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The bishop's body lies at the bottom of a quarry. In his car are a suicide note, a copy of Men Only and a Bible underlined at the text ."..hath devoured thy living with harlots." He was last seen alive by Otis Joy, the rector of the Wiltshire village of Foxford. Adored by the ladies, who fill his pews and collection plates each Sunday, the Reverend Joy had become less popular with the bishop, who had discovered irregularities in the church accounts. Rich as the devil's food cake at the church fete, The Reaper is a dark, delicious crime story from the award-winning Peter Lovesey.
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Peter Lovesey is the award winning creator of three outstanding detective series - those featuring Sergeant Cribb, Bertie, Prince of Wales, and most recently Peter Diamond. He has won both the Gold and Silver Daggers.From Publishers Weekly:
Wielding the Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement he recently won from the British Crime Writers, Lovesey slashes his way through the overgrown shrubbery of the rural British cozy. The result is an extremely clever, exquisitely written story of a murderous rector who manages to earn a great deal of our sympathy while dramatically whittling down his flock in the Wiltshire village of Foxford. "If you knew Marcus Glastonbury, you would not expect him to appreciate anything out of the ordinary," Lovesey tells us right away about the local bishop, who comes to chastise the handsome young rector for cooking the books at his last parish. And indeed Bishop Glastonbury is no match for the Reverend Otis Joy a wickedly intelligent serial killer (the bishop becomes his second victim, framed to look like a suicide and a sex pervert) who also happens to be a crackerjack priest. That's why the good folk of Foxford especially the women find it hard to swallow the gossip about Reverend Joy that gradually builds up like a winter ground fog. One local housewife, Rachel Jansen, who surprises the rector naked under an apron while he cleans up after killing the bishop, becomes such a strong supporter that she risks losing not only her life but also her immortal soul. Lovesey deftly plants deceptive clues and raises false hopes about Reverend Joy's fate, all the while painting a picture of a town and a church congregation so real that they leap off the page. (Apr. 1)Forecast: Soho is reprinting another one of Lovesey's best novels 1978's Rough Cider in paperback to help celebrate his Diamond Dagger, and he will be the guest of honor at this year's Bouchercon in Washington, D.C. Last year's well-received The Vault is also still available, helping to give this deserving author a lot of visibility.
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