The Path of the Crooked

The Path of the Crooked - Ellery Adams I received a free kindle copy of The Path of the Crooked by Ellery Adams published by Beyond the Page Publishing, from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I gave it five stars because it held my attention & kept me guessing who was the murderer.

It is a revised edition of a book previously titled Stirring Up Strife by Jennifer Stanley published by St. Martin's Press.

The main character is Cooper Lee & she has a dilemma. She hoped for a fresh start after her boyfriend left her. Her job as an office machine repairman was boring so she joined a Bible study group. The woman who invited her to the Hope Street Church, Brooke Hughes, is found dead. The prime suspect is her husband, Wesley who is an elder at the church. The Bible study group wants to help him.

Ashley Elizabeth is Cooper's younger sister. Her husband is Lincoln. Magnolia "Maggie" Lee is her mother who does daily baking & takes some of her cookies to the "folks at the Alzheimer's home."

"Why?" Ashley's perfect lips screwed into a smirk. "They won't remember eating them."

"Ashley Elizabeth!" Mrs. Lee shook her rolling pin at her daughter. Don't you say ugly things like that in my kitchen."

Then Ashley proceeded to meddle in Cooper's life. She was embarrassed that her sister worked as a copier repairman.

Earl is Cooper's soft spoken father. Grammy is Earl's mother & Cooper's irascible grandmother who lives with her parents. Cooper moved into the apartment they had built for Grammy after she refused to move into it.

Grammy's cat has a bobbed tail. He was found as a kitten & she named him Little Boy. She snuck food to her room & fed him snacks until his stomach almost touched the ground.

Cooper went for the first time to the Bible study group & met an eclectic group of people.

One was a tall, attractive young man named Nathan Dexter.

She decided it was time for new beginnings so threw away a full pack of Camels & the Bic with it. In the group she met Jake, a detective novel addict. He is a plumber & electrician. He also decided to quit smoking using a nicotine patch & chewing nicotine gum.

"Listen. There is no right or wrong answer to these things, girlie." Grammy hitched up her navy blue knee-highs & licked her finger in order to rub a spot of dirt from her shoe. "This is about bein' on a path--not getting to the end of it."

"I like that," Cooper said. "You're pretty smart, Grammy."

In the bible study group there is a discussion about heaven. "I reckon there's music there too,' Jake said & cleared his throat. 'Like we've never heard before. I bet it's so beautiful that it fills you up inside." I liked that description because there are some melodies that have done that to me here on earth.

Nathan comments that Cooper's eyes are really cool. She had an injury with a field hockey stick in junior high & received ocular transplant surgery. Her left eye was almost colorless blue. "But the other eye...was a shimmering green. It was exotic--invoking images of lush jungles flecked with firefly light or the green shallows of tropical waters." She wore a colored contact to make them match when she dated her former boyfriend. Now she lets her individuality show.

In an attempt to solve the murder of a church member, Nathan & Cooper see Cindi's Honda Civic. "Cindi's after money, I'm sure of that, & she's only acting this way to provide a better life for her kids. Even so, she doesn't know that this sugar daddy has a dark side worse than Darth Vader"

Can the Bible Study group members find out the identity of the murderer without coming to harm? Can Cooper come to terms with her new single life? Will Cooper fit in with the other group members?

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