Mary Higgins Clark…

Here’s the recipe: a youngish, pretty-ish, orphaned wife in or near Manhattan; a deceptive, felonious, or sleepwalking husband; a repressed or forgotten family scene, and wealth. Large, plush estates in tony suburbs, classic co-ops on exclusive avenues, perfectly cut clothes and lawns, professionally designed apartments, luxurious offices, always seen as if by a dazzled outsider, a maid, a secretary, a clerk, a tradesman to a privileged class.

Somewhere, somehow, somebody is murdered, kidnapped, arrested, accused.

A crime develops by pulling at and pulling out the pins of identity: what happens if a person forgets what she has done? What happens when a person has no memories of a mother, a father? What happens when a person believes that she is married to a man who is not who he pretends to be? What happens when a person does not tell her husband about her past? What happens when a friend, a neighbor, a son, a sister, a priest, a doctor, a lawyer is untrustworthy? What happens when a child is removed from a mother, and a mother is removed from her child? What happens to a classy woman when she is removed from her class?

All Mortal Flesh by Julia Spencer-Fleming read by Suzanne Toren

At St. Alban’s Church there is a stained glass window picturing a Roman soldier with a halo dressed as a Priest. The Roman soldier was Alban. When the Priest who converted him was sentenced to death, Alban switched clothes with him and died in his place.

A soldier disguised as a priest describes in some sense the Rector herself, an ex-army helicopter pilot, who turns up at crime scenes, and helps the Chief of Police solves crimes in a small snowy parish about 2 hours drive from Albany.

Jan Karon: The Mitford Series

Read this series by Jan Karon about a diabetic Episcopalian rector in a small town in North Carolina whose fat happy female parishioners cant stop baking him pies cakes and cookies. Very very funny scenes with neglected husbands eating unthawed church sale  cakes the minute their wives aren’t looking, a big dog who settles down only upon hearing Scripture,  a bossy secretary with a drawer full of Little Debbies, a perky wife-artist who likes to move the furniture around, and a parish full of souls in need of interference…