I Shall Not Want
Source: Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher.
Book Description from Back Cover:
Charity work can be murder!
It’s Thanksgiving and Joseph Tyler, one of the members of Cindy’s church, has organized a new charity that provides homeless people with rescue dogs to love and care for. But one by one, the homeless recipients are being murdered and their dogs stolen.
Could an overly competitive millionaire with his prize-winning pooches and a grudge be behind the crimes? Or could it be someone much closer to Joseph who has something sinister to hide?
Cindy and Jeremiah must rush to find a killer before he strikes again.
I Shall Not Want is a fun cozy mystery. This book is the second in the series, but you don't need to read the first book in order to understand this one. However, this book promptly revealed who the murderer was in the previous novel, so you'll want to read the first novel before this one if you're intending to read it.
There's an underlying humor to this mystery, and the characters were engaging and interesting. I figured out whodunit long before the characters did (due to understanding mystery forms, not because the characters overlooked obvious clues), but the writing was good enough to keep me reading and enjoying it.
While the "police stuff" was generally good (and safely vague), I did wonder about the scene where two men entered a dark, apparently deserted morgue to set the corpse of a murder victim on an examination table and promptly left. Wouldn't they need to process the body (paperwork) and refrigerate it until it was time to examine the body?
Though the main characters were a church secretary, a rabbi, and an atheist police detective, there was very little religious content. Certainly, none of the characters tried to convert each other.
I was reading an advanced reader copy, so this may be changed in the final version. However, several times the rabbi referred to God as "Jehovah" in his casual conversations. First, that's not the Hebrew spelling of God's name. Second, he also referred to God as "Yahweh" once, near the end. Third, Jews--even those not highly devout--don't casually refer to God by His personal name. They even write "G-d" rather than "God" when referring to Him. Also, when asked to pray before the Thanksgiving dinner was eaten, the rabbi gave a very Christian-style prayer rather than a Jewish one. Granted he's a cool character with a mysterious past, but I didn't find him very convincing as a devout Jewish believer let alone the leader of a synagogue.
There was no sex and minimal gore (mainly just references to pools of blood). There were a few uses of both explicit and "he cussed"-style bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel, especially to those who love dogs and mysteries.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
Cindy Preston loved Friday. Anything-can-happen Fridays was how she liked to think of them. As they neared the holidays, they became even more deserving of their name as First Shepherd church became a center of activity. Being a secretary at a church was a far more chaotic job than most people imagined.
For Cindy, the job had gotten even more exciting a few months earlier when she had stumbled across a dead body in the church sanctuary. The week that followed had seen many people murdered by a serial killer, one whom Cindy had helped stop.
For a couple of months afterward, the church had seen a large swell in attendance as people wanted to come gawk at the woman who survived attack by the Passion Week killer and helped the police turn the tables on him.
Their interest had gradually waned, and aside from three new members who actually joined the church, things had pretty much returned to normal. That was just how Cindy liked it.
The one unfortunate thing was that her friendship with Jeremiah--the rabbi at the synagogue next door--forged in shared danger, had slowly faded as well. They still exchanged pleasantries over the shrub hedge that separated the parking lots of the church and the synagogue, but not much else. It made sense, really. They had nothing in common.