Huffington Post contributor Mette Ivie Harrison has an impressive oeuvre: Mormon in progress, mystery and YA author, Princeton PhD in Germanic Languages and Literatures, All-American triathlete, mother of 5. Publishers Weekly praised The Bishop’s Wife, her first mystery, “Harrison makes her adult debut with a stunning contemporary mystery set in Mormon country... [She] easily transports readers into a world most will find as unfamiliar as a foreign country.” For Time and All Eternities, the third Linda Wallheim mystery, is also a novel of a crisis of faith.
Mormon bishop's wife Linda Wallheim is stunned to learn her son Kenneth has gotten engaged to a young woman from a polygamous family. Naomi Carter may have left the religion she grew up in, but the Carters will still be the Wallheims' in-laws once Kenneth and Naomi are married.
Stephen Carter, Naomi's father and the patriarch of the Carter clan, invites the Wallheims over to the Carter family compound in the remote foothills of the mountains outside Salt Lake City. Stephen Carter wishes to extend an olive branch to his future in-laws, and introduce them to his five wives and twenty-two children. But Linda suspects he also wants to try to persuade the Wallheims that his way of life is truly righteous.
From Linda's point of view, polygamy is an abhorrent practice, one that dehumanizes women and makes children vulnerable to unhealthy family structures. She and her husband, Kurt, arrive at the Carter compound braced for trouble Linda has her eyes peeled for signs that Stephen's wives and children are unhappy or abused. Although she can't find concrete evidence of mistreatment, Linda's gut instinct tells her that something on the Carter family compound is deeply wrong. She can't quite put her finger on what until it's too late, and one of the family members is found murdered.
Afraid that Stephen Carter's unworldly, sequestered wives and children might suffer at the hands of investigating police, Linda vows to stay at the compound until the murderer is found and the survivors are safe. But even if she manages to do more good than harm with her snooping and interfering, Linda can't unsee what she has seen during her time at the Carters' now, confronting the legacy of polygamy in her own Mormon family raises even more questions about her already shaky faith.
In Draper, Utah, a tight-knit Mormon community is thrown into upheaval when their ward s second counselor one of the bishop s right-hand men is found dead in an elaborately staged murder on church property. Carl Ashby was known as a devout Mormon, a pillar of the community, and a loving husband and father. Who would want him dead?
Linda Wallheim, the wife of the ward s bishop, can t rest as long as the ward is suffering. She is particularly worried about Carl s grieving family. But the entire case is turned upside down by the autopsy report, which reveals Carl Ashby was a biological female. In the Mormon church, where gender is considered part of a person s soul, some people regard transgenderism as one of the worst possible sins. Church officials seem to be more upset by Carl s gender than by his murder, and more concerned with hushing up the story than solving the crime.
Linda realizes that if the police are to catch the killer, they are going to need an ally on the inside and she is the only one who can help. Carl was living a life of secrecy for twenty years. What else was he hiding and can Linda ferret out the key to his death before the rumors tear her community apart?
In the Mormon community of Draper, Utah, seemingly perfect families have deadly secrets.
Linda Wallheim is a devout Mormon, the mother of five boys and the wife of a bishop. But Linda is increasingly troubled by her church s structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in her ward. One cold winter night, a young wife and mother named Carrie Helm disappears, leaving behind everything she owns. Carrie s husband, Jared, claims his wife has always been unstable and that she has abandoned the family, but Linda doesn t trust him. As Linda snoops in the Helm family s circumstances, she becomes convinced that Jared has murdered his wife and painted himself as a wronged husband.
Linda s husband asks her not to get involved in the unfolding family saga. But Linda has become obsessed with Carrie s fate, and with the well-being of her vulnerable young daughter. She cannot let the matter rest until she finds out the truth. Is she wrong to go against her husband, the bishop, when her inner convictions are so strong?
Inspired by a chilling true crime and written by a practicing Mormon, "The Bishop s Wife" is both a fascinating look at the lives of modern Mormons as well as a grim and cunningly twisted mystery.