Beware False Profits

Published by: Berkley
ISBN13: 978-0425218686
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There's no rest for the weary Aggie Sloan-Wilcox and her minister husband, who were praying for a relaxing weekend until a member of their Emerald Springs church vanished...

When Joe Wagner, director of Helping Hands, the Emerald Springs food bank, goes missing, Aggie discovers his secret life—as a female impersonator. Then Joe’s disappearing act pales in significance when the mayor’s wife falls dead during the food bank’s annual fundraiser. Now with Joe and the mayor on the suspect list and financial scandals unfolding at Helping Hands, it’s up to Aggie to shine her light in every dark corner. If she doesn't get to the bottom of things fast, Emerald Springs might have another date with the angel of death, and that’s one social engagement she'll happily miss.


—The Wall Street Journal

“Light-hearted…An answered prayer for fans of the cozy mystery.”
—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A humor-filled murder mystery that works.”
—Gumshoe Review


The milieu for the Ministry is Murder series is so rich with possibilities that ideas for future stories fly thick and fast. When the time came to choose one for book three, I considered two elements. First, each of the books is “suggested by” an Old Testament tale. And no matter what your particular beliefs about the Old Testament, it is chock full of fabulous stories. So choosing one story to play with is never simple. Second, I had already introduced Aggie’s family, both present and past, and I had explored in some depth the life of a minister’s family. For book three I wanted to expand into the community. Emerald Springs itself interested me. The leadership. The social service organizations. The ways that Aggie could fit herself into both.

Characters previously introduced are great fodder for future novels. Although Hazel and Brownie Kefauver were minor characters in Blessed is the Busybody, I found them much too interesting to leave alone. I had also briefly mentioned a church member who was in charge of the local food bank. Food bank rang a Biblical bell. After all, every community needs stores of food to help its citizens through the roughest of times. A particular food storage program and the man who made it happen jumped out at me. And Beware False Profits was born.

In Beware, Aggie is beginning to come into her own as an amateur detective. She’s no longer solving murders because the people she loves are suspects. That’s bound to cause some problems, right?