Read Any Good Catholic
by Lisa M. Hendey
love reading, and especially love it when I come across a book that is
both entertaining and positive in its presentation of Catholicism.
Kathryn Lively’s latest,
Press, September 2004, paperback, 128 pages) is a captivating mystery set
in a Florida public high school. Readers quickly meet the main character,
Andy Farmer, a curmudgeonly Biology teacher who finds himself at the
center of a murder mystery.
Pithed such a refreshing read
for me was not necessarily the unraveling murder plot, but rather Lively’s
main character – a loveable, but very human, Roman Catholic. Andy Farmer
represents many of the qualities of faith I strive for, while remaining
flawed enough that he’s real. His retort, when questioned by a detective
about the controversies in today’s Church, endears him to me even more.
“I stay Catholic because the teaching is
perfect and that helps me to pray for those who aren’t.”
“People like me, I suppose?”
“People like me,” I replied.
Pithed, pg. 30
Without preaching or
pontification, Kathryn Lively shares her devotion to her faith through the
individuality of Andy Farmer. While learning about such aspects of his
personality as his devotion to his students and his tense history with an
ambitious principal, Catholic readers will pick up on the fact that he’s
devoted to Eucharistic Adoration and that when troubling times crop up,
Andy’s first reaction is to swing by his home parish, St. Maximilian’s.
Pithed marks the first in what
is promised to be a series of mysteries featuring Andy Farmer. Mystery
genre devotees (whether Catholic or not) will enjoy the book for Lively’s
fast paced plot, intelligent wit, and a mystery that keeps you guessing.
For Catholic readers like me, the book is an example of spreading our
Catholic faith in a positive, celebratory manner. I’m looking forward to
reading Kathryn Lively’s next book, and more great fiction featuring real
For more information
CatholicMom.com Book Club
Additional Catholic Book Spotlights
Lively is a member of the Florida Writers Association, EPIC, and the
Catholic Writers Association, for which she serves as webmaster and
newsletter editor. Visit her web site at
www.KathrynLively.com for more information about her writing.