Priscilla Wyatt is a single, middle-aged nursing assistant who lives behind Sommerville Funeral Home. When her dachshund, Weenie, returns home with a ghastly find, Pris’s life starts to spiral out of control, plummeting her headfirst into the macabre. Gerald Zenith, proprietor of Sommerville, couldn't care less about the dead. Between running scams and keeping a necrophiliac subordinate in check, Gerald’s hands are full. He hasn’t the time nor the interest to be concerned with what is happening in the cemetery during the wee hours of the mornings…until all hell breaks loose. Some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Rovens’s unsettling story of unsavory crimes connected with a small-town funeral home is not for the squeamish. Gerald Zenith has run the Sommerville Funeral Home in Foote, Ind., for 14 years, aided by Bruce Sheffield, “a thirty-year-old mama’s boy who abided by the cliché of living in his mother’s basement.” Both men have abused their positions. Gerald, who keeps two sets of books, routinely digs up graves after burials and deposits the corpses in an unmarked hole so that he can recycle the coffins. Bruce sexually abuses the bodies of dead women brought to the funeral home. Meanwhile, extreme hoarder Priscilla Wyatt accumulates possessions that include body parts unearthed by her dog. Bruce’s mother, who writes cozy mysteries with religious-themed titles such as Stop: In the Name of Jesus, has a key role to play in the grotesque events leading to the dramatic denouement. This is a straightforward cautionary tale of how the two principals’ sins eventually catch up with them. Crime novel concepts don’t come much odder or creepier. (Self-published.)