Stirring Up Strife by Jennifer Stanley is the first book in the new “Hope Street Church” cozy mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, December 2009

WELCOME TO THE HOPE STREET CHURCH…where good folks study The Good Book, but everyone loves a good mystery!

Cooper Lee can repair a copy machine—but can she repair her life? That’s one of the many Big Questions that lead her to the Sunrise Bible Study group at the Hope Street Church. Cooper hasn’t attended church in ages, but after getting dumped by her long-time boyfriend—and moving back in with her family in Richmond, Virginia—she could use some new friends, and a new outlook on life.

Happily, the members of the Bible group are an intriguing, quirky mix, which is just what Cooper needs to mend her broken heart. But the woman who first invited her to Hope Street Church—a friendly businesswoman who got her wedding ring stuck in a copier—turns out to be something else altogether: She’s dead And her husband is suspected of murder!

The Hope Street gang jumps into action, vowing to solve this unholy mess—with God’s guidance and Cooper’s snooping.

I love this book. Cooper, having invested five year of her life with her ex, moves back home and drudges though her daily routine. Until she joins a bible study group and begins to meet friends. What draws them together is solving the murder of one of their church members. The more involved Cooper becomes, the more her life has a meaning as she moves forward. Giving her support besides her new friends are her parents, her sister and her grandmother who spouts words of wisdom. These words are so inspirational, you can’t help but reflect on your personal being while keeping up the clues. In addition, Cooper is opening her heart to welcome a new relationship. I can’t wait to read the next book in the delightful new series. My rating: 5 stars

*new-to-me author

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