Death In The Memorial Garden
Camel Press, Oct 15 2012, $11.95
Desperately needing repairs due to loose stones temporarily kept in place by grout; Grace Church is located in a deteriorating neighborhood filled with the poor and homeless. Father Robert Vickers feels at home here as he believes God assigned him Grace Church to provide some good to the dwindling flock.
Henry the caretaker digs up at the burial of wealthy longtime patron Neola Peterson in the Memorial a wine crate containing unknown ashes and a pair of shoes; the latter shocking a mourner. The Bishop announces he will visit Grace Church on Sunday. Father Robert with help from his eccentric congregation and quirky staff try to fix the place up for the Bishop’s visit. However, someone else wants the church closed. This individual climbs the church tower and throws rocks at the homeless Claire the Pigeon Lady who dies from the assault, and Father Robert. The perpetrator must be stopped before he causes irreparable damage to Grace Church.
This is an interesting working poor neighborhood cozy starring a priest who tries to save souls while also attempting to make life better for those around him as he stretches church canon to do what he believes is right. The amateur sleuthing is entertaining but it is the plight of a deteriorating neighborhood symbolized by its falling apart church that brings freshness to Death in the Memorial Garden.