by Sandra Bretting
Review by Mel Jacob
Five Star Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781432825973
Date: 19 October 2012
When the church pianist, a beautiful woman involved with a popular pastor, is found murdered, suspicion falls on the pastor and his wife. The crime gives Kelsey Garrett, a reporter for the bi-weekly local newspaper, a chance to gain attention for her journalism skills. It also means threats from the killer.
Kelsey longs for a job in a place where things happen and not just the council meetings, local football team victories, and births, deaths, and marriages. The murder provides the perfect opportunity for Kelsey as she searches for clue to solve the case. Police Sergeant Hines, soon to retire, helps her by telling her details of the case. She also sleuths the internet and talks with church members to learn about the woman and those who might have a motive for murder.
There is no lack of suspects. Kelsey learns the woman had an abusive ex-husband, but nothing indicates he has come to town. Besides the pastor and his wife, spurned suitors, the pastor's secretary, and an ex-husband expand the list. The pastor's wife cautions Kelsey not to jump to conclusions about the killer. She also hints Kelsey's new beau once dated the woman.
Kelsey sends copies of her articles on the murder to the wire services, and they catch the attention of a Dallas newspaper editor. This might be her big opportunity, but she also has a romance and friends she would have to leave.
Bretting moves the investigation along and plays fair with the reader by dropping hints ahead of the denouement. She provides an exciting climax with an injured Kelsey fighting off the killer. Unholy Lies offers cozy readers a pleasant read with likeable characters.