A Matter of Roses (Faith Abbey Mystery Series, Book 1)

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9780446609883: A Matter of Roses (Faith Abbey Mystery Series, Book 1)

When the prominent and much loved scientist Maurice Tomlinson dies of bee stings at a time of year when bees are dormant, many suspect foul play. Soon, Police Chief Dan Burke is on the case with the help of his childhood friend Brother Bartholomew.

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Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

The no-name storm had lashed Cape Cod for three nights and two days. Trees and power lines were down everywhere, and the great sand cliffs that had taken the brunt of the Atlantic's fury bore deep scars. But by dawn of the third day the surface of Teal Pond was calm. At its edge, a family of ducks, ravenously hungry, foraged for kernels strewn on the lwn. Two ducklings found morsels around twin obstructions protruding from the pond's green scuma pair of khaki-clad lower legs that ended in white running shoes with "Nike" stamped on their soles. . . .

Review:

"A well crafted and engrossing tale of suspense and intrigue. . .This deftly written mystery is not only a good yarn, but surprisingly, it stirs the reader's heart in some unexpected places!" -- Rev. Peter Marshall, Author, The Light and the Glory

"Eastport, MA, is a quiet coastal village that caters to the tourist trade. The small community's solitude is shattered when local real-estate developer Mac Curtis is found floating in a pond. Mac, who made numerous enemies while creating his empire, had developed an expensive resort there. When police chief Dan Burke's investigation is stymied, he asks an old high school friend for assistance. Brother Bartholomew brings the wisdom from his monastic life to this fast-paced murder mystery.

Violent scenes describing rape and disembowelment aren't for the gentlest readers but are delicately worded so as not to offend most armchair detectives.

Recommend to readers who don't like sugarcoating but who enjoy spiritual truths included in their mysteries." -- Susan Dunman, CBA Market Place, November, 1999

A Matter of Roses is the first of a new "Faith Abbey Mystery" series from David Manuel . The story takes place in a sleepy fishing town on Cape Cod, where citizens from all walks of life become entangled in the first murder that town had seen in half a century. The victim was a notorious real estate developer. The investigator is Police Chief Dan Burke who must deal with the pressure of national media attention and an incipient mutiny on his own police force. Chief Burke recruits the assistance of a childhood friend who became a monk at the nearby Faith Abbey. Brother Bartholomew is grappling with his chosen vocation and tormented by the re-appearance of the woman who was once the love of his life. In A Matter of Roses, the author (a resident member of an ecumenical Christian community on Cape Cod which includes a monastic brotherhood), draws from his own personal experience for background detail as he weaves together a story of suspense, romance, humor, and everyday monastic life in a fast-paced, engaging mystery novel. Highly recommended. -- Midwest Book Review, December 1999

Not only is finding out a solution fun, gripping and exciting, but the quality of writing makes your heart sing. -- Movieguide, April, 2000

Spring on the Massachusetts Cape is the backdrop for this excellent mystery . . . Author David Manuel skillfully handles his presentation to place, depth of character, and story as it culminates in a thrilling, cleverly devised ending. His characters are memorable. The reading flows as he neatly pulls together the story's threads. Mr. Manuel promises a sequel to this satisfying tale of greed, lust, love and spirituality. Highly recommended. -- Case File 61 Newsletter, BookedforMurder

THE WRITE STUFF | No mystery as to our pick of the week. Orleans author David Manuel has penned a terrific little thriller, the first in what promises to be a long, healthy "Faith Abbey" series. Manuel melds fact and fiction -- part of the fun (besides trying to figure out who-dun-it) is trying'to figure out the "real" from the "fake" . . . Faith Abbey is the Community of Jesus (of which the author is a member), the locale of Eastport is Eastham, Norma's Cafe is Nonnie's Country Kitchen. Real Cape hot spots are also mentioned, such as Mid-Cape Highway, Nauset Regional High School and Snow Library. A sweet-smelling, suspenseful rose -- but watch out for the thorns! -- The Cape Cod Journal, October 23, 1999

Take a rainy afternoon to curl up and read this book. The story and the characters will draw you in. -- Living Light News, May/June 2000

Thank God for a small presses in this case, Paraclete, a religious concern in Massachusetts that has given David Manuel's "A Matter of Roses" ($20) such a handsome sendoff-a beautifully designed book as well as an intriguing and shapely mystery. Forget the brain-dead links to Brother Cadfael in other reviews: Manuel's Brother Bartholomew a thoroughly modern character who just happens to live in a monastery on Cape Cod, struggling to center himself and in danger of losing that struggle when he responds to a call for help from a lifelong friend in solving murder. -- Chicago Tribune, November 21, 1999

The little town of Easport has not been keeping up with the rest of the nation when it comes to violent crime statistics. When the first murder in over fifty years claims the life of Mac Curtis, a tough local real estate developer, the entire village gets involved. [..] -- Bookman Review

This is a first novel and the first in a promising new mystery series. It features Brother Bartholemew of the Faith Abbey. No, this isn't a medieval Brother Cadfael takeoff. Faith Abbey sits near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and the setting is today. The resemblance between Cadfael and Bartholemew stops with their calling....Manuel does a wonderful job of mixing in the details of the day-to-day routine at the monastery. Brother Bartholemew is fully developed, tangling with his own inner demons and moral issues as he tries to unearth a killer. His friend the Police Chief has his own problems brewing and the tiny burg of Eastport holds its own secret connections and rivalries. This story has all the right charms a human, thoughtful and likable protagonist, a well rounded supporting cast, an interesting setting, and a strong storytellers hand. We expect this may be a very popular series with collectors. BookLine highly recommends A Matter of Roses. -- Mystery Collectors Bookline, November/December 1999

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