The ominous text message Bear Wells received from his teenage daughter Jo simply said: “Come home.” The Texas minister never imagined he’d rush back to find her cradling the dead body of her estranged friend Phoebe. While the death rocks Sugar Land, the apparent suicide seems like an open-and-shut case. But nothing is settled in the Wells household, especially for Jo. The deeper she digs into Phoebe’s life, the more she realizes nobody knew her at all.
Bear found it hard enough dealing with Phoebe’s skimpy Goth outfits, painful-looking piercings, and the outrageous scandals she brought to his idyllic Sugar Land congregation, but now it’s his daughter who’s acting out. Jo knows Phoebe caused major problems between her picture-perfect father and stepmom, but she has no idea what’s at stake or whose lives are in jeopardy. Bear’s painfully aware that his last private investigation resulted in a bullet wound, so when Jo sneaks out alone to confront her primary suspect, he’s not only praying that he’ll find her in time—he’s asking forgiveness for what he may have to do to save her.
“A smart mystery … The clever structure, remarkable dialog, and subplots result in a wholly satisfying read.”—Library Journal (Starred Review, Debut of the Month)
“Packs a considerable punch. … Readers will look forward to seeing more of Bear, with his formidable intellect, tart sense of humor, and resolute sense of justice.”—Publishers Weekly
“Well-delineated characters, including the self-deprecating hero, drive this first-person account, which is strengthened further by the perceptive examination of family relationships and the portrait of the life and work of a minister.”—Booklist
“Unexpectedly magnificent … FAITHFUL UNTIL DEATH is not only a brilliant murder mystery, but also a well-thought out provocative tale of family secrets … a humorous and splendid murder mystery worthy of ten stars!”—Fresh Fiction
“Bear is a wonderful amateur sleuth.” —The Mystery Gazette“Praise be! A new series with a soul, a heart, and a down-home Texas twang. Preacher Bear Wells is an entirely original sleuth and author Stephanie Jaye Evans is that real rarity: a debut writer with dead-on dialogue, winning characters, and—mirabile dictu!—nimble plotting.”—National bestselling author Susan Wittig Albert
“[A] marvelous debut… I love her reluctant clerical sleuth, the Reverend Walker ‘Bear’ Wells. Bring on the next Sugar Land mystery!”—New York Times bestselling author Julia Spencer-Fleming