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Blessed Is the Busybody: Ministry is Murder    by Emilie Richards order for
Blessed Is the Busybody
by Emilie Richards
Order:  USA  Can
Prime Crime, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Blessed Is the Busybody is the first in a new series by Emilie Richards. If later books in this series are anything like the first, the author has a surefire hit on her hands. What fun. The story is written with a delightful sense of humor, a tightly executed plot, enough action to satisfy the most demanding of readers, and a very likable heroine. Agate Wilcox, the wife of the new Unitarian minister in Emerald Springs, Ohio, seems not too happy with the move to her husband's new parish. Who would be when a nude, and incidentally dead, body is left on her front doorstep?

The characters are ones you might find in any small town, USA. I love Aggie's daughters - Teddy, the first-grader who has a penchant for burying her live cat; and Deena, who at eleven is just discovering she can make decisions for herself. The theme of Aggie's love for her husband runs through the book, but is not distracting. Just enticing enough to put a different spark in the narrative at the proper moments. When a second body materializes, Aggie feels compelled to investigate on her own as these corpses are a personal affront to her and her effort to settle into a new parish with parishioners who seem to not like her husband. 'What's not to like?' is Aggie’s contention.

Blessed Is the Busybody is a delightful mystery with a protagonist the reader can easily accept as a new friend. I like Aggie and want to read more of her.

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