This is the first book in the Book of Psalms series set in England and uses the Church of England as a backdrop, my understanding is that the author worked in the Church of England and was fired after writing her first mystery, their loss is certainly our gain. In this first one Father Gabriel Neville is priest in the church of England at St. Anne's in London with a wife and young twin children in line to become the area Arch Deacon, however a secret from his past threatens his way of life when he receives a blackmail letter concerning a gay relationship he had been in where the young man that he broke off with committed suicide, the blackmailer doesn't want money, instead the letter writer demands Father Neville to resign from the priesthood before the Bishop's announcement on the Arch Deacon job. Finding himself unable to confide in his wife Emily who knows nothing of his past, Gabriel reaches out to someone who he hopes will help him. David Middleton-Brown is a gay man, a lawyer in Wymondham who had been taking care of his sick mother for the last few years until her death a few months earlier. Though his good friend Daphne lives in London and works for St. Anne's church as a Sacristan, he has never been to visit because of Father Gabriel Neville who was his first and only love over 10 years ago. His first and only gay relationship, he has never got over Gabriel leaving him and is aware that Gabe is now married with two children. Feeling lost and alone after his mother's death he gets a letter from his friend Daphne inviting him to come to St. Anne's and advise on the restoration of the Comper chapel and a letter from Gabriel asking for his help. Despite his feelings, he can't refuse Gabe and so traveling to London, he sets out to find out who is blackmailing Gabe. The host of people he finds at St. Anne's could be a church anywhere, with the strange and the wonderful This on whole is a very good book, my main complaint was the fact that you not only have Gabriel who has seen the light of day and gotten married to a woman but you have David Middleton-Brown who falls in love with a woman. It seems to be that it would have been more believable had David gone up to London and met a nice gay man, as a matter of fact there was one young man who was a server in the church who was openly gay and was in a relationship though apparently with a young man though he was 19 was under the age of consent and so he risked going to jail. This book was written in 1991, the age of consent was lowered in the year 2000 to 16, the same age as for heterosexual relations.
Murder mystery set at a London church.
Nice mystery for Church of England fans.
Eccleiastical mystery with David Middleton-Brown and Lucy Kingsley.