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?
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?