Monday, July 17, 2017

The Cover Story by Deb Rihcardson Moore

Book description:

A fatal crash involving two college students heading home for the holidays seems like an unfortunate accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of the vehicle that forced them off the road--an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.

Reporter Branigan Powers delves into the mystery that takes her to the college campus, and leads her into dangerous fraternity and sorority pledge parties.

Reunited with the homeless Malachi Martin, who is so adept at seeing what isn't there rather than what is, Branigan must uncover what is really going on at the college before other students are put in danger.

This second installment in the author's first cozy mystery series delves into the world of newspapers and life on the streets--both of which the author knows well.

My review:

 This was a new author to me, and is actually the second book in a series. I don't remember a review opportunity for the first book, but this one sounded like a good read, so I requested it.

 First the bad: This book is from Lion Publishing, distributed by Kregel. Kregel is a Christian publisher, but Lion does a lot of books that are not Christian, such as this one. There are a lot of instances of "damn" and "hell" throughout the book, even by a pastor. I dislike cursing in books and admire authors who can write a good novel without resorting to cursing, so that bothered me..... but then it isn't what you'd call a Christian book.

The good: Cursing aside, this was an awesome read. The plot was very intricate and suspects abounded. I enjoyed the detective work as the main character and others tried to figure out who the guilty part or parties was, and I was kept guessing as to who it was. The author created some great and likable characters, and some not so likable. When the book started, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get into it, but I got pulled into the story and had a hard time putting it down when I needed to do so.

 The book came to a satisfying end, and it was great to find out who the guilty party was and what  the motive was. I really enjoyed the author's style of writing (minus the curse words), and very much enjoyed the book.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

For 27 years, Deb Richardson-Moore was a reporter for "The Greenville (SC) News," winning three national writing awards and routine recognition from the South Carolina Press Association. She was a wife, mother of three, and that suburban cliche, a minivan-driving soccer mom.

She then took over the religion beat at "The News" and enrolled in a nearby seminary to learn more about it. Her life was never the same. She left the newspaper and earned a master of divinity degree. Because jobs for clergywomen were scarce in her own Baptist denomination, she accepted a job as pastor of the non-denominational Triune Mercy Center, a crumbling, inner-city mission church to the homeless.

"The Weight of Mercy" chronicles her first three turbulent years among her homeless congregants. Here's what novelist Davis Bunn, writer-in-residence at Oxford University, has to say about it:

"This is an amazingly well written work, a genuine testimony of hope in the dark recesses of our times. The words are laid out with an artist's precision, and their smoothness makes this not just a powerful read, but a genuine entry into a world we all need to know better. Perhaps the most important thing I can say about this is, I found Jesus in these pages. Highly recommended."

Deb is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Erskine Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Vince, have three grown children.

The Cover Story is available from Lion Publishing, part of Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.