I have a new book to tell you about called Death in the Memorial Garden that was written by Kathie Deviny. I went a little off course with this book, so I wasn't sure what to expect, and was very delighted when the book turned out to be mostly humorous even though a few people die and there are police investigations and such, the pastor of this church is really pretty darn funny!
Here is an excerpt from the back of the book:
Just as the sexton is about to inter the ashes of one of Grace Church’s last wealthy patronesses in the Memorial Garden, he unearths a wine crate containing the ashes of an unknown. Next to the ashes is a distinctive pair of shoes.
Not only are the woman’s relatives furious at the interruption, but they soon have grounds for a lawsuit: yet another piece of the church’s tower comes crashing to the ground.
With their congregation dwindling and their world literally falling in around them, Father Robert Vickers and his colorful staff members and volunteers put their heads together to solve the mystery of the anonymous ashes and find the means to save Grace Church from the developers … all in time for the Bishop’s visit.Okay, here's my little view on this story and again, I really found it to be so darn funny that so many things could be happening to this church and it's members, so I don't know if it was intended to be funny, but to me it was! Otherwise, I might not have read it, because it did start out a little boring and I was almost ready to give up on it when it finally got interesting.
And so, I am asking you also to be a little patient with the book because once it gets rolling, it really catches up in speed lighting and there are suspects all over the place. The funny thing is that the pastor of this tiny church who doesn't have many members and the ones that it does have are older and some of them are dying or dead.
It's a great little story about a rather serious and mundane funeral and her daughter sounds like a real ***** you know what! She complains about everything but her husband is even worse. They are furious when they find out that the woman's mother had left the church some money to tide it over.
Anyway, at the funeral, when they go to dig the hole, they find a box with a pair of red shoes in there and that starts the daughter's hysterical reaction, her husband's rude behavior and of course the pastor is beside himself thinking this will be the nail in his coffin as he knows the Bishop wants to shut down his church and make way to sell it to these developers, so you can understand why he is nervous about the whole affair.
Soon, he has his secretary and her husband, a retired insurance investigator I believe, (I could be wrong but he was some sort of investigator) along with their organ & piano person all decide to try and work out the whole mess and figure out where the box with the shoes came from and why they were buried in the church's cemetery.
To me, this is where it really takes off and I think from this point on, it's pretty hilarious! They even have a homeless woman who the pigeons love and they follow her around like a cape all around her. I bet that would be a sight to see that many birds almost making the person they are following, not be there at all.
The little group of investigators unravel several secrets and things that shock them all. But the most shocking revelation will be for the pastor and the woman who works for the Bishop as a secretary. It looks like finally the pastor might find love and so that is an interesting side story inside of the bigger one.
After retiring from a career as a “government bureaucrat” serving primarily in the criminal justice system, Kathie Deviny studied creative writing. Essays focusing on her treatment for breast cancer and life as the spouse of an Episcopal priest have been published in the Seattle Times, Episcopal Life, Cure magazine, and Faith, Hope and Healing by Bernie Siegel.
Kathie was Features Editor of her high school newspaper and originally planned a career in journalism. After realizing she was too shy to chase after stories, she followed her mother’s career path and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in social work, attending UC Berkeley and the University of Washington.
She nurtured her journalistic ambitions by developing a program at the Monroe, WA, prison which produced a magazine in cooperation with community volunteers.
Death in the Memorial Garden, her first work of fiction, reflects her love of the cozy-style mystery. Her other loves are gardening, choral singing, and locating bargains at her church’s thrift shop, where she volunteers. Kathie lives with her now-retired husband, Paul; they divide their time between California and Western Washington.
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