A Mormon bishop’s wife questions tenets of her faith and searches for clues to her own identity while hunting a murderer.
The dinner Linda Wallheim and her husband, Kurt, have planned with his closest associates and their wives doesn’t go at all well. Carl and Emma Ashby arrive late, then Carl squabbles with Linda over his dogmatic statement that a woman’s place is in the home, and a furious Emma insists on leaving. A few days later, she phones Linda and Kurt in a panic because Carl has not returned from a meeting. When the Wallheims find him at the church, he's been strangled. An autopsy reveals that Carl was biologically a woman who had borne a child. Could Emma possibly be so sheltered that she never realized the husband with whom she’d adopted two children was a woman who'd had some cosmetic surgery? Although the police always suspect the spouse, Linda can't believe the mentally and physically fragile Emma, who insists that Carl was the perfect husband and father, could be guilty and delves into Carl’s past looking for other suspects. The revelation that the youngest Wallheim son is gay brings back the pain of Linda’s first marriage, which even her children are unaware of. Madly in love, she married her college sweetheart only to discover gradually that he was gay. Her divorce wrecked her relationship with her conservative family and drove her to become an atheist until she finally returned to the church. Although Kurt and the police both warn her against meddling, Linda can’t let go until she finds the truth.
This second case for Linda (The Bishop’s Wife, 2014, etc.) does a wonderful job of parting the curtain on many of the Mormon Church’s mysteries.