Death in the Memorial Garden
by Kathie Deviny
Review: Father Robert Vickers, the rector of the Grace Episcopal Church in a working-class neighborhood of Seattle, has much to worry about. His weekly sermon draws only 60 or so each Sunday, and the average age of those attending is approaching 70. Father Vickers — he encouraged his parishioners to call him Robert, though few did — despairs that his cherished bell tower is crumbling and his superiors won't commit the funds to fixing it. And today he's burying another member of his church, the woman's ashes to be interred in a specially designated place on the grounds … where the remains of an unknown person have just been unearthed … in Death in the Memorial Garden, a stand-alone — though potentially the first in a series — by Kathie Deviny.
There are many elements of this mystery that are quite appealing, from the colorfully drawn characters to the rainy Seattle setting. The whodunit premise is also promising, with the appearance of an unknown body anchoring a storyline involving a group of people working together to solve the mystery as well as how to save their church from land developers. The narrative is written with an appropriately light touch, and there is a good amount of humor. And yet it all doesn't seem to gel together well. The most significant issue — not necessarily a problem, per se — seems to be too many points of view, giving the book a somewhat choppy feel. A pleasant mystery, to be sure, that moves along briskly but one that probably could have benefited from a more narrow focus on Father Vickers and the solution to the titular crime.
Acknowledgment: Camel Press provided a copy of Death in the Memorial Garden for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Death in the Memorial Garden: Seattle, Washington
— ♦ —
Death in the Memorial Garden by Kathie Deviny
Publisher: Camel Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2012
List Price: $11.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites