Ostara Publishing Colourfon

Ostara Publishing

13 Nov 2009
Books: Evil Angels Among Them

Publishers Weekly


The Nick and Nora Charles of the church set, lawyer David Middleton-Brown and artist Lucy Kingsley star in Charles's fifth Book of Psalms mystery (A Dead Man Out of Mind, etc.). Walston is a "small, rather undistinguished Norfolk village" whose landscape is dominated by the spire of the magnificent church of St. Michael and All Angels. Apparently, it's only the landscape that the church dominates, for the inhabitants practice most of the deadly sins and a few that are just plain annoying. First, there's the less than warm welcome given the new minister, earnest and sensitive Stephen Thorncroft, by his new parishioners, and the overly heated one his young bride Becca endures from an obscene phone caller. Enid Bletsoe raises busybodyness to a murderous degree after learning that newcomer Gillian English, a young divorced mother whom Enid planned to take under her wing, has a woman lover. Plotting to take Gillian's young daughter from her, Enid makes a quiet charge of child abuse. Then Flora Newell, vestry member and child welfare worker beginning to investigate the abuse charges, is found dead on Gillian's doorstep. With the plot rolling in earnest, Stephen and Becca call in their friends, Middleton-Brown and Kingsley, to pursue a discreet investigation. Meanwhile, everyone is worshipping together on Sundays. Charles's characterizations are entertainingly venomous and penetrating, with just enough believable goodness to balance the equally believable evil at play under Walston's serene surface.

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