Welcome to Hope Street Church, where friendships are formed, fresh starts are encouraged, and mysteries are solved.
Cooper Lee and her friends in the Hope Street Bible study group have just volunteered for a local charity, delivering much-needed food and cheer to shut-ins in their community. It seems like the perfect way for the group to do good, and to Cooper it offers the welcome opportunity to get out of the house and spend more time with her new boyfriend, Nathan. But when one of the charity’s recipients is murdered, the police have no choice but to single out the church group and their fellow volunteers as the prime suspects.
Determined to make sure no evil deed goes unpunished, Cooper and her friends decide to discreetly interrogate each volunteer in their search for the killer, even if it means putting themselves at risk in the process. And as serving the needy becomes more treacherous than any of them could have imagined, they just might discover that the road to murder is paved with good intentions.
My Thoughts :
I am a huge Ellery Adams fan and until the Hope Street Church Mysteries were re-released I didn't know she wrote other books under a different name. Her Books by the Bay and Charmed Pie Shoppe cozies are both in my list of favourite cozy mystery series. So of course I was really excited about being able to try another series by an author I enjoy so much. I snapped up the three books on Netgalley and have been trying to fit them in between my other reading commitments. Way of the Wicked is the second book in the series and a poor sequel to the debut but still a great read.
The plot is sometimes a little complicated but the story gets you there in the end. The Hope Street Church angle is a lot more present in this second installment but the religious content is still minimal. I continue to like Copper, her family and most of her friends but the addition of Emilio was something that could have been spared. Also Nathan's client problems was also something I didn't need to have added to the story. It was actually quite obvious what was going to happen there.
Sometimes the story felt a little long-winded and I lost track of how long the mystery actually took to solve. The weekends seemed to be the only time that progress was made but little was said or done during the weekdays. I was happy to see Cooper and Nathan get closer and it was also nice to have Coppers work colleagues finally get together. For such detailed relationships it amazes me that there is only a third book. I wonder how the author will leave the characters that have worked so hard to get where they are.
Not bad but not the best. I have come to expect more from Ellery Adams and I should try and remember that this series came before her newer and obviously better cozies. I am not saying that I hate this series and won't continue. I just find it a little bland and slow. However the third installment may just turn things around! Only time will tell.