Safe From Harm

Safe From Harm

4.5 2
by Stephanie Jaye Evans
     
 

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In a new mystery featuring Texas minister Walker “Bear” Wells, a teen tragedy hits too close to home…

The ominous text message Bear Wells received from his teenage daughter Jo simply said: “Come home.” The Texas minister never imagined he’d rush back to find her cradling the dead body of her estranged friend Phoebe.

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Overview

In a new mystery featuring Texas minister Walker “Bear” Wells, a teen tragedy hits too close to home…

The ominous text message Bear Wells received from his teenage daughter Jo simply said: “Come home.” The Texas minister never imagined he’d rush back to find her cradling the dead body of her estranged friend Phoebe. While the death rocks Sugar Land, the apparent suicide seems like an open-and-shut case. But nothing is settled in the Wells household, especially for Jo. The deeper she digs into Phoebe’s life, the more she realizes nobody knew her at all.

Bear found it hard enough dealing with Phoebe’s skimpy Goth outfits, painful-looking piercings, and the outrageous scandals she brought to his idyllic Sugar Land congregation, but now it’s his daughter who’s acting out. Jo knows Phoebe caused major problems between her picture-perfect father and stepmom, but she has no idea what’s at stake or whose lives are in jeopardy. Bear’s painfully aware that his last private investigation resulted in a bullet wound, so when Jo sneaks out alone to confront her primary suspect, he’s not only praying that he’ll find her in time—he’s asking forgiveness for what he may have to do to save her.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Sugar Land, Tex., minister Walker “Bear” Wells plays the role of a man of God much more than that of a detective, in Evans’s emotionally charged sequel to 2012’s Faithful unto Death. In the first chapter, Bear comes home to find his 15-year-old daughter, Jo, in her bedroom, cradling the body of troubled high school classmate Phoebe Pickersley, an apparent overdose victim. Jo refuses to accept that Phoebe deliberately killed herself with drugs. The bulk of the book traces the depressing arc of Phoebe’s life and her desperate search for connection, but nothing matches the intensity of the prologue, in which Phoebe lets herself into the Wells’s house shortly before her death, seeking a return to comforting childhood experiences. Bear’s common sense and devotion to family make him extremely appealing, but readers looking for structured investigation in their mysteries may feel let down. Agent: Janet Reid, FinePrint Literary Management. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
Praise for FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH:
 
“A smart mystery … The clever structure, remarkable dialog, and subplots result in a wholly satisfying read.”—Library Journal (Starred Review, Debut of the Month)

“Packs a considerable punch. … Readers will look forward to seeing more of Bear, with his formidable intellect, tart sense of humor, and resolute sense of justice.”—Publishers Weekly

“Well-delineated characters, including the self-deprecating hero, drive this first-person account, which is strengthened further by the perceptive examination of family relationships and the portrait of the life and work of a minister.”—Booklist

“Unexpectedly magnificent … FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH is not only a brilliant murder mystery, but also a well-thought out provocative tale of family secrets … a humorous and splendid murder mystery worthy of ten stars!”—Fresh Fiction

“Bear is a wonderful amateur sleuth.” —The Mystery Gazette

“Praise be! A new series with a soul, a heart, and a down-home Texas twang. Preacher Bear Wells is an entirely original sleuth and author Stephanie Jaye Evans is that real rarity: a debut writer with dead-on dialogue, winning characters, and—mirabile dictu!—nimble plotting.”—National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert

“[A] marvelous debut... I love her reluctant clerical sleuth, the Reverend Walker ‘Bear’ Wells. Bring on the next Sugar Land mystery!”—New York Times bestselling author Julia Spencer-Fleming

Kirkus Reviews
Bear Wells, a Church of Christ minister, and Baby Bear, the family's 180-pound Newfoundland puppy, must cope with teenage daughters. Sugar Land, Texas is a nice community to grow up in unless your divorced mother dies from esophageal cancer and you're forced to move there and live with your dad, his twin sons, and Liz, the stepmother from hell, who suggests suicide as a nice lifestyle change. Teenager Phoebe Pickersley's solution is to dress goth, pierce herself from brow to lip and insinuate herself into the more idyllic Wells household, where she monopolizes 15-year-old Jo Wells' mom's time, manipulates Jo into doing what she wants, flirts with Jo's boyfriend, Alex, and finally so aggravates Jo that she ends the relationship. One day, Jo returns home and finds Phoebe dead in her bedroom. The fact that his daughter is suspected of supplying Phoebe with drugs sends Bear into a tailspin. He insists that Jo couldn't have done this since he knows everything about her. But he doesn't know a thing about that tattoo on her neck, her leaving the house by her bedroom window or her skipping ballet classes to take lessons in Catholicism. While Bear twists slowly in the wind, Liz, on a romantic picnic with her husband, dies from anaphylactic shock from ingesting tuna. Phoebe's alcoholic grandfather sobers up long enough to redeem an insurance policy on his granddaughter. At length, Jo gets down to sleuthing and Bear to taking long walks along the levee with Baby Bear and his secretary's curly tailed pugs as he tries to puzzle out life. As charming and wry as Evans' bright debut (Faithful Unto Death, 2012), filled with reasons to own dogs, love your children and your wife, and have faith.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425253465
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Series:
A Sugar Land Mystery Series, #2
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Praise for FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH:

“A smart mystery … The clever structure, remarkable dialog, and subplots result in a wholly satisfying read.”—Library Journal (Starred Review, Debut of the Month)

“Packs a considerable punch. … Readers will look forward to seeing more of Bear, with his formidable intellect, tart sense of humor, and resolute sense of justice.”—Publishers Weekly

“Well-delineated characters, including the self-deprecating hero, drive this first-person account, which is strengthened further by the perceptive examination of family relationships and the portrait of the life and work of a minister.”—Booklist

“Unexpectedly magnificent … FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH is not only a brilliant murder mystery, but also a well-thought out provocative tale of family secrets … a humorous and splendid murder mystery worthy of ten stars!”—Fresh Fiction

“Bear is a wonderful amateur sleuth.” —The Mystery Gazette “Praise be! A new series with a soul, a heart, and a down-home Texas twang. Preacher Bear Wells is an entirely original sleuth and author Stephanie Jaye Evans is that real rarity: a debut writer with dead-on dialogue, winning characters, and—mirabile dictu!—nimble plotting.”—National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert

“[A] marvelous debut... I love her reluctant clerical sleuth, the Reverend Walker ‘Bear’ Wells. Bring on the next Sugar Land mystery!”—New York Times bestselling author Julia Spencer-Fleming

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Meet the Author

Stephanie Jaye Evans is the author of Faithful Unto Death and the daughter of a trailblazing Church of Christ minister and the great-granddaughter of a circuit-riding preacher. She and her husband live in Sugar Land, Texas, and have seven grown children and two badly-behaved pugs.

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