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by Roberta Isleib
Berkley, December 2007
238 pages
ISBN: 0425218376

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Do you know anyone who wants to be woken up in the middle of the night by a telephone call from their minister? Neither do I. Dr Rebecca Butterman is with us on this one. It doesnít help that the next person on the line is Detective Meigs, a man who has been in Rebeccaís dreams on more than one occasion. Not a good combination.

Reverend Wesley Sandifer has found a corpse. Lacy Bailes is dead. Rebecca knows Lacy a little bit, but not as well as sheíd like to; Lacy isnít an easy person to know. Wesley has been working with Lacy on a committee to find a new minister for the church. He wants Rebecca to step in and take over the chair of this committee.

To top it all off, itís right before Christmas. We all know what kind of obligations a minister has at this time of year; they make our obligations to family and friends seem petty. We also know that if there are any 'issues' in a family, now is the time for that 'issue' to make its presence known. This is just as true in the Butterman family, the Sandifer family, the Meigs family as it is in yours and mine. The committee also has problems that Rebecca tries to fix, with minimal success. Fiction is just truth made palatable.

Roberta Isleib has written another delightful cozy mystery novel; Rebecca is so human and so likeable with all her flaws and attempts to do the best she can. I find it quite refreshing that Rebecca is aware that writing a solution to a problem in her advice column is far easier than dealing with that same problem in real life. People just arenít as amenable in person as they are on paper. Isleib is also very good at playing fair with the reader; the clues are there if one is astute and pays attention. PREACHING TO THE CORPSE is a cozy readerís delight.

Reviewed by P. J. Coldren, December 2007

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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