Stratford Caldecott has written a brief but alarmingly gratifying review of The Mystery of Things in the most recent issue (number eight) of Second Spring: A Journal of Faith and Culture:
“Labelled ‘Book One of the Ashland Grail Cycle’, this is a stunning debut novel in the modern thriller genre, complete with sex and violence. It is hard to imagine that an orthodox Catholic could have achieved such a thing without disgracing herself, but Debra Murphy seems to have pulled it off. Not since Flannery O’Connor have the workings of grace in a fallen world been so well and realistically reflected.
“Set in modern Milwaukee (which may seem strange to some, given the hint of a Grail connection on the cover), the story concerns a gifted young Shakespeare scholar who becomes the suspect in a series of horrible murders. Once started, it is hard to put down, but you finish the book uplifted rather than depressed. Leonie Caldecott describes it as ‘a true metaphysical thriller, covering every aspect of the culture of death.’ “