Soho Crime to Release THE BISHOP'S WIFE by Mette Ivie Harrison, 12/30
A Mormon community in Utah is rocked when a young father named Jared Helm announces that his wife has run off on him. Marriage in the Church of Latter Day Saints is an eternal affair, where families are sealed to each other for all time, not just until death "parts" them. Carrie Helm, by all accounts, was not only a good wife and neighbor, but a loving mother as well. But according to Jared, she also suffered from mental illness and drastic mood swings.
Linda Wallheim, the wife of the ward's bishop and mother of five boys, doesn't think Jared's story adds up. Against the instructions of her husband, she begins to snoop into the Helms' affairs. Linda has long been wary of the secrecy and patriarchal structure of the church, not to mention more than a few of the rituals she believes have outlived their time. Now her doubts are too troubling to push aside: is the patriarchy so powerful that a man is going to get away with murder? And if the ward was unable to protect Carrie Helm from an abusive husband, how can she keep other women in her ward safe?
While the police respect the need for discretion and privacy, Linda does not. But what her de facto investigation uncovers is a series of secrets, one stranger than the next, that threaten not just her own safety but the trust of the entire community.
Inspired in part by the strange, sad story of the real-life disappearance of Utah mother Susan Powell, Mette Ivie Harrison's mystery debut asks questions about the nature of faith, about the rights of women in a patriarchic religion, and about what it means to be a wife and mother. The Bishop's Wife is a rare insider's look at one of the U.S.'s most secretive religious groups and announces a fresh and fascinating new voice in mystery fiction.
About the Author
Mette Ivie Harrison is the author of numerous books for young adults, including her critically acclaimed The Princess and the Hound series. She holds a PhD in German literature from Princeton University and is a nationally ranked triathlete. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she lives in Utah with her husband and five children.