Just as the sexton is about to inter the ashes of one of Grace Church’s last wealthy patronesses in the Memorial Garden, he unearths a wine crate containing the ashes of an unknown. Next to the ashes is a distinctive pair of shoes. Not only are the woman’s relatives furious at the interruption, but they soon have grounds for a lawsuit: yet another piece of the church’s tower comes crashing to the ground. With their congregation dwindling and their world literally falling in around them, Father Robert Vickers and his colorful staff members and volunteers put their heads together to solve the mystery of the anonymous ashes and find the means to save Grace Church from the developers … all in time for the Bishop’s visit.

For many years Father Robert has called the old rectory at Seattle’s Grace Church home. No longer. An enterprising volunteer has come up with a scheme to convert it into a thrift store. With great reluctance, the priest moves to a condo, realizing that the struggling Episcopal parish needs the revenue. As predicted, money is soon rolling in. That is, until disaster strikes: one of the employees, a charismatic young man named Nick, is killed execution-style. Though well loved, Nick had a criminal past. Did his past catch up with him, or was he simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? Detective Joyce Hitchcock and Officer Raymond Chen are on the case, and once again their efforts are bolstered by the colorful staff and members of Grace Church—Father Robert himself, his fiancée Molly, Deacon Mary, manager of the food bank Terry, Lester the formerly homeless sexton, Daniel the organist, Arlis the church secretary, and senior volunteers Lucy and Mae. Other incidents follow—an explosion, vandalism. The already dwindling congregation is being scared away, and Grace Church may soon be history. Meanwhile Nick’s friends and colleagues can’t help but wonder: will the killer strike again?


Death on Sacred Ground

Grace Church’s newly married rector Robert Vickers is considering retirement. But two murders at the nearby ‘Homeless Jungle’ have put his plans on hold.

Father Robert Vickers, the rector of Seattle’s Grace Parish has returned from his honeymoon. Now he is dreaming about an early retirement, encouraged by the skills of the woman who substituted in his absence. Although Rev. Katherine is low sighted, he is confident that with his help, she can lead the congregation into the future. His dreams are dashed by two murders in the nearby homeless jungle.

Lester, his formerly homeless employee, may be a suspect. On top of that,
his plan to develop part of the church’s property is caught in a crossfire of environmental, low income housing, and gentrification advocates. Can he hang on long enough to get through the crisis and insure that the church and community are standing on sacred ground?


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“Lovable characters, atmospheric charm, and sins from the past make this a must for brick & murder readers.”

–Mary Daheim, author of the Bed-and-Breakfast Mysteries and the Alpine/Emma Lord Mysteries

“A heart-warming story filled with likeable characters as they deal with murder, mishaps, and mayhem. An insightful view into the challenges faced by today’s urban churches. I look forward to the next murder at Grace Church.”

–Liz Osborne, author of Dirty Laundry, A Robyn Kelly Mystery

“A great cast of characters. Even though the book is set in a large section of Seattle, the people still feel, act and speak very much like they are in a small area surrounding a quaint local community church. From Father Robert to Lester the sexton to the organist and a slew of others, this is one ‘congregation’ that will work day and night to unveil the murderer. This series may be in its infancy stage, but thus far the plots have been perfect, leading readers to want more.”

—Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion for Suspense Magazine

“I specifically fell in love with Nick, you will see why when you read the book, but he seemed like the glue between the thrift store, the food pantry and the church plus all the people. I was devastated when he was murdered and even though I had to step away for a bit to collect myself, I went right back to the story. I was on a mission!! I was right alongside Father Robert, Terry, Mae, Mrs. Evans and the rest of them trying to figure out who the murderer was. I highly recommend this book to everyone, religious or otherwise. I also suggest picking up the first book, Death in the Memorial Garden, and put the third one on your ‘to read’ list. I know it’s on mine!!!”  

—Missy S., Cozy Mystery Book Reviews

“I love this series as you meet various parishioners and watch various relationships while learning history of the characters and their connection to Nick…. Such a great story, and I was stumped on who the murderer was until the last page. Can’t wait to see what is next for Ms. Deviny.”

—Paul Mitchell for the Community Bookstop

“Deviny had a challenge on her hands and she met it and exceeded it. With her character development, her take on a subject that is divisive with the Church, and solid pacing I’m looking forward to more installments with the other characters taking their turn in the spotlight. RECOMMENDED.”

–Vikki Walton, I Love a Mystery

“I just loved following the day-to-day activities of this crazy group that is keeping Grace Church running on a wing and a prayer! Author Kathy Deviny does a great job creating three-dimensional characters, not only the aspects of them that play into the solving of the mystery but random miscellaneous traits that simply make them REAL.”

–Words by Webb

“A fun, cozy mystery that combines two threads: a whodunit and a drive to save a valuable community resource …. A very quick read with characters who will capture your heart. It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon relaxing.”

—Popcorn Reads