A Truth for a Truth

Published by: Berkley
ISBN13: 978-0425236055
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After Godwin Dorchester, a former minister of the Consolidated Community Church of Emerald Springs, Ohio, dies suddenly while visiting town for the church's anniversary celebration, his overblown memorial service is halted when Aggie Sloan-Wilcox, the wife of the present minister, gets a call from the funeral director telling her the police are demanding an autopsy.  Seems "Win" didn't have a heart attack after all.  He was poisoned with an overdose of his own digitalis.

Suspects are many, but uppermost is Hildy Dorchester, Win's wife of many years, who prides herself on being the perfect ministerial helpmate. In fact Hildy's mission is to make unconventional Aggie the perfect helpmate to Ed, a role Aggie has never relished.  Despite her aversion to Hildy's vision of a minister's wife, Aggie must stand beside her and try to prove her innocence when the congregation turns its back on the woman who always put them first.

As Aggie sorts through possibilities, including church members with little faith in their former pastor, she slowly begins to see Hildy's finer points as well as a darker side to Win's flock.   This time Aggie is sure that finding the murderer will be an academic exercise.  She is determined not to put herself or anyone she loves in danger again.  But Aggie is often wrong.


"Richards, who lives in Northern Virginia, invests her tales of homicide with a generous serving of humor, and A Truth for a Truth is no exception. Richards will repeatedly throw you off the trail — and Aggie is as lovable and as fascinating as ever."
Richmond Times Dispatch 

"Aggie and Ed are not preachy, but more down to earth; they never judge and usually look at the good in people, which is what makes tracking down Win’s murderer a little harder this time, and more surprising when the murderer is revealed."
—4 Star Review from The Mystery Reader

"This book is a real page turner. A little like a cozy mystery but, not quite. I just know that I loved it."
— Once Upon A Romance

"If you make a list of must reads, this one has to be on it, if you love series put this one on your TBR pile, if you love contemporary mysteries or cozy mysteries this should be top choice. Be prepared to laugh in the next breath after you gasp in the next breath after you wipe your tears in this nail biting one minute, laugh out loud the next minute who-done-it. This novel stands well on it’s own, but the series is chronological and so I would suggest reading them all. If you’re a fan of Hank Phillipi Ryan or Diane Mott-Davidson you will love this series."
The Reading Frenzy


Every minister’s partner–like the author–is aware she or he could be doing more. And every one of us knows there are only so many hours in a day, as well. Times have changed and while in the past, churches often got “two for one” when they called a minister with a spouse, today’s spouses are often working and lucky just to make it to church for worship services.

While I’ve never experienced an overly zealous minister’s wife determined to make me over in her image, I know this happens. After all, if you’ve devoted your life to anything, you want to share your secrets with the next generation. Ask any mother or mother-in-law.

From this idea sprang the image of Hildy Dorchester, well meaning, optimistic, overly controlling and not afraid to share all the ways a “good” minister’s wife should behave. I could just imagine how Aggie, from a different generation and background, might respond. What fun.

As always, there’s an Old Testament story at work here, with the requisite twist, of course. See if you can find it, and pay close attention to some of the things Hildy says in conversation with Aggie for clues.