The Graves of the Guilty (Hope Street Church Mysteries #3)by Ellery Adams (Jennifer Stanley)

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published September 28th 2014 by Beyond the Page
(first published August 31st 2010)
4 Stars

Synopsis: Welcome to Hope Street Church, where friendships are formed, fresh starts are encouraged, and mysteries are solved.

Cooper Lee is on top of the world, thanks to her great friends at Hope Street Church and the satisfaction of having solved two perplexing mysteries. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, she’s hoping that love is in the air for her and her new boyfriend, Nathan. But Cooper’s faith is about to be tested when her sister, Ashley, discovers a corpse and is implicated in the gruesome murder. And just as troubling, a darkly handsome and exciting man has come into Cooper’s life and just might tempt her to stray.

As Cooper and her friends from the Bible study group once again spring into action to root out a killer—and Cooper digs deep to solve a more personal mystery—she discovers that following the clues is raising more questions than answers. But one thing’s for certain: when cold-blooded criminals mess with Cooper’s family and friends, the killers haven’t got a prayer.

Includes heavenly recipes from Magnolia Lee’s kitchen!

My Review: This is a reprinted book that was originally published under the name Jennifer Staley, a pen name of Ellery Adams. She polished it up and republished it. I have enjoyed this series and the progression of the characters in the stories.

In this book, Cooper’s sister Ashley discovers a dead body in the trunk of the car she borrowed from her husband’s dealership. She calls Cooper very upset looking for help. It so happens that Cooper is dealing with a flat tire when she takes the call. Throughout the story, Edward, a recently released ex-convict keeps turning up when Cooper seems to need him. He is helping her fix the tire when the call comes. He takes her to Ashley’s house on his bike and helps calm the ladies down. Edward is the son of one of the seniors who was killed in the previous book and Cooper helped to bring the murderer to justice. Once again, Cooper and the Hope Street gang decide to help find the murderer. He feels like he owes her and seems to be following her to help whenever she needs it. He decides to help her find the murderer using his old contacts.

In this book we see the struggles that Cooper and Nate go through when they are not sure of their relationship. Ashley and her husband also seem to be drifting apart, yet some of the other characters begin new relationships. It is nice to see how they work to solve the problems and do not just throw in the towel. In this story we see the Bible study group take on a project involving a school in a low income neighbourhood and raising funds. There is some gang involvement and we see how easy it is to take advantage of the marginalized people in society, in this case, illegal aliens. This is a nicely paced cozy mystery, with a Christian theme. I recommend this to cozy mystery lovers who like a nice clean story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.