Monday, November 30, 2015

A Body in the Belfry by J.B. Hawker | Monday Mini-Review

A Body in the Belfry by J.B. Hawker
Series: A First Ladies Club Mystery, #2
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Christian Fiction
Publisher: J.B. Hawker
Publication Date: Print, 11-3-15 / Digital, 12-1-15
Paperback: 220 pages 
ISBN-10: 1507696620
ISBN-13: 978-1507696620 
eBook File Size: 666 KB  
Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Goodreads   

Author J.B. Hawker is discounting the digital versions (Kindle, ePub) to only 99 cents 
for a limited time during the launch. After that, it will return to the regular price of $4.99. 

 The Blurb

A low moan penetrated Merrill’s illness-and-antihistamine-befogged dreams, pulling her from a deep sleep. Squinting through sleep-glazed eyes at the unfamiliar room, she recalled where she was. The bedroom walls of her new home seemed to be vibrating with the deep bellow of a foghorn. When high-pitched whines and squeals followed the low rumble, she blinked and sat up in alarm.

Small town secrets 
can lead to big trouble

When Reverend Merrillanne Bishop accepts leadership of the First Baptist church in the picturesque seaside community of Bannoch, Oregon, she doesn’t know what to expect. Not everybody is pleased with the idea of a female pastor, but Merrill is determined to prove to everybody — including herself — that she belongs in the pulpit.

Merrill has a talent for seeing the good in even the worst situations and soon finds friends. When she meets Peter, a Seattle reporter offering her more than friendship, life seems sweet. But the bliss of romantic moonlit walks and seaside bonfires withers one stormy night when Merrill discovers a body in her church’s bell tower.

As the frightening discoveries continue, Merrill struggles to comfort her flock, knowing full-well one of them could be a killer. 

The Review

I just read a really good book, y'all — A Body in the Belfry by J.B. Hawker.  Let me tell you a little about it. A Body in the Belfry is the second book in The First Ladies Club Mystery series, following book one, The First Ladies Club, also really good.    

In the prologue of A Body in the Belfry, the reader learns how the body in the belfry came to be  how the victim succumbed to the unknown assailant and ended up at the end of a rope — how, but not why. The prologue hooked me, and I remained engrossed in the story lines until the end. I was so caught up that I didn't want to put it down, and finished it in two days. 

The main character, and my favorite, is the Reverend Doctor Indigo Merrillanne Bishop. Yes, Indigo. Her two brothers are named Sage and Wolf. Their parents were going through a hippie phase at the time. She goes by Merrill now. 

Other primary characters are the ones in the First Ladies Club, "a support group for pastors' wives" who "also do community service projects." The various first ladies are unique, realistic, likable, and well-rounded. They are friendly and welcoming to Merrill, and she is very thankful for their support.

Author J.B. Hawker has created a very believable world of Bannoch, Oregon. She describes it with just the right amount of detail, so that I can picture it — and want to visit there. The citizens of Bannoch are all three-dimensional and realistic, including the secondary characters. 

I liked how everything — all of the sub-plots  comes together at the end. You won't want to miss the thrilling climax! I really love that part, with its edge-of-your-seat excitement. 

A Body in the Belfry is a fast-paced and enjoyable read. After finishing the book in two days, I was a little sad to leave the First Ladies Club that I have grown to love. I'm looking forward to Author J.B. Hawker's current work in progress, A Corpse in the Chapel.

To sum it all up, I really enjoyed A Body in the Belfry by J.B. Hawker, and grant it Four Kitties!

Four out of five kitties
Note:  I received a complimentary copy of A Body in the Belfry in exchange for my honest review. 
All opinions shared are 100% my own.

The Author

About J.B. Hawker

J.B. Hawker, currently living in the wilds of Northern California, is a woman of a certain age with a lot of living behind her, who looks forward to all the great adventures ahead.

J.B. mines the richness of her history as a pastor’s wife in small communities all over the Western United States to people her not-quite-cozy mystery/thrillers. (If you’ve ever attended a small town church, you may even recognize some of the characters.)

Writing from a Christian perspective, her stories include men and women at all stages in their faith walk, along with some truly scary villains.

J.B. hopes her readers appreciate main characters who struggle with their faith as real Christians do and that non-believers will get a peek at Christian life beyond media stereotypes.

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