“ She wondered why religious mysteries almost always featured monks or priests rather than descendants of Martin Luther or John Calvin. Possibly they considered solving crimes a distraction from Bible Study.”
Death in the Memorial Garden by Kathie Deviny~ Location 97of 2013(4%)
Oh how clever, speaking directly in character a comment towards the religious mystery readers and writers! She is right, our main character Lucy is pondering something I am quite sure the author pondered before deciding to write this delightful little cozy mystery novella.
The story begins in the Memorial Garden of Grace Episcopal Church. The area described reminded me of the edges of Capital Hill in Seattle, where it is set, including the rain. (There is a Grace Episcopal Church in the Seattle area but it is on Bainbridge Island and it very much has the same air, or at least for me, this church does). Like any good mystery, it starts with one and ends up branching out across a whole other series of problems and other mysteries that crop up.
I enjoyed the read, it was delightful and though it had some structure problems in the middle, the mystery went a bit all over for a brief period and had some errors in names which considering this was where I was a wee bit confused about where the plot was going, since I was really enjoying myself, I did not care.
Death in the Memorial Garden is, like I mentioned a weekend read, under 200 pages. It took a bit to much on and the fun mystery of the box of ashes with a pair of organ player shoes with red laces was a bit lost in the shuffling of falling bricks, the saving of a church, the death of one of the numerous homeless people or at least mentally handicapped pigeon lady, and the hobbling of the poor priest by the same way the poor woman was taken out, I started wondering which direction I needed to turn my head. The author was able to capture my attention and my heart with her characters and her little pockets of wonderfully descriptive actions and scenes. I think there was just to many avenues and paths branching out from the bast radius of the main mystery for such a short read.
Kathie Deviny is an established writer in religious circles with her articles (see below in author bio) and in this first story shows a lot of potential in the area of religious cozy mysteries. She has not quite hit the mark here, it needed a bit more polish and I think there was some disservice done to her with a bit of lazy editing (there are some places where the name and job of a character are swapped. Now if they are not and I am confused… I apologize but with all the different paths through the rain drenched rhododendrons… well you see where I am going?)
All that said and done, would I recommend you go pick this up? Yes, honestly even with the problems I point out, I was more engrossed in reading and finding out what next, I did not care because I was enjoying myself, which is the point of a cozy (casual) mystery. If you liked Murder She Wrote, you would like this, though the sleuthing is much more amateurish and willy-nilly (my catch phrase of the week) Lucy still has me, I wish there was more of her and less of others though. Oh as far as the corporate part? It was somewhat lost in the drama of … all those other paths.