A dark, delicious standalone, from award-winning Peter Lovesey.
Otis Joy is a very good vicar - he attracts record-breaking congregations, is admired and respected by all, and the village of Foxford is delighted to have him. What the citizens of Foxford don't realise, though, is that their beloved parish priest is a murderer.
When the bishop gets suspicious of Joy's channelling of church funds into his own bank account, Joy kills him - after all, such a trifling misdemeanour should not prevent him from carrying out his duties. However, this isn't the first time he's despatched 'busy-bodies' and rumours are beginning to circulate. So when the husband of his new treasurer is found dead, perhaps he's taken one life too many . . .
Peter Lovesey amply demonstrates that he is the acknowledged master of the whodunnit in this deliciously complicated and satisfying mystery.
A mystery lover's dream - Mail on Sunday
Otis is a wonderful creation . . . The plotting is devilish, the writing a pleasure - Sunday Times
Features one of the finest creations in crime fiction - the unforgettable Otis Joy . . . Lovesey tells an almost Trollopian tale, satisfyingly complex and suspenseful but with wonderfully amusing insights into English village life - Daily Mail
The flavour here is part Patricia Highsmith in her Ripley series and part Ealing comedy . . . It's a hard act to pull off - tone is everything - and Lovesey is a master practitioner - Washington Post
If you've never read any of his 20-plus books this wickedly clever, beautifully written story of a murderous clergyman who earns our sympathy while dramatically whittling down his flock should make you an instant convert - Chicago Tribune
Lovesey is such a master of black humour and macabre plot twists that the attitudes of Foxford's parishioners are no more predictable than Otis's outrageous behaviour . . . In this author's unorthodox church, there must be a pew for Patricia Highsmith - New York Times Book Review
Peter Lovesey was born in Middlesex and studied at Hampton Grammar School and Reading University, where he met his wife Jax. He won a competition with his first crime fiction novel, Wobble to Death, and has never looked back, with his numerous books winning and being shortlisted for nearly all the prizes in the international crime writing world.
He was Chairman of the Crime Writers' Association and has been presented with Lifetime Achievement awards both in the UK and the US.