"I want to write a new kind of fiction where the characters are living their faith authentically, as many Catholics do, while facing life's many challenges and problems," so says Leah Guy Mathews about her first novel,The Cricketer's Wife, forging a path into what she refers to as a new way for a new day -an evangelizing tool for our times. She sees a need for more Catholic fiction and its integration into popular culture which is known to be a powerful tool of secular indoctrination in all its forms. In keeping with the new evangelization, Catholics can play a very important role by using different forms of popular cuture to get our message across. Being in the world but not of the world. Catholic fiction has a key role. Some Christian denominations have been making huge strides in developing and expanding their fiction market. We, as Catholics, need to do likewise. Moreover, mystery novels are a very popular genre. Everyone loves a mystery. Catholics too. GK Chesterton knew that when we consider the popularity of his Father Brown series of books.
Leah Guy Mathews is stepping into the gap. Her love of reading has seen her through a variety of authors and genres but she was totally fascinated by the mystery novels of Agatha Christie. She remembers growing up in Trinidad, immersing herself in Christie's intricately woven plots, especially those beautiful country settings hiding deep and dark secrets. And telling herself, "I want to write one of those." So she has-her way. Her main characters are Catholics dealing with real life issues anchored by a naturally integrated faith and, understandably, some of its challenges.
In The Cricketer's Wife, she brings her passion for Christ, and her love for the game of cricket, the Caribbean and England to this special blend of mystery and intrigue from a Catholic perspective. The plot revolves around Sir Avelin 'Vin' Reese and his lovely wife, Olivia, of Holland Park. Sir Vin is a cricketing legend, knighted for his stellar career as a batsman extraordinaire, playing for England. The sport of international cricket saw him travelling around the world and becoming an international cricketing star. Vin still travels a lot as a businessman and with his job as a UK Special Envoy. Olivia teaches at a London college. Over the years she has struggled with accepting a life in the limelight as the girlfriend, then wife of a handsome, rich and famous cricketer. A player of the game with its many connotations. But that's all behind them, surely?
A friend and neighbour at nearby Notting Hill, dies under suspicious circumstances. Suddenly, everyone in this person's personal life and social circle is a suspect. Vin's best friend, DI James Bale brings him on board the investigation, which further complicates matters.
For Vin and Olivia, their friend's death raises issues about their relationship-past and present-especially in the area of trust. In the course of this murder inquiry they must look into their hearts while searching for a killer. Can their faith see them through this Lenten trial?
Many of us tend to plan our Lenten activities around reading devotional books and might therefore wonder, Is The Cricketer's Wife suitable for Lent? Leah believes that it is. It is a story of faith and redemption that is in keeping with our Lenten/Easter journey and is, in fact, relevant for all seasons.
With a first degree in English Literature and a PhD in Communications, Leah Guy Mathews has worked for many years in academia and is a published writer of non fiction.
In The Cricketer's Wife, Leah has now delivered on another one of her passions-writing mystery novels, in her own inimitable Catholic way.
Described as: 'A gripping and inspiring story of redemption for the Lenten/Easter season' - The Cricketer's Wife by Leah Guy Mathews is available on Amazon: £9.05 paperback; £4.52 on Kindle.
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