Friends & Foes

ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray. S&S/Gallery, $15 trade paper (228p) ISBN 978-1-4516-0816-8
These are not your typical church ladies. Baptist church divas Rachel and Jasmine grudgingly join forces to solve the disappearance of a shady Chicago minister tied to drugs and thugs in this frenetic and deliciously slapstick sequel to Sinners and Saints. The sleuthing revolves around a hilariously botched TV appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show, as the devious gals try to sabotage each other’s—and their preacher husbands’—influence within the powerful American Baptist Coalition by sidling up to the queen of daytime. The guest shot disintegrates into an unholy cat fight, but the pair are forced to put aside their mutual distaste when Rachel stumbles upon what appears to be the murdered body of a popular pastor who was laundering millions in drug money. With the help of Jasmine’s mouthy pal Mae Francis—who wields influence with everyone from drug lords to civil rights preacher Al Sharpton to ex-presidential wannabes Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich—the pair slip past bad guys with guns and unscrupulous villains while trading insults in anything but charitable fashion. These frenemies are drama queens at their best and smartest, a combination that will leave fans praying for their further misadventures. (Feb. 26)
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 03/01/2013
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