As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Soho Crime, 31 December 2014. ISBN 978-1-61695-476-5
This is an unusual book.
Murder mysteries do not usually feature the Church of the Latter Day
Saints in Utah. The writer is, as we are told in her details on the
cover, a member of the Church who lives in Utah with her family and has written
books for young adults. The intimate knowledge she has of the Church and
life in Utah enriches the book.
The protagonist is a Bishop's wife, Linda Walheim,
who has a grown up family and spends her time in social work within the church
associated with her husband's position. She is a strong woman with some
sorrows of her own who is highly sympathetic to the travails of other women and
who is thinking about the direction her own life might take now. She is
troubled by the disappearance of a young mother and her fears that the woman
has been murdered. Her private investigations of this and of other
problems lead her into a world where her convictions about people are turned
around as in a kaleidoscope as she learns more and more. The patriarchal
nature of the Mormon church concerns Linda and the issue of domestic abuse
becomes prominent. The dangers represented by extreme views held by some
men that women are whores and sinners have to be evaluated - are they merely
cranks or do they mean that they are a serious threat particularly to women
within their families? The stories of different characters are
cleverly merged and the denouements of them become more difficult to visualise.
However, Linda reaches successful, if sometimes unappealing, conclusions
as she realises the truths of these stories.
Jennifer S. Palmer
This is the first mystery from this author though
she has written books for young adults.
Mette Ivie Harrison grew up in a
two-hundred-year-old farmhouse in central New Jersey in a family with eleven
children, a dog, a pony, and lots of chickens. She moved to the more suburban
Utah city of Provo at age ten, where her father taught Computer Science at
Brigham Young University. Mette graduated from Brigham Young University with a
Master's Degree in German Literature. She went on to earn a PhD from Princeton
University in 1995 in Germanic Languages and Literatures with a dissertation on
the female Bildungsroman of the 18th century. She faced considerable difficulty
on the topic because of prejudice against a dissertation that focused
completely on women writers in a department without a single female tenured
faculty member. Beginning in 1994, Mette worked as an adjunct professor at BYU,
but decided in 1997 to work on her fiction writing career. Two years later, in
1999, she sold her first young adult novel, The
Monster in Me. Mette has since
published seven young adult novels, including Mira, Mirror and The Princess and The Hound.
Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime
fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an
expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands
& the USA
but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.