TITLE: Death in the Memorial Garden
AUTHOR: Kathie Deviny
PUBLISHED BY: Camel Press
PUBLICATION DATE: October 15, 2012
GENRE: Cozy Mystery
SYNOPSIS: 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 thashes 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.
AUTHOR 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 beenpublished 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.
AUTHOR SITES: Website Facebook
PICT TOUR PAGE: Death in the Memorial Garden Tour
My Take: This is a quite nice cozy mystery. I especially like Kathie's way with characters. She does an excellent job in her first work of fiction giving every character their own distinctive voice and mannerisms...not always an easy task for first-time writers. Father Robert is wonderful as a very human man of God trying to do his best for his aging congregation and to save his aging church from closure or commercial development. It is also enjoyable to watch the entire community surrounding Grace Church come together to solve the mystery and try to save the church. The mystery itself is an interesting one and it was quite refreshing to read a currently-written mystery with no blood, no gore, no high-level pyschological suspense and no objectional language. I do hate wading through f-bombs right and left. This is the perfect book to grab when you want a quiet, comfy afternoon of fictional sleuthing. The ending feels just a bit rushed...but overall, a lovely read. Three and a half stars.
AND: We are hosting a giveaway of one ebook of Death in the Memorial Garden in the reader's choice of format (PDF, ePub, or mobi). Please enter in the linky below by Wednesday, November 28 and I'll rev up the CRNG (Custom Random Number Generator) on Thursday to select a winner!