Another book by a OneSpirit minister is out — in an unusual genre. Lorraine Pickles’ first novel is titled, The Lake: Book 1 of the Old Crone Mysteries. Its heroine is Keridwen (or Cerridwen, in her native Welsh) — the Celtic Goddess of Death, Re-birth and Transformation.

Lorraine intends that The Lake will be followed by three more novels in the series, which will take Keridwen through her ‘gap year’ — “during which time she learns what it means to be human”. The books are in the format of a crime novel. “I’ve endeavoured to use humour to tackle difficult subjects,” she says, “such as people’s attitudes to ageing, death and mental illness — subjects that are dear to my heart, having worked for many years as a social worker.”

A member of the Glastonbury Goddess Temple for some years, Lorraine first learnt about Keridwen when she trained with the temple to be a priestess. She then went on to train as an interfaith minister with One Spirit, being ordained in 2016. She adds: “I anticipate the books will continue to have something of an inter-faith flavour about them!”

The Lake: Book 1 of the Old Crone Mysteries, by Lorraine Pickles, Published by Brown Dog Books, March 2017.

Joy Gleeson reviews The Lake: This is the time of year for seeking out ‘a good read’ for the garden or holiday, and also when student ministers can start to imagine choosing to read a book other than those on the reading list! So I want to recommend Lorraine’s first novel, The Lake.

This is the first of four mystery stories and introduces the reader to Keridwen, Goddess of Death, Re-birth and Transformation, who is currently taking a gap year to discover from experience what it is to be human. We also meet a remarkable police officer, DI Joe Perryman, who is sitting cross-legged in his flat, meditating, when he is called to attend a murder scene. Did I mention that the Goddess is determined to solve murder mysteries on her year off?

There are so many layers to this rattling good story: fascinating characters, insights into the human condition, folklore and myth, a love affair between an older woman and a younger man (and I love that Keridwen has the power to change her appearance to that of a younger woman, but chooses not to, because it doesn’t matter to “young Tom”). There is something of the Agatha Christie philosophy of storytelling here, and I must admit to spending a whole day on the sofa to find out how it all came out in the end.

I can’t wait for the next opportunity to follow Keridwen’s adventures.

To top it all, using the Just Giving app to order from Amazon meant I could ensure a small donation went from Amazon to OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation at the same time, and at no extra cost to me. More details about Just Giving here.

Joy Gleeson is a OneSpirit minister in Devon, and a trustee of the Foundation.

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