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A Dead Man out of Mind

Kate Charles: A Dead Man out of Mind (USA 1995)

From the Publisher:
St. Margaret's, a church in Pimlico, is not quite top drawer. It no longer rates a full-time priest and is making do with a curate, the beloved Father Julian. When he is found with his head bashed in and his sacristy ransacked, the London police call it a fatally bungled burglary. Soon he and a stolen silver chalice pass from nearly everyone's mind. Then the new curate arrives - and turns out to be a woman. And the Victorian silver church service - of which the stolen chalice is a part - turns out to be worth a king's fortune. Hired to arrange the sale of the St. Margaret's silver, David Middleton-Brown is plunged into a malicious atmosphere of anti-feminist politics, nasty rumors, and deadly suspicions. Add to this Lucy's teenage niece, Ruth, a red-haired Rottweiler of a girl who is living with Lucy and doing a stint in David's office as a school project. When the mayhem at St. Margaret's escalates with two more killings and the poisoning of a pet cat, Ruth decides to play detective. But murder is not a game, and St. Margaret's is no place for a schoolgirl. David and Lucy realize a ruthless murderer lurks among the smarmy clergy and irate parishioners. To uncover the culprit before Ruth becomes the next victim, they must go back to the genesis of it all: the dead man out of mind, Father Julian - and a lethal liturgy of greed, secrets, and twisted love.

Kate Charles: A Dead Man out of Mind. A Mystery Novel. Mysterious Press, ISBN: 0892965851 (November, 1995), 339 p., $19.95.

 

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A Dead Man out of Mind

Kate Charles: A Dead Man out of Mind (UK 1994)

From the Publisher:
'A woman priest at St Margaret's? Over my dead body!'
Dolly Topping, head of the national organisation 'Ladies Opposed to Women Priests' and wife of one of the churchwardens, feels that strongly about it. It is unfortunate, therefore, that Father Julian, the well-loved curate of St Margaret's, should have been killed in a burglary gone wrong. And doubly unfortunate that the Vicar, upwardly-aspiring William Keble Smythe, should choose to appoint a woman to replace him. From the moment that Rachel Nightingale enters the serene Anglo-Catholic world of St Margaret's, tempers and emotions run high; Christian charity is not much in evidence, even among those who espouse it most loudly. Meanwhile, solicitor David Middleton-Brown finds his life complicated by difficult clients and a trying visit from Lucy Kingsley's teenage niece Ruth. Then he becomes involved as an unwilling pawn in a dangerous game of bluff and double bluff between a pair of scheming churchwardens and a Vicar with an agenda of his own. Why are Martin Bairstow and Norman Topping determined to sell the church's silver? Why is Father Keble Smythe prepared to allow them to do it? And what does it all have to do with the new female curate? Most importantly of all, perhaps, why has no one told David about what happened to their last curate?

Then another 'accidental' death at St Margaret's unites its parishioners in new heights of hypocrisy, and leaves Ruth Kingsley crying 'murder'. But David remains sceptical - until he learns about Father Julian's death. With the encouragement of the Archdeacon and interference from Ruth, he and Lucy embark on a search for the truth about the 'dead man out of mind', and discover more than they ever wanted to know about greed, hypocrisy, ambition - and the cost of love.

Kate Charles: A Dead Man out of Mind. A Clerical Mystery. Headline, ISBN: 0747210888 (April, 1994), 246 p., £16.99.

 

AMAZON.DE

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

 

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