cover image Blessed Be the Wicked: An Abish Taylor Mystery

Blessed Be the Wicked: An Abish Taylor Mystery

D.A. Bartley. Crooked Lane, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-68331-720-3

Abish Taylor, the heroine of Bartley’s surprising debut, left Pleasant View, Utah, and the Mormon faith early in her life, eventually becoming a police officer in New York City. After her husband’s death, she returned home to Pleasant View, where she assumed the detective position for the local police force. She thought it would be an easy way to pass the time between hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter, but the job turns serious when a man is found dead in the basement of a newly purchased McMansion in a swanky part of town. The victim is dressed for Temple in full ceremonial regalia, his throat cut from ear to ear. As she sets out to solve the murder, Abish must navigate the particular realities of Mormon culture, where protecting the reputation of the church often takes precedence over investigating a grisly murder or two. The book contains a goodly dollop of Mormon history, which adds unexpected layers to the mystery. Readers will look forward to this unusual woman’s next outing. (Aug.)