The Russian and Aunt Sophia by Rita Moreau

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The Russian and Aunt Sophia by Rita Moreau
A Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery Novella Book 1

When mobsters frame her aunt, one psychic dives headfirst into a criminal conspiracy.

Mary Catherine, MC for short, inherited her family’s psychic abilities and a knack for trouble. When her fortune-telling aunt is accused of murdering a Russian mobster and refuses to defend herself by revealing what she saw in a card reading, it’s up to MC to divine the truth.

But if MC isn’t careful, she could end up sharing a jail cell with her aunt … or swimming with the fishes.

The Russian and Aunt Sophia is a madcap cozy mystery novella that could only take place in Florida. If you like surreal plots, well-rounded characters, and quirky comedy, then you’ll love Rita Moreau’s psychic whodunit.

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The Writing Process

One question my readers always ask me is “How do you write a novel?” I usually respond, “You write a novel one page at a time.”

Two of my favorite characters Sister Hildegard and Sister Matilda return in The Russian and Aunt Sophia. Here’s a short scene with both Sisters. Who knows one may pop in for a little chat?

“I heard a horn honking and turning to look, I saw Sister Matilda driving a big SUV with Sister Hildegard riding shotgun. I grabbed my carry-on bag and jumped into the back seat. Like most airports today loading and unloading means you take a flying leap as the car picking you up passes by.

“Who does this SUV belong to?”

“A friend of Ernie’s,” Sister Matilda said.

“It has diplomatic plates.”

“He’s in the CIA,” Sister Matilda said, “according to your Aunt Anna.”

“Yes,” Sister Hildegard spoke now, “but a lot of good that does picking someone up at the airport. No way would the airport cops let us park and wait. We’ve been circling the airport for a good half hour.”

“You didn’t park in the cell phone lot?”

“We forgot our cell phone,” Sister Hildegard said looking sternly at Sister Matilda who made the sign of the cross. “So, we’ve been driving in a loop. Your plane was late,” Sister Hildegard said.

“You don’t need a cell phone to park in the cell phone lot,” I said prompting Sister Hildegard to give Sister Matilda an even sterner look. Sister Matilda was a walking encyclopedia of information. She apparently missed this one.”

Oh my, look who is here, Sister Hildegard. I knew she would drop by. Let’s see what she has on her mind.

Hello out there in the world of reading. My name is Sister Hildegard. I am the Mother Superior of the Order of the Sisters of Saint Anthony. Saint Anthony is the saint you pray to when you have lost something (or you are lost). My order contains a secret society of nuns who are psychic, including me. It comes in handy when Saint Anthony is busy and trust me he is busy.”

Sister Hildegard so glad you can join us. Can you tell us how you first met Mary Catherine Mahoney, the protagonist in The Russian & Aunt Sophia?

I met Mary Catherine through her Aunt Sophia who is a long time friend from childhood. We met in the author’s second novel, Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH NO!! Aunt Sophia told me that Mary Catherine had a knack at finding things. Part of it was her training with the IRS and part of it was her DNA. She is a reluctant psychic. We were desperate since we had lost a very old jewel which some say contained supernatural powers. We ordered her to find it and she did, eventually. She is coming along nicely in accepting her gift as a psychic.

I and my right arm, Sister Matilda returned in the author’s third novel, Feisty Nuns. I guess she thought we were feisty. Our local bishop sure does.

Here we are again in The Russian & Aunt Sophia but in this novel the story is about my dear friend Sophia. She is a teller of fortunes which apparently has strict rules, what goes on in the card reading stays in the card reading. A lot like going to confession. This gets Sophia in a lot of hot water since she was the last person to see a Russian mobster who was a client. Seems like he was about to talk to the FBI and he needed her to take a peek at the cards. He ends up dead, poisoned. Sister Matilda tells me the Russians are fond of their poison.

Sophia refuses to talk to the cops so her sister Anna reaches out to their niece Mary Catherine who was out at sea with her husband Theo and she returns to Fish Camp. Once again Mary Catherine finds herself in a predicament that requires her psychic skills. Mary Catherine is a control freak and is more comfortable in the world of accounting where everything balances or she can make it balance. Not so much in the world of psychics.

Oh my got to go, I can hear Sister Matilda and she is a walking Wikipedia on any subject. The nuns at the convent do their best to avoid her because it will lead to what they have dubbed: history time. God forbid you ask her a question by accident. Come visit me in The Russian & Aunt Sophia. We will talk more. Bye for now.

The Russian & Aunt Sophia was chosen as a Quarter-Finalist in the 2017 SCREENCRAFT Cinematic Short Story Contest.

“The Russian & Aunt Sophia is a very unique and delightfully quirky tale of mystery and murder. The locations are vivid and fun, the characters are engaging, and the plot is very solid and effective. The Russian & Aunt Sophia would work immensely well as a cinematic adaptation.” SCREENCRAFT

My Thoughts

The Russian and Aunt Sophia by Rita Moreau is a fun cozy mystery novella that I flew through. I was laughing at several points in the story. The setting and the fast-pace kept the story moving right along. The characters really brought it to life. I was able to read this novella without having read any of the other books in this series.

About the Author

Rita Moreau is the author of the Mary Catherine Mahoney Mystery series.

A workaholic by nature, upon retirement, Rita Moreau began work on her bucket list, writing a book. Traveling the national parks with her husband George in a vintage Bluebird motorhome, (on George’s list), Rita completed her first novel Bribing Saint Anthony. Back home she completed Nuns! Psychics! & Gypsies! OH! NO, Feisty Nuns and The Russian & Aunt Sophia. Rita and her husband live in a postcard called Florida where he has fun telling everyone he is the author’s husband. When not writing she joins PatZi Gil on the Joy on Paper radio program with Book Buzz Mysteries or you can find her teaching fitness classes and doing her best to keep busy. She loves connecting with readers. Visit her at or find her on Facebook at She would love to hear from you.

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