4 Stars Out Of 5
generally wholesome and clean murder mystery
June 9, 2013
Wayne S. Walker
Glory Harper, who is 52 years old and was first introduced in The Case of the Bouncing Grandma where she saw a foot hanging out of a rolled up carpet which resulted in her helping to solve a murder mystery, lives in Tarryton, MO, where she works at the local college. Her older sister, Jane Calvin, is a school teacher and lives with Glory since her own house mysteriously burned down. Both women are widows. Glory's daughter Andi and grandson Seth live nearby. Andi's husband Jared is deployed oversees. While Glory and Jane are on a walking trail, their dog Misty finds a severed hand, and the signet ring indicates that it belongs to a missing college professor, Zeke Wallace, who caused a lot of trouble around town before he disappeared.
Thus, Glory has another mystery to solve. But she must also deal with the fact that sister Jane is overwhelmed by trouble with her pediatrician fiancÃ© Steven ("Dr. Dreamboat") and his newly discovered daughter Becca. In addition, Glory herself is fired from her job, and must consider her budding relationship Detective Rick Spencer ("Blue Eyes") who is in charge of the investigation and objects to Glory's pursuit of information. And there is the involvement of Renee Brent, a lawyer with the radical Coalition for Civil Rights, an ACLU-type organization with which Wallace has been working. Then, when it is learned that Wallace was blackmailing people and even was related to someone in town, all of a sudden there is a plethora of suspects. And the mystified coroner can't even determine a cause of death. So who killed Wallace and why?
Author A. K. Arenz is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, so I was a bit surprised at all the references to having affairs, people "sleeping with" other people, out-of-wedlock births, even rape. To be fair, all such things are presented more or less tastefully as sin needing repentance, and at least in one case there is an emphasis on seeking and granting forgiveness for past mistakes. Relying on faith in God to help in difficult situations is also stressed on several occasions, and church is a regular part of these people's lives. Also good family relationships are portrayed. Besides a few common euphemisms (e.g., heck), there are a couple of incidents where some of the "bad guys" use the word hell as an exclamation or curse. Thus, the book is not for young children. But teens and adults who like semi-humorous, somewhat light-hearted murder mysteries, ala Jessica Fletcher of Murder She Wrote, that are generally clean and wholesome should enjoy it. I did notice that Becca had been homeschooled and her new grandmother was planning to continue doing so.