Faith on the Rocks: A Daisy Arthur Mystery
by Liesa Malik
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432827137
Date: 13 June 2013
A widow and would-be author, Daisy Arthur, joins a local writing group, Hugs N Kisses, at the library to improve her skills. So far, she has received a lot of criticism from the group members, but not much help. In particular, Rico, the handsome Catholic priest in the group, gave her a pointed critique that shocked her and others. Later, the priest is found murdered. Then, the other male member, Todd Stevens, a gay man, dies, and the police suspect Daisy.
The hunk of an investigating officer, Gabe Caerphilly, is an old friend and the divorced father of a special needs daughter. Daisy, once a special needs teacher, taught his daughter and formed a close relationship with both of them. Daisy, now a widow, and ready to move ahead, finds Gabe awakens new feelings. However, his beautiful partner also has designs on him and is determined to remove the competition by proving Daisy is the killer.
To clear her name and remove any hint of the groupís involvement, Daisy decides to investigate the two deaths. She learns the priest had a history, an active sexual history, involving both sexes. He had few friends and many enemies. Todd Stevens, was liked by all, but seemed to be especially friendly with Rico except at the meeting before Rico's untimely death.
In her efforts to learn about Rico, Daisy also discovers a lot about Sandra Martin, leader of Hugs N Kisses, and the other group members. She finds as she follows a convoluted path, the group members all have stories, some not so pleasant in their daily lives. However, Daisy has a talent for putting herself in harm's way and sometimes Gabe has to rescue her.
Daisy is a likeable if inept sleuth. Her humanity, humor, and determination will endear her to readers. Gabe's care for his daughter gives him a softer side.
This mystery may offend some readers because of the anti-Catholic views expressed by some of the characters along with a philandering Catholic priest with strong carnal appetites and a history of preying on young boys and girls. The designation A Daisy Arthur Mystery indicates Malik plans a series centered around her main character.