In D. A. Bartley's compelling debut, Detective Abish Taylor returns home to Utah and uncovers dark secrets lurking within the quiet Mormon community.
Detective Abish Taylor left Utah for a reason. But with her husband’s passing, it’s time to come home. Reconnecting with her family means dealing with her past: the father she abandoned and the community she left behind. Her one escape is serving as the sole police detective in the small town of Pleasant View. But when the quiet Mormon suburb in the Wasatch Mountains is shaken by a macabre deathwith the hallmarks of a sacred ritual dating back to the days of Brigham Young Abbie is called into action.
As she uncovers the dark side of the picturesque neighborhoodinfidelity, corruption, and the greed of a global religionAbbie discovers just how far some powerful leaders of the Church will go to bury their secrets. Especially as the brutal murder unearths a sinister tradition lurking in the religion's not-so-distant past: the ultimate sacrifice for unforgivable sins. With the chief pressuring her to close the case and the community that once sheltered her watching her every move, Abbie must find justice for the deadbefore she’s silenced for good.
About the Author
D. A. Bartley is a member of Daughters of Utah Pioneers. She traces her family history back to the earliest days of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She spent much of her childhood in Utah, but her parents were incurable travelers. She was born in Scotland and lived in Germany, France and Russia. After studying international relations, politics and law, D. A. worked both as an attorney and an academic in Manhattan. In the end, though, she could not escape her life-long love of mysteries. She lives in New York City with her husband, daughter and son.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Blessed Be the Wicked by D.A. Bartley is the first installment in An Abish Taylor Mystery series. Abish “Abbie” Taylor is a widow who has moved back to her hometown of Pleasant View, Utah where she is the only detective in the town’s small police force. Abbie is hoping to reconnect with her family who were less than understanding (except her brother, John) when she left the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS). Abbie’s newfound peace is shattered when she is called to an unusual murder scene. The victim is wearing sacred temple clothes and killed according to an abolished punishment ritual called Blood Atonement. Abbie dives into the case with her partner, Officer Jim Clarke, but she is thwarted at every turn. Even her fellow officers attempt to hinder her investigation. Church leaders do not want their secrets coming to light and the police chief is pushing for her to close the case, but Abbie wants justice for the victim. Join Abbie as she follows the clues to catch a deadly killer in Blessed Be the Wicked. Blessed Be the Wicked is a different type of cozy mystery. It is set in Pleasant View, Utah where many of the citizens are members of the LDS. The author provides readers with the inner workings of the church (the hierarchy, various committees, rituals). It did seem that D.A. Bartley is not a fan of the church or its practices based on the criticism. The details provided on the church slowed down the pace of the story and some of it was just baffling. I did enjoy discovering the history behind the Mormon faith. The author created a complicated mystery with a simple solution. The crime scenes are explained in graphic detail which is unusual for a cozy mystery. The author has a descriptive writing style which allows me to visualize the scenes. I did wonder at the overabundance of detail regarding high end clothing and accessories. At the end of the book, I was left with unanswered questions (which is so frustrating). I was never able to get into Blessed Be the Wicked, and I struggled to finish it. Blessed Be the Wicked was not the right fit for me.
Blessed be the Wicked by D. A. Bartley An Abish Taylor Mystery #1 Abish Taylor: widow, ex-Mormon, returned home from New York, sole detective on Pleasure View police force, knowledgeable about LDS and detective work. Abish left New York for Utah after her husband died to see if she could reconnect with family members that did not see eye to eye with her when she left the Mormon faith. Not much is said about Phillip, her deceased husband, but she did love him and he left her plenty of money when he died. Abbie is not really accepted by the old-boy network at work so it can be tough at times. When a man is murdered in what appears to be a ceremonial way mentioned in older LDS writings the church really would prefer to keep things out of the media and let Abbie know this in more than one way. There is quite a bit of sleuthing. Interviews are done with various suspects as well as those that might have information that might help solve the murder. Tidbits are unearthed that lead the reader to potential suspects and reasons for the murder. The case is eventually wrapped up by Abish and Clarke, the colleague assigned to work the case with her. She does make inroads into getting along better with her father and she meets up with an old friend that may prove to be a potential love interest as she moves forward in the series. There is a mystery left unsolved – why were the two men in her home one night when she got home and what were they looking for? There was considerable information about the history of Latter Day Saints that might not appeal to everyone but it was informative and based in fact. Having done much comparative religious study over the years I did enjoy the story and do look forward to reading what comes next in the series. If there is anything I might have wanted more of is information about why Abbie left the church, how she met Phillip and how Phillip died. That said, my guess is that more of this information will show up in future books…hope so! Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4 Stars