A Lie for a Lie

Published by: Berkley
ISBN13: 978-0425226643
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Aggie Sloan Wilcox likes to practice what her minister husband preaches—to a point. But babysitting a narcissistic "star" demands the patience of a saint, and Aggie isn't bucking for a halo.

Actor and singer Grady Barber has returned to his hometown to judge the Emerald Springs Idyll, a talent show to help raise funds for the local hospital. As the newest volunteer on the fund-raising committee, Aggie is assigned the unenviable task of ensuring that Grady's needs are met. Unfortunately, Grady's needs are legion, as are the enemies he makes.

When Aggie stumbles upon his dead body, she isn't terribly surprised. But when "Sister" Nora, of a controversial circus that preaches the dangers of global warming, turns out to be Grady's ex-wife, she is surprised. And when Nora is arrested for his murder, more than Aggie's patience is tried. She must use every skill to clear the name of the unlikely prophet, before Nora spends her final days preaching on death row.



"With A Lie For A Lie, Ms. Richards delivers another absorbing tale filled with both humor and suspense. I can't wait to read more! Recommended!"
—Romance Readers Connection

"This is a jewel of a book; a creative cozy that will fascinate readers."
—Follow The Clue

"Richards' Ministry Is Murder series combines her skill for creating heartwarming relationships with her keen sense of mystery plotting that plays out effortlessly in the hands of her clever sleuth. Great pacing and character development lead readers through the discovery of clues and questioning of suspects until they uncover the killer alongside Aggie."
Romantic Times BOOKreviews

"Emilie Richards continues to write the-best-of-the-very-best cozy stories on the bookshelves today."
Fresh Fiction

"Part of the joy of reading Richards comes from her quirky and fully rounded characters."
Gumshoe Review


With the Old Testament as one of the sources of inspiration for the books in the Ministry is Murder series, the possibilities for the next book are forever rich and tantalizing. With so many gloomy forecasts about what we might expect if global warming continues, I easily found my hook this time. Although my personal memories of Ohio are more apt to include precipitation, and lots of it, I wondered how a town like Emerald Springs would fare without rain. Drought and heat would definitely feel like the end of the world to people not used to either. The idea took root. You, of course, will have to figure out the Bible story A Lie is “suggested by.” Although truly, I’m making it so easy for you, how could you not?

About the same time I happened to catch an episode of American Idol. No fan of reality shows, which seem to be squeezing out so many of the better dramas and comedies on network television, I still understand their draw. But those judges! Were they kind and thoughtful, no one would watch, of course. But surely some of those contestants have had fantasies about doing away with more than a few of them.

And so, Grady Barber sprang to life. A local boy made good, come home to lord it over one and all at the Emerald Springs Idyll. As for the circus? What better way to introduce a host of exotic animals into a sleepy little Ohio town? And if you think the real state of Ohio would prohibit such a thing, please guess again and read the state statutes. I did.

Finally, I dug around in my memories of years as a minister’s wife and remembered one of my children complaining to his dad because Dad had mentioned him in a sermon. How could I not embroider on that?

All the Ministry is Murder books are so much fun to write. This one was no exception.