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The Lord Is My Shepherd: The Psalm 23 Mysteries by Debbie Viguie
Review by Colleen Cahill
Abingdon Press Kindle Edition  ISBN/ITEM#: B003K15NNU
Date: 31 January 2010 List Price $13.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

In fiction, it is not unheard of for religious people to solve mysteries; from C.J. Chesterton's Father Brown stories to Harry Kemelman's Rabbi Small books, there are plenty of priests, nuns, rabbi's and even Shaker church leaders tracking down who done it. In Debbie Viguié's The Lord is My Shepherd is the first time I have run across the church secretary as sleuth. Teaming up with the Rabbi from next door, this duo takes on a frightening killer who is recreating Jesus' last week of life with a series of grisly tableaus. If they don't find the murder quickly, the secretary could be next on his list.

Few people like Mondays, but for Cindy Preston, they were her worst day of the week. As a church secretary, she is like the field marshal for the First Shepherd Presbyterian Church and the start of the week could be compared to the aftermath of a battle. Even so, Cindy never expects to stumble over a dead body in the sanctuary. Her screams bring a quick response, as Rabbi Jeremiah Silverman appears almost immediately, which is a comfort, but also a bit disturbing; could he be the murder? Clues point elsewhere, however, especially when a second gruesome murder occurs: Manuel Jesus Olivera's body is placed on a donkey and left at Palm Street. Once again there is a connection to the church, and when Cindy's home is ransacked, it is clear these two murders are connected.

Understandably nervous, Cindy spends the night in a hotel, only to discover another killing took place across the street while she slept, one that mimicked Jesus having his feet washed by the repentant woman. Is this psycho stalking Cindy? A chilling thought, as it is likely someone who attends her church.

This work is definitely a spine-chilling thriller with a mix of who done it, and after the pattern of the killer is established, the big question is how will he do it. While the murders are certainly riveting, I found the two main characters the reason I kept turning the pages; from Cindy's nervous fear to Jeremiah's desire to help a new friend, they are believable and very likable.

The behind the scenes of both a synagogue and a church are fascinating, as there are many similarities to both organizations. I was especially amused by the office politics in the church, and the various personalities which are often at odds with each other. The moments of humor in this book are one of the points that keep it from being oppressively dark, such as the conversation between a police detective and his partner:

“Should I ask you where you were yesterday morning?”
“Very funny. I was at the Intergalactic Circus of Sleep.”
“Got somebody who saw you there?”
“The dancing bear can vouch for me.”
This light banter is both realistic and amusing; a very nice combination in a murder mystery.

The first in The Psalm 23 Mysteries series and this book now has a companion, as I Shall Not Want has been released. Not a moment too soon for me, for I am looking forward to more time with these two interesting sleuths. If you are seeking a mystery with thrills, realism, and a touch of humor, with the bonus of some different kind of religious detectives, try The Lord is My Shepherd; you won't be disappointed.

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