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Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Hope, Faith, & a Corpse
Faith Chapel Mystery #1
BY Laura Jensen Walker

Crooked Lane
January 12, 2021/ ISBN 978-1-64385-504-2

Reviewed by Laura Hinds


Apple Springs, California has a new pastor at the Faith Chapel Episcopal Church. Her name is Hope Taylor and she is the first female pastor. The small Northern California town offers a fresh start for Hope, who is a widow and for Bogie, her black lab.

When Hope goes to meet up with Father Christopher, the rector who hired her, she can’t find him anywhere. While exploring she finds church elder Stanley King dead. He was in the columbarium and was crushed by a fallen burial urn. Unfortunately, for Hope, Stanley was actively against her preaching at the church and had shouted at her that she would do so over his dead body!

Naturally, Hope becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Hope and Bogie will have to clear her name. This is something you expect from most cozy mysteries, but this one is different because Hope is a pastor. That’s unique in itself in a cozy, but I don’t think there is another female pastor in any series.

There are many references to old movies, which is great unless you aren’t a movie fan, which I am not. I ended up confused more often than not and stopping to look up movie titles to get the connection to what was going on. That slowed down my reading enough that eventually I gave up and just carried on with reading. That said I realize that I am an odd duck for not knowing much about movies and most readers will probably enjoy the mentions.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and a good debut to a new series. Hope is a likable character and it was interesting to get to know other Apple Springs inhabitants. The mystery is solid and well-plotted. The dialogue is smooth and realistic and the setting is described nicely.
Laura Jenson Walker is an established author and knows her craft. I recommend this first in a new series highly. It’s a really good book!

ReviewerNotes: Laura Jensen Walker also writes the Bookish Baker Mysteries

Reviewed 2021
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