PREACHING TO THE CORPSE

Roberta Isleib

 The holidays have arrived in postcard-perfect Guilford, CT, but someone’s taking the joy out of the season…

Psychologist/advice columnist Dr. Rebecca Butterman gets a call in the middle of night from the minister at her church. He’s in custody after going to a fellow parishioner’s home and finding her dead. The murdered matron was the leader of a search committee charged with finding a new assistant pastor after the previous assistant left in a rush. The minister begs Rebecca to intervene. She learns that the committee was divided–has someone tried to eliminate the competition? Rebecca puts her analytical skills to work to do her own search–for a killer–all while resisting the urge to break the seventh commandment with a very married detective,

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 The holidays have arrived in postcard-perfect Guilford, CT, but someone’s taking the joy out of the season…

Psychologist/advice columnist Dr. Rebecca Butterman gets a call in the middle of night from the minister at her church. He’s in custody after going to a fellow parishioner’s home and finding her dead. The murdered matron was the leader of a search committee charged with finding a new assistant pastor after the previous assistant left in a rush. The minister begs Rebecca to intervene. She learns that the committee was divided–has someone tried to eliminate the competition? Rebecca puts her analytical skills to work to do her own search–for a killer–all while resisting the urge to break the seventh commandment with a very married detective, and praying she’s not the next victim.

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  • Berkley
  • Paperback
  • December 2007
  • 256 Pages
  • 9780425218372

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$6.99

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About Roberta Isleib

 Roberta Isleib is a clinical psychologist who took up writing golf mysteries to justify time spent on the links. Her first series, featuring a neurotic professional golfer and a sports psychologist, was nominated for both Agatha and Anthony awards. Roberta is the president of National Sisters in Crime and the past president of the New England chapter. She lives with her family in Connecticut.

Praise

“The mystery is well laid out and easy to follow, and there are several paths readers can take to figure everything out. Preaching to the Corpse is a fun holiday mystery with a heroine who will easily win new fans and keep old fans well satisfied.” —Jennifer Winberry, Mystery Reader

“I most appreciate the top-notch writing, meticulous plotting ­and a heroine who is perfectly imperfect ­ teetering between her feminist leanings and the desire for a big lug to take care of her.” —Diana Vickery, Cozy Library

“This book has everything I love about traditional mysteries. Good, tight writing. A strong but far-from-perfect heroine. More secrets than sprinkles on Christmas cookies. A plot that flows smoothly from ‘What can all this possibly mean?’ to ‘I think I know who did it’ to ‘No, don’t go there, all alone, without telling someone, this close to the end of the book!'” —Sharon Wildwind, Story Circle Book Reviews

“Isleib has written a fantastic amateur sleuth tale in which it seems everyone except the detective and the heroine¹s sister and niece have something to conceal and thus push personal agendas to guard against revealing their secrets.” —Harriet Klauser, Genregoroundreviews

Discussion Questions

People are drawn to religion for many reasons. What do you understand about why Rebecca attends church?

What does Rebecca conclude about the balancing act between being an ordinary human being and serving as a minister–or a therapist?

Rebecca struggles with her own issues (post-traumatic divorce disorder, she calls it) while helping her therapy patients and dishing out advice. How do you feel about hearing her concerns? How is she different or like other therapists you’ve seen in movies and books or on TV?

How do you feel about the men in Rebecca’s life? Mark (her ex)? Detective Meigs? Bob? Do any of them seem right for her?

How important do you think it is for Rebecca to make contact with her father? What might be the best outcome she could expect?

How is Rebecca’s role as advice columnist different from that of therapist? What is the function the column serves for her? How does she feel about Dr. Aster? How about you?

If your background and beliefs are different from Rebecca’s, did that affect your enjoyment of the book? How?