Murder at the Abbey: A Detective Santy Mystery
by Louise Hathaway
It's so strange how life sometimes imitates art. When we wrote our novel, "The Murder at the Abbey" about a priest in California getting murdered, little did we suppose that unfortunately, three months later, a real priest in California would also be brutally killed at a church. What would cause a person to want to kill a man of God? From what I've read about the murdered priest in Eureka, everybody in the community loved him. It's heartbreaking to read that he was beaten to death with a wooden stake and metal gutter pipe. Was it the act of a crazy man? What would drive a person to commit such a horrible crime? My heart goes out to the family and friends of the priest in Eureka.
In the murder/mystery we wrote, we tried to answer "why?". I'm a Catholic, so I definitely have a bias when writing about The Church and its scandals. There is a lot of prejudice against Catholics which, unfortunately, has taken on a life of its own because of priests who've abused boys, and then were moved around to other parishes instead of being punished. This has rightly fueled a lot of outrage. But, at what point could prejudice make someone turn to violence? It is one of the questions we tried to explore when we wrote our book. As fiction writers, we tried to include various factions in Orange County, California who might have members with radical beliefs that didn't jibe with the Abbey's expansion plans. Is our book's killer part of a group of anti-development radicals? Or maybe he is someone who's angry that the Catholic Church has just bought the Crystal Cathedral and wants to tear up their "walk of faith stones"? What about Cook's Corner--the biker bar down the street from the Abbey? Maybe someone there was sick and tired of having to deal with the priests at the abbey complaining about the loud live music coming from the bar? Or maybe the murderer in our book was just a nutcase? You'll have to read our whodunit to find out. It is available at Amazon.com in paperback and eBook formats. It's also available at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, and Smashwords.