While the crime fiction genre (murder mysteries, thrillers, romantic thrillers, police procedurals, suspense novels) can be seen as dark, it also has a “light” side. The good guys often at peril to their own lives fight against evil and for justice. It’s my contention that the “who dun it” originated in the Christian west. The history of the murder mystery is that of solving a moral dilemma (a deadly crime). The main characters may have to sacrifice and endure great punishment to bring the guilty party to justice. Yet they persevere and do what is right.
Acts 2:29-32 “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.
I’d like to wish everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ a blessed Easter. I’d like to wish my Jewish brothers and sisters a happy, healthy Passover.
In that spirit, let’s take a look at a couple of Easter season murder mysteries…
Cindy’s church is getting ready to celebrate Easter, and Jeremiah’s Temple is preparing for Passover when Cindy literally stumbles over the body of an unknown man lying dead in the sanctuary. The church was locked, and a bloody cross necklace on the floor seems to be the only clue. The killer is likely a member of the congregation, but there are hints that similar deaths have happened in the past. Are Cindy and Jeremiah dealing with a serial killer? They have to unravel the clues before Easter Sunday arrives and more people die.
Cindy and Jeremiah come from two different worlds, even though they work right next door to each other. Cindy is a strong Christian who lives a normal but somewhat dull life, working as a church secretary. Jeremiah is a Reformed rabbi with a mysterious past full of danger and excitement. But one eventful Easter/Passover week, the two find themselves working together to solve a murder and stop a serial killer from striking again. Solving the mystery should put an end to their alliance, but the church secretary and the rabbi quickly find themselves enmeshed in another mystery. Soon the two form a friendly alliance and friendship, exploring personal history and faith and growing closer with each passing adventure. Despite their differences Cindy and Jeremiah find a lot of common ground.
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Poisoned Pen Press
The first novel in a series planned to follow the sacred and secular calendar through its annual cycle opens on Good Friday as The Brotherhood of Our Lord Jesus, the centuries-old lay society known as the penitentes, march singing their ancient, primitive hymns towards their vigil at the morada, the prayer hall in Talpa. One hermano, one brother, has been singled out to die, the assassin striking him down in the graveyard, the camposanto, and tumbling him into the darkened room to lie all night with his unsuspecting comrades. The next morning, one is charged with the act.
This outrage arouses the widowed Christina Garcia y Grant, an attorney who gave up her practice in favor of innkeeping and writing, to defend the accused. Her team is composed of her mentor, La Dona Abogado — Miss Doris Jordan — a sturdy senior advocate, Ignacio Baca, an opera-and-sweet-loving public defender, and Mac McCloud, a doctor vacationing at Christy’s La Casa vie) a B&B. This motley crew suspects that Hermandad Pat Salazaar has been set up. Sorting through Satanism, witchcraft, and modern day science, their widening investigation covers Taos, Los Alamos, and Santa Fe. Seldom has so lyrical a voice described the beauties of Northern New Mexico and the very special culture of its Hispanic and Anglo people.
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