Pocketful of Pearls ) sets this inspirational chick lit mystery in a small Washington town, in the middle of a sort of Christian cult. Amid myriad other st"/>

A Sounding Brass

Shelley Bates, Author . Warner Faith $12.99 (287p) ISBN 978-0-446-69492-6

Bates (Pocketful of Pearls ) sets this inspirational chick lit mystery in a small Washington town, in the middle of a sort of Christian cult. Amid myriad other strictures, the Elect only wear black and believe that only people who follow their very narrow Way will be saved. Claire Montoya grew up in the Elect, but her staid and quiet world is beginning to change, since the Shepherd (or pastor) of her church is on trial for rape. Luke Fisher, a new, dynamic (and conveniently young and single) evangelist steps in, modernizing things and raising lots of money. When Claire goes to work for Luke at a radio station, it seems things couldn't be better. But police investigator Ray Harper throws confusion into every area of Claire's life. Why is she so attracted to Ray, when he's clearly not saved or Elect? Why does he suspect someone in Hamilton Falls of committing fraud? And most importantly, why does he seem to better understand the ways of God, when Claire's been studying them all her life? Bates keeps this light story moving. The plot is somewhat predictable but enjoyable, and if there's a (compulsory) conversion, readers will appreciate that things are a little topsy-turvy, with spiritual insights coming from unexpected places. (June 14)

Reviewed on: 03/06/2006
Release date: 06/01/2006
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