cover image Hope, Faith & a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery

Hope, Faith & a Corpse: A Faith Chapel Mystery

Laura Jensen Walker. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-64385-504-2

This pleasing series launch from Walker (Murder Most Sweet) introduces Hope Taylor, the new associate pastor and first woman priest of the Faith Chapel Episcopal church in Apple Springs, Calif. The first day on the job, Hope arrives early to find universally despised Stanley King, a wealthy congregant, dead in the columbarium. Someone evidently hit him on the head with a funeral urn. The town gossips are soon implying that Hope is the culprit, based on Stanley’s having ardently opposed the hiring of a woman priest. To clear her name, she summons her “inner Trixie Belden” (the heroine of a Nancy Drew–like detective series) and investigates. Hope’s burgeoning relationships with the church members are just as important as solving Stanley’s murder. Indeed, some readers may care more about who sabotaged the church ladies’ tea than who killed Stanley. Cozy fans won’t mind that witty, clever, and kind Hope does little detecting. With any luck, she’ll be back soon. [em]Agent: Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary. (Jan.) [/em]