Sunday, October 19, 2014

2014 book 247

Mette Ivie Harrison's The Bishop's Wife
This is sooooort of a mystery, and sort of a character/community study--well, however you want to classify it, it works! I was intrigued to find out that it was written by a Mormon woman, b/c it's not particularly flattering to the church. And I was also intrigued to find out it's based on an actual crime--which one, I'm not sure, because there are two women's deaths on hand here. Our main character is the titular bishop's wife (I'm not going to try and explain the role of a bishop in the Mormon Church, but it's more of a community/spiritual leader role than someone ordained or whatever), haunted by the stillbirth of her daughter years earlier, and increasingly caught up in the case of a church member whose wife has apparently left her family--or has she been murdered? And what's up with the super old dress covered in blood that she found in the shed of a friend's dying husband? So many crimes to solve, so little time. I will say that this reads as much more believable than the usual amateur sleuth type of mystery--she's a meddlesome woman, but she gets the police involved when appropriate, and is more concerned about the women and children involved than anything else. Things do get pretty dark here, but end on an optimistic note. A couple of minor plot threads involving her children are left dangling, but otherwise this is a really solid read, with really strong writing. And great for those with a fascination for Mormons--Harrison really brings this world and these people to life. A-.

A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released in December.

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