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.
My Review: This was an enjoyable read, with subtle comic relief. There were all sorts of characters in this story and they were unique to say the least. Some of the chapters were very long and almost distractingly so. But it really was a smart story. If you have ever participated in a church, the people were quite similar to what you find in your home base. Some were gossipy, some were odd and some were malicious and others uber caring! Solving the mystery of the unnamed ashes and the organist shoes with red laces and saving the church were the plot points that kept you hooked in the story. It was a fun and quick read. It makes me smile to reflect on it! Let me know what you think about it!
Guest Post by Kathie Deviny.....Inspiration and Aspirations of the author:
This is a good question. I think my inspiration came from a lifetime of reading every chance I got and learning through osmosis what makes for decent writing. My mother loved mysteries, and so do I, especially the cozy kind. In essence, I wanted to do what these authors did, because what they did gave me so much pleasure. I was fortunate to be the descendant of people who read and wrote and taught, so that the writing basics came fairly easily.
Of course, it wasn't as easy as that. After a career as a social worker, I took a series of creative writing classes over a period of ten years to learn the beyond the basics, which extend well beyond a mastery of sentence structure, punctuation, and grammar. I found that dialogue and characterization came fairly easily, but not physical and sensory description or plotting.
I suppose the other inspiration has been my grounding in both social service and the religious tradition. I want to let readers know how ordinary people can make a positive contribution and receive much in return by participation in a loving community.
Best, KathieAUTHOR BIO:
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, andFaith, 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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