“Sane, wise, likable . . . [The] solution is nicely surprising, and Linda has an engrossing voice, at once modest and assured.”



In her cover blurb, Mette Ivie Harrison says she is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, more commonly known as Mormons, so I have to assume the lifestyle she describes is somewhat accurate. She does go into great detail about the Mormon home life, and those looking for a voyeuristic peek into this normally closed society will probably be happy with the novel.

While I want to think the author is reliable, and not leading the reader astray, many sections gave me the feeling Harrison was stuffing as many clichés about Mormons into her mystery as she could. Rigid patriarchal society which downplays the role of women in society? Got it covered.Child and spousal abuse? Ditto. Polygamy and salacious history about early founders? No way she’d leave that out.

The titular character, Linda Walheim, finds time weighing on her hands now that most of her children have left the family home. As a result, she ends up dabbling in the concerns of members of her husband’s ward. Some of her interference is well thought out, but a lot of it seems to involve cooking. You know, taking a casserole to a troubled family, baking nine loaves of bread at a time, getting hot meals on the table for those still at home.

While the mystery is somewhat predictable, I’d still give the novel a qualified recommendation based on the inside look at Mormon life. I’d give The Bishop’s Wife a stronger recommendation if I could be sure the depiction was accurate.


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Added 23rd June 2015

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