UU crime/mystery series

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UU crime/mystery series

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gen. 24, 2007, 7:10pm

I am currently reading Blessed Is the Busybody by Emilie Richards. The sleuth-protagonist's husband is a UU minister. I am not UU myself, although my mom was raised Universalist (pre-merger), and my folks were married at her church. If anyone has read this series, I'd appreciate comments on its "authenticity". Thanks.
Strictly as a cozy series (there's a newly-released sequel "Let There Be Suspects"), I'd say it's pretty good, though not outstanding.

gen. 24, 2007, 11:59pm

I've just put them on my buy list, and I'll get back to you!

gen. 30, 2007, 7:03pm

I have read this book and can respond in part to your request for comments about "authenticity." The first thing to remember is that all UU churches are different. It depends on the community, minister, history, and preferences of the members themselves.

At the beginning of the book, I was unclear about whether or not the Consolidated Community Church was a UU congregation. It stated that this was the religion of choice of the minister and his wife but it never said it was actually a UU congregation. Sometimes, other liberal non-denominational churches can call a UU trained minister just as a UU Congregation can call a minister of another liberal denomination.

As I read on, I found various things that ring true in many UU congregations. Most UU services - but not all - are begun with the lighting of the chalice. It is also common to have a moment of meditation and prayer as in the book - rather than being led in prayer - so that those that don't participate in the practice of prayer have an option that they feel comfortable with. The fact that the church secretary was gay was reflective of the move of most UU churches toward becoming "Welcoming Congregations" which are inclusive of all persons regardless of sexual orientation, etc. Something else that is fairly typical is the holding of a memorial service without the body present as opposed to a funeral - a tendency toward the celebration of a person's life as opposed to some sort of sermon. There were many times in the book that Aggie's interactions with her children reflected the UU Principles - though these were never mentioned.

This is the way I read it anyway - and others may disagree. I am a life long UU and have only belonged to two UU churches but have visited many.

Was there anything that I didn't touch on that you were wondering about?

I would agree with your evaluation that it was a pretty good read but not outstanding. I found it interesting enough that I will read the sequel.

feb. 2, 2007, 1:52pm

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

I wasn't firmly convinced that the church was actually UU either; the author is a tad vague on that score, to the extent a non-denominational "liberal" Protestant church would work here. What *really* made me wonder was that Gelsey was so very un-UU in such a brittle, judgmental way. That threw me, but there wasn't really anything the author could do about that, given the plot (which I won't spoil).

Based on your comments, I can accept that the depicted congregation reflects a small town, Middle America UU church fairly accurately.

maig 19, 2007, 6:18pm

Bumping this message as I've just finished the sequel: Let There Be Suspects. This one seemed to be more of a cozy, with less emphasis on religious aspects. Looking forward to the next one.