Happy New Year — Eastgate Cozy Mystery — January Book of the Month

January Book of the Month, Eastgate Cozy Mysteries, Eastgate Keeps on Singing

At Eastgate Church there is definite mystery — murder and more!  New Eastgate Cozy Mystery,  Eastgate Keeps On Singing features the church choir, introducing members as potential murderers! 

Get this story off to a speedy start as you imagine the setting for Assistant Pastor Carrie Winger Lockwood when her friend, Paula, frantically calls about 7:00 am.

That phone call first interrupts the first serious vacation for Carrie and her husband Dan to the scenic Southwest.  As Paula informs Carrie of a murdered man near the organ, the vacation comes to a screeching halt in Santa Fe.  Carrie and Dan catch the next flight back to Hazelray, Arkansas with their heads full of questions.

Pastor Carrie of Eastgate Church

Carrie Jean Lockwood is assistant pastor at Eastgate Church. From all appearances, she is the ACTIVE pastor.  Carrie is dedicated to supporting and protecting her congregation to her own exhaustion. They all love and respect her, but are extremely needy almost all the time. 

Carrie is grateful for her husband, Dan’s support as she goes over all the ‘facts’ in her mind and puts her observation aptitude to serious use.  Those observations will pay off!

Carrie’s investigative efforts will run head to head with those of her twin brother, Garry Winger, who is the police chief in Hazelray.

The Cozy Mystery ‘rules’ are all well-met in this story. With well-drawn characters and some humorous ‘investigation’, the book is a pleasant mystery read, if ever a murder story can be pleasant!

Cozy Mystery - a story that usually embraces a small town. Flinch-free reading.

VICTIM: Ira Vanzant’s primary spot in the story revolves around his murder. Someone clobbered him with a broad object and killed him.  His nasty attitude has earned him enemies in the choir.  Several people fit the suspect profile.  A newly hired choir director, Ira grew up in Hazelray, but had been away for many years. 

Who Done It? Will the Choir Sing on One Another?

Parts of the mystery surrounding Ira are

  • why on earth would he be back in town when he had a good gig
  • and how did he get an overpaid, cushy job as choir director
  • and when did the church board make that decision?
  • Or did they?

Members of the choir, congregation and community are suspects.  Some had cause; some had threatened the victim.

A deep mystery around Ira Vanzant’s murder, as mysterious as his sudden appearance in Hazelray. Stepping into an invented and cushy job that displays his obnoxious behavior has Carrie and others puzzled beyond wondering who murdered him.  With the possible exception of Melinda Hertz, few felt really bad about Ira being gone. His baser schemes were sidetracked before they became reality, though some people did embrace the potential for the schemes to pay off.

Although Carrie’s powers of observation do open for her and she figures out who is guilty before Garry does, she manages to bumble most everything else in her investigations. The story doesn’t take us into to legalities after the murderer is revealed. Perhaps a defending attorney can point out lower degrees of intent or accident or self-defense.

Three over-enthusiastic women, dubbed ‘the unholy trinity’ in Carrie’s mind and private conversations have other issues besides the murder.  They aren’t planning to be distracted by their dislike of the new hymnals.  They are on a mission to retrieve the old ones or at least some older ones with the good old music in them.

Watch for the TWIST!

Eastgate Keeps on Singing, Cozy Mystery, K.D. McCrite author.  January Book of the Month

There is a twist I wrote about in the review of this book: Eastgate Cozy Mystery — Eastgate Keeps On Singing. There are things I’m not going to spoil by telling you about connections with Pastor Avery, Ira and Debra. Or gossiping about how Eastgate Church won’t be dealing with huge, national scandal, but they will be facing some decisions about staffing. 

Eastgate Keeps on Singing is a story worth your time and entertainment.  There is humor and drama along with the mysteries.

 K.D. McCrite does it again! This talented author can write across genres with a rare elegance.  Her ‘tween’ series,  Confessions of April Grace, isn’t a kiddie book, but speaks to youth and their elders with valuable life lessons. There are four books in the first group and I’m told more are on the way.   K.D. has written since she could first direct a pencil, creating ever better stories.

Clean, Flinch-Free Reading

If I have an issue with Eastgate Keeps on Singing, it would be that the book ended too soon!  I hope that indicates this book is a ‘pilot’ and that there will be more in a this Cozy series.  There is entertainment potential in the congregation at Eastgate Church! 

In earlier reviews, I’ve reviewed some of the books K.D. has written for Annie’s Mysteries, Sweet Sabotage – Chocolate Shoppe Mysteries   I have reviews for more of these stories in the queue. 

If you aren’t reading K.D. McCrite, you are cheating yourself out some very good books

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