cover image Death in the Covenant: An Abish Taylor Mystery

Death in the Covenant: An Abish Taylor Mystery

D.A. Bartley. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64385-119-8

Tensions within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are at the heart of Bartley’s exceptional sequel to 2018’s Blessed Be the Wicked. Lapsed Mormon Abish “Abbie” Taylor, who works as a detective for the Pleasant View City, Utah, PD, is shocked to learn that an old friend, Heber Bentsen, a high-ranking member of her former church, has died in a car crash. Abbie’s police partner labels Bentsen’s death accidental, but Abbie is disturbed by the circumstances—a witness reported another vehicle was present in the wrong lane, causing Bentsen’s car to swerve. And the second vehicle’s driver, who told the witness he called 911, didn’t remain on the scene. The autopsy confirms foul play: Bentsen’s head was battered in with a rock. Meanwhile, Abbie’s father, a BYU professor, reveals that Bentsen was asking him about unmarried women grad students who suddenly dropped out of school. The trail leads Abbie to Mexico and some unsettling revelations. The thoughtful plot well serves the book’s strong female lead. Readers will want to see more of Abbie. Agent: Paula Munier, Talcott Notch Literary. (Aug.)