Catholic Mom Book Spotlight

Pithed: An Andy Farmer Mystery

by Kathryn Lively
Mundania, September, 2004
paperback, 128 pages

Related Articles Book Club
Additional Catholic Book Spotlights

Your purchase of this or any book through helps to support this site. Click on the underlined book title for more information.  Thank You! Recommends



Read Any Good Catholic Fiction Lately?
by Lisa M. Hendey

I 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, Pithed (Mundania 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.

What made 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 Catholic characters.

For more information about Pithed visit Amazon

Related Articles Book Club
Additional Catholic Book Spotlights

About the Author:

Kathryn 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 for more information about her writing.