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His Right Hand (A Linda Wallheim Mystery) Paperback – October 11, 2016
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Praise for His Right Hand
An ABA IndieNext Selection for December 2015
"Absorbing . . . Besides the fact that I cannot resist a good mystery, Mette Ivie Harrison's books had an added allure . . . [They] are rich with real-life details that often get lost in stereotypes."
—Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR's All Things Considered
"A fast moving crime story, but also far more than that. Deep social and moral issues dealt with, and made real with compassion and honesty. I couldn't put it down!"
"For all of its thoughtful exploration of LGBT people and issues, His Right Hand is also a good mystery. Yet it's the issues the book raises that will make readers hungry for more of Linda and her close-knit community."
—Paula Woods, Los Angeles Times
"A heartfelt story that opens outsiders to a fascinating world."
—The Boston Globe
"You wouldn’t expect a book about the crime-solving wife of a staid Mormon leader to be so edgy and engrossing. It has all the outward signs of being a conventional 'cozy' mystery that plays it safe. But Linda Wallheim, the bishop’s wife, is quite the independent thinker who is full of surprises—and Harrison delivers a provocative tale that doesn’t shy away from timely social issues."
—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
"[The] Linda Wallheim novels are worth reading, and not only for their uncompromising plot lines and compelling conclusions. They should raise important and necessary questions about Mormonism itself in every thinking Mormon’s mind."
—Association for Mormon Letters
"Intriguing . . . [Harrison] puts in the forefront many issues, such as gender and sexual orientation, to which characters react in various ways, many of which feel authentic and show that no one has a perfect life."
—The Deseret News
"His Right Hand is a fascinating novel that explores the LDS world and how it reacts when a treasured member of the church is not what he appears to be. Watching Linda juggle her duties as a bishop's wife, adjust to life as an empty-nester and solve a murder keeps readers turning the pages of this riveting mystery penned by a member of the LDS church."
"A mesmerising look into the very fibre of Mormon life . . . Harrison's writing is spectacularly subdued, quietly eloquent."
"A masterpiece of socially relevant genre fiction. Her voice is one of the most unique in the genre, and I cannot wait to see what subject she will address next."
—MysteryPeople Bookstore, Pick of the Month
"Outstanding . . . The suspect pool may be small, but Harrison once again dramatizes the agonizing plight of those who firmly believe church doctrine and yet by their nature have a fundamental conflict with it."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Harrison provides a fascinating look into the Mormon church from the point of view of a woman who sometimes struggles with its strict rules. Linda’s insider’s perspective is almost as engrossing as the mystery itself. Recommended for mystery lovers."
"Does a wonderful job of parting the curtain on many of the Mormon Church's mysteries."
"Linda is an extremely likable and refreshingly imperfect series lead—an ideal guide to aspects of Mormon life that may be unknown to many readers. She’s also curious, smart, and impulsive—essential traits for any successful amateur sleuth! In her author’s note, Harrison explains that this book was inspired by the journey of a family friend who came out as transgender and transitioned while remaining in the Mormon faith."
"Often we forget to pay attention to the different cultures that are on our own doorstep. I find Harrison's Linda Wallheim books to be good mysteries with strong characters. That they are also meditative and enlightening is icing on the cake."
Praise for The Bishop's Wife
ABA IndieNext Selection for January, 2015
An ABA IndieBound Bestseller
PLA LibraryReads Selection for January, 2015
A Publishers Weekly Most Anticipated Book of Fall 2014
“The Bishop’s Wife has good reason to draw a large readership. It places heavy emphasis on domestic abuse and on the question of how dangerous fire-breathing extremists really are. The man who inveighs against women as whores and sinners may or may not be anything worse than a crank. The man who speaks sanctimoniously of them may be much worse . . . That’s why Ms. Harrison’s Linda is such a welcome character: In her role as Sister Wallheim, she encourages women to speak freely, at least to her, and to escape the shame that has burdened some of them since childhood."
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Sane, wise, likable . . . [The] solution is nicely surprising, and Linda has an engrossing voice, at once modest and assured."
—Charles Finch, USA Today
"Excellent . . . Watching Linda Wallheim take on the church and its entitled male members as she unravels the mystery of Carrie's and Helena's disappearances is one of the chief pleasures of this richly detailed debut."
—Los Angeles Times
"Eye-opening . . . A novel so far from my reality I needed a telescope, but I think that's why I enjoyed this debut so much."
"Intelligent and wry . . . Refreshing."
—Raleigh News & Observer
"A stunning contemporary mystery set in Mormon country . . . [Harrison] easily transports readers into a world most will find as unfamiliar as a foreign country."
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"Linda is a fascinating character . . . Her ties to both her family and her church are strong, but she is not beyond questioning her deeply held beliefs when necessary."
—Booklist, Starred Review
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Mette Ivie Harrison is the author of the Linda Wallheim mysteries, including The Bishop’s Wife and For Time and All Eternities. She holds a PhD in German literature from Princeton University and is a nationally ranked triathlete. A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, she lives in Utah with her husband and five children.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top customer reviews
At the same time, both novels try to prod the people inside the Mormon community to better behavior. The Bishop's Wife deals with the issue of sexual abuse. His Right Hand deals with issues of sexual and gender identity among the Saints--especially when combined with ecclesiastical authority. The core mystery is the murder of a male priesthood holder (and Bishop's counselor) who is revealed, after death, to have been biologically female. As in the previous novel, the mystery is complicated by traditional Mormon attitudes towards sex and towards authority.
Harrison's heroine, Linda Waldheim, must negotiate these issues from her officially marginal role as the bishop's wife. This turns out to be the best place to investigate things, however, because the margins is where most of the good stuff happens. Over and over again, Linda discovers that most of the important things in the ward happen outside of the corridors of ecclesiastical power--in the lives of its women, young people, troublemakers, and near-apostates. Because she has access to these people--who trust her in ways they will never trust her husband--Linda can piece together the real stories lurking beneath the official ones that everybody is supposed to believe.
I found His Right Hand to be a stronger novel than The Bishop's Wife (which was also pretty darn good). In the second novel, Harrison creates a tighter mystery, and though there are still substantial subplots, they are clearly subordinated to the primary mystery in ways that they were not in The Bishop's Wife, which occasionally allowed its subplots to take over. Harrison's voice is also more certain in His Right Hand--she does not come off as at all apologetic 1) for being a Mormon; or 2) for not believing everything that most Mormons believe and even some thing that have been declared official doctrine by the LDS Church.
Both Linda Waldheim and Mette Harrison have become more mature and more confident in their second outing together. I am excited to see where they both go from here.
the attitude of the Mormon Church in a little too much detail in the beginning of the story I applaud her efforts to confront the subject in many
different ways which culminated in a very surprising ending. While her story developed very, very slowly in the end I still liked the book and the
the leading "mother" figure very much and include them in my favorite "book" family. I am looking forward to her new book and have already