Hope, Faith & a Corpse

Hope, Faith & a Corpse

In the tradition of M. C. Beaton, Hope Taylor, pastor of a small-town California church, tries to find out who sent a church elder to Heaven.

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About the Book

Hope Taylor arrives in Apple Springs to start her new life as the first female pastor of Faith Chapel Episcopal Church. The northern California town’s quaint cottages, bungalows, and shops promise a fresh start for the 42-year-old widow and Bogie, her scruffy black Labrador. But where is Father Christopher? The kindly old rector who hired Pastor Hope was supposed to meet her upon her arrival, but he’s nowhere to be seen. Hope’s faith springs eternal, so she explores the little white church hoping to find Father Christopher. But when she enters the columbarium, she instead finds church elder Stanley King–his skull crushed by a fallen burial urn.

Hope had made Stanley’s acquaintance before, and had struggled to take a charitable view of his character. Stanley was as wicked as he was wealthy, as petty as he was pious. His soul may have been holy, but his behavior was wholly rotten. The last time Hope had seen him, he had shouted drunkenly that she would preach at Faith Chapel over his dead body.

Many of the townsfolk witnessed the altercation, so Hope finds herself as the prime suspect in Stanley’s murder. With Bogie’s four-footed assistance, Hope is determined to find the real killer and clear her name…even if it will require a bit of divine intervention.


A Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick (January 25, 2021)!

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"[A] pleasing series launch."
– Publishers Weekly
“A promising new series... Readers will finish this mystery already hungry for more.”
– BookPage, starred review
“[A] warmhearted, humorous addition to the pantheon of clerical sleuths.”
– Kirkus Reviews
"Charming... Put the kettle on, cozy fans, and settle down for a treat."
– Catriona McPherson, award-winning author of Strangers at the Gate
“The author's humor engages, the twists and turns in the mystery intrigue...and the resolution will both surprise and satisfy any reader who loves a good cozy.”
– Edith Maxwell, Agatha Award-winning author of the Quaker Midwife Mysteries
“Laura Jensen Walker's Hope, Faith & a Corpse is a fun and charming adventure. Sister Lou and Pastor Hope could definitely be friends."
– Olivia Matthews, author of the Sister Lou Mysteries
“A charming addition to the ranks of clerical sleuths, Hope Taylor is wise, witty and thoroughly winsome as she goes about her priestly tasks, including puzzling through possible motives for the murder that has blighted her first day in the pulpit. Balancing humor and suspense, with a cast of engaging characters, this perfectly pitched mystery is certain to intrigue and entertain.”
– C. C. Benison, author of the Father Christmas mysteries
"I highly recommend HOPE, FAITH AND A CORPSE to cozy mystery lovers, those that enjoy an amateur sleuth that is a member of the clergy, and of course, a cozy mystery set in small-town USA."
– Karen Siddall, FreshFiction.com
Series: A Faith Chapel Mystery, Book 1
Genre: Cozy Mysteries
Tag: Featured Books
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Year: 2021
ISBN: 9781643855042
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About the Author
Laura Jensen Walker

I’ve loved words ever since I read 103 books in Miss Vopelensky’s first-grade class. That’s when I first dreamed of becoming a writer. My dream came true many years later when my first book was published at the age of forty.

Now after more than a decade away from publishing I’m thrilled to be back and writing again!

I write in several genres—what can I say? The ideas come fast and furious from all directions. In 2022, the book of my soul, my memoir, Good Girl,  released—the most transparent and vulnerable book I’ve ever written. My latest book, Death of a Flying Nightingale (releasing in September 2024), shines a spotlight on an overlooked group of WWII women heroes—The Flying Nightingales—who risked their lives flying into combat zones to evacuate the wounded. It was my great privilege and honor to interview the last remaining Flying Nightingale for my historical fiction debut. More to come!

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."