I really wanted to like this book. Unfortunately I didn't love it. It was good but there were a lot of things that left me wanting something different.

Sister Lou is just that, a sister who was friends with Maurice, a controversial Christian author who will be speaking at an event her congregation has organized. Loui is very fond of Mo and his family but senses something is wrong and the next day h
F. P.
May 26, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sigh... Where to begin? An amateur effort here. First off, easily-solved weak mystery. As soon as the killer appears you know it. Weak, annoying characters.

FAR too much attention to wardrobe. The author uses it to define character and character's moods, but WAY too much. It's repetitive, silly. One mght be reading a clothing catalogue. Descriptions become repetitve, merely pointing out the author's limited skill and narrow palate: bronze, bronze, bronze and more bronze and every conceivable sha
Mar 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Solid cozy mystery. A bit meh on the reporter character - she often took centre stage more than the actual main character the nun did - and the romance between her and the nun's nephew felt a bit forced.

I also wish the police were less stupid. I get that it's standard in cozy mysteries for the police to be pretty much useless, but the ones in this novel make no sense. They're focused on investigating Sister Lou's congregation that they have zero interest in looking at the victim's family and fr
Sandra Jean
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mayhem & Mass the first in the series by Olivia Matthews had me finishing the book in two sittings. I do not usually like suspense or mystery but Ms Matthews has me becoming a fan of the genre very quickly, definitely a fan of her work. Cannot wait for the second book in the Sr. Lou Mystery.
If you are a product of Catholic Schools, the references will bring you back to your fondest memories or your worse nightmares, some of the characters reaction to Sr. Lou are predictable, funny, and familiar
Susan Johnston
Jan 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Princess Fuzzypants here:
Sister Lou is like none other, or, forgive the pun, nun other. She is a respected member of her mother house who has invited a highly controversial friend to deliver a talk for the feast day. They are old friends and when they dine together the night before the speech, she can tell he is disturbed by something but does not wish to pry. She wishes she had when she discovers his body the next morning.
She feels guilty that she invited him to the place where he was murdered
Dec 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: cozy-mystery
The first in the Sister Lou Mystery cozy series is an entertaining introduction to a new sleuth reminiscent of Father Brown and Jessica Fletcher. Sister Lou teams up with her handsome nephew Chris and a persistent reporter new to town Sharelle Henson. The group digs into a recent murder of Maurice Jordan that is putting the sisters or St. Hermoine of Ephesus under scrutiny. The man was a close friend of Sister Lou and she is determined to do the work the local police are not. I picked this book ...more
Kelly Knapp
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: cosy mystery readers
Recommended to Kelly by: Won as part of the Goodreads Firstreads Giveaways
In this debut series about a nun who is drawn into a murder investigation when the local police are looking in all the wrong places, we meet Lou, an nun who has transferred from LA to a small bucolic community in New York State. Her friend has been murdered and she intends to find out who and why he was murdered. There are plenty of suspects and we quickly realize that secrets abound.

While the character of Lou is well rounded, it is suggested that she follows the "rules" so that her deciding to
Kathleen Gray
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
If a murder mystery can be described as gentle, this is it. Matthews has created a lovely character in Sister Lou, who is determined to find out who murdered her friend Maurice, who has some controversial views but wasn't someone worthy of such violence. She teams up with Shari, a reporter, and her nephew Chris when local law enforcement isn't investigating to her satisfaction. Briar Coast is a small college town and, to be honest, Matthews doesn't exploit it to the fullest but that's ok. It hel ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-new-york
Maurice Jordan was to speak at the Order of St. Hermoine, due to the intercession of his graduate school friend Sister Lou. But he's killed before he can deliver his sure-to-be-controversial address. Sister Lou feels impelled to find his murderer, with the help of her protective nephew Chris and newspaper reporter Shari, and obstructed by the local deputies, who feel competent to do it themselves, and members of her own order, who think it's an unsuitable occupation. I've read both of the books ...more
Deatri King-Bey
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Someone has murdered a close friend of Sister Lou, and the police are either inept and/or unwilling to do their job and solve the case. Not to be outdone, Lead Foot Lou (as I oh so affectionately call Sister Lou) sets out to catch the lout who murdered her friend.

From the moment I read Sister Lou’s driver’s license was suspended for speeding, I absolutely loved her. I’m so looking forward to the future releases of this series. The cast of characters are well balanced with those I like and don’t
Alex Reneski
Nov 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Reminds me of the Father Dowling mysteries, but needs some work before it reaches that level. It is enjoyable as a "cozy" with some religious information thrown in. I think the life of even a "plainclothes" nun is much more regulated than is portrayed. Nuns who lose their license for speeding are not generally given free reign to go or do what they please. However, with a "willing suspension of disbelief, this is a nice and entertaining book that I recommend, but not one to save for re-reading.

Jul 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
Repetitive descriptions, circular investigation of a murder of Sr. Lou's friend, title has nothing to do with the plot; characters not very much depth; took SO long for them to figure out the killer when it was obvious 100 pgs before this tediously long book was ended.
One star means i had to make myself finish reading it (usually I stop reading a one star)and I didn't appreciate the tedious text. Repetitive writing, repeat..repeat; characters didn't have much depth;
title has nothing to do with t
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Lowcountry Boondoggle (Liz Talbot Mystery #9)
  • True Devotion to Mary
  • Engaged in Death (Wedding Planner Mystery #1)
  • A Deadly Inside Scoop (An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery #1)
  • Death by Dumpling (A Noodle Shop Mystery, #1)
  • The Body in the Attic (A Jazzi Zanders Mystery #1)
  • Eggs on Ice (Cackleberry Club, #8)
  • Lowcountry Boughs of Holly (Liz Talbot Mystery, #10)
  • Down in Flames (A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery #6)
  • Killer Queen (The Country Club Murders #11)
  • Bottle Blonde (Mercy Watts Mysteries, #11)
  • Closely Harbored Secrets (Seaside Café Mystery, #5)
  • Murder at the Taffy Shop  (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery #2)
  • Pane and Suffering (A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery, #1)
  • Cracked to Death (A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery, #3)
  • Etched in Tears (A Webb's Glass Shop Mystery #4)
  • Death of a Christmas Caterer (Hayley Powell Food and Cocktails Mystery, #5)
  • Shattered at Sea
See similar books…

Other books in the series

A Sister Lou Mystery (3 books)
  • Peril & Prayer (A Sister Lou Mystery #2)
  • Alibis & Angels (A Sister Lou Mystery #3)

Related Articles

  Kellye Garrett's first novel, Hollywood Homicide, was released in August 2017 and won the Agatha, Anthony, Lefty, and Independent Publisher...
240 likes · 55 comments