Over My Dead Body
James R. Callan, author
A large corporation is taking land by eminent domain. Syd Cranzler stands in its way, threatening a court battle. After a heated meeting with the corporation representative, Syd is found dead from an overdose of heart medication. The police call it suicide. Case closed. But Father Frank, Syd’s pastor, and Georgia Peitz, another member of the church, don’t believe Syd committed suicide and begin to look for clues of what really happened. And this has an ill affect on Georgia’s budding romance with the lead detective. When the priest is almost poisoned, they convince the police to investigate further. Immediately, Father Frank becomes the target of rumors and speculation he might have had something to do with Syd’s death. The more clues Father Frank and Georgia uncover, the more danger they find themselves in. Can they find the real killer before they become victims?
When a friendly, inquisitive parish priest starts exploring the details of a parishioner’s unusual death in a small town in east Texas, tensions rise and accidents begin to happen. Father Frank can’t quite believe that crotchety old Syd Cranzler would actually commit suicide, no matter what the medical examiner and police say. Syd was too busy fighting recent corporate attempts to buy him out of his property. Frank and Syd’s mutual friend Georgia agrees, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, police detective Mike Oakley. Despite Mike’s opposition, Frank and Georgia team up to sleuth out the peculiar circumstances of Syd’s death, not realizing the danger they face. Callan (Cleansed by Fire), after using a weak plot device to kick-start the investigation, rebounds to keep the pace lively and the dialogue interesting. Easygoing, insightful Frank anchors a colorful cast of characters who are the highlight of the book. Even though a priest is at the center of the story, matters of faith are touched on lightly, but with a positive spin. This is a solid, entertaining whodunit with believable characters, twists, and complications. (BookLife)