From Orde (a.k.a. Sheri S. Tepper), a fourth outing for Denver interior-designer Jason Lynx (Death for Old Times' Sake, etc.), who, here, agrees to look into the murder of a friend's half- brother—Ernie Quivada, whom Jason remembers as intrusive, unruly, unpleasant, and given to loudly praying over so-called sinners. The late Ernie, a preacher, had his throat slit in his Santa Fe church- -a murder committed right in front of an altar painting done by his fiercely talented artist wife, Margaret. Jason quickly becomes fascinated with the cool and remote Margaret and learns, among other things, that Ernie thought her artwork wicked and so disapproved of her friendship with art-teacher Joy Shepherd that he moved the family from Oklahoma to New Mexico to break it up. But Margaret's art prevailed, and her mentor, a 91-year-old gallery owner, had just promised her a show before Ernie died. Jason's cop pal Grace visits—and comes back with some insights Jason would rather not recognize: lesbianism, for instance. There will be another death and more religion run amok before Ernie's last Scripture lesson reveals why he had to die—and by whom. A glum, dour read. Unlike the previous Jason Lynx books, preachy—on every level.
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