A fun mystery with a flawed protagonist!
Margot Douaihy (b. Scranton, PA) lives and works in Northampton, MA. She earned a BA in Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, an MA in Creative & Life Writing from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University.
Douaihy is the author of the lyrical crime novel SCORCHED GRACE (Gillian Flynn Books, 2023), named one of the “most anticipated crime books” by Crime Reads and LGBTQ Reads. She is also the author of the poetry collections Bandit/Queen: The Runaway Story of Belle Starr, Scranton Lace, Girls Like You (Clemson University Press) and I Would Ruby If I Could (Factory Hollow Press).
I haven’t read a good mystery in a long time so I was excited to jump right into Margot Douaihy’s debut novel, Scorched Grace. I loved the amateur-sleuth, chain-smoking, tattooed, queer nun protagonist, Sister Holiday. This is a character who drew me in immediately, kept me hooked, and was curious about her own background and the reason behind joining the order—The Sisters of the Sublime Blood. The more I learned about her past, the more intrigued I became in the story. My favorite scenes in the book were flashbacks of her life before joining the order, learning about her family and close relationships. These are the types of characters I want to read more about. The pace was steady, the plot propulsive, and the clues were expertly placed. I loved the setting of New Orleans and could feel the sticky air in Douaihy’s vivid descriptions. The scene that sticks with me the most is the traumatic flashback image of the burning car left parked outside the bar, and the person sleeping inside it. Such a shocking reveal!
I recommend to readers who enjoy fun mysteries with a morally grey protagonist, interesting settings, and a diverse cast of characters.
Published February 21st, 2023
When Saint Sebastian’s School becomes the target of a shocking arson spree, the Sisters of the Sublime Blood and their surrounding New Orleans community are thrust into chaos.
Patience is a virtue, but punk rocker turned nun Sister Holiday isn’t satisfied to just wait around for officials to return her home and sanctuary to its former peace, instead deciding to unveil the mysterious attacker herself. Her investigation leads her down a twisty path of suspicion and secrets, turning her against colleagues, students, and even fellow Sisters along the way. And to piece together the clues of this high-stakes mystery, she must at last reckon with the sins of her own past.