The Way of the Wicked, the second book in the Hope Street Church Mystery series by Ellery Adams, a fully revised version of the book written under the non de plume Jennifer Stanley, follows the life of Cooper Lee with the Bible study group that has made such a difference in her life as the members volunteer at Door to Door, a charity that provides food and assistance for senior citizens. They soon discover that someone has been stealing from Door to Door clients for several months, and then people start finding some of the clients sitting up in their chairs dead.
The Bible study group follows the life of Joseph throughout the book, tying the plot of the book to the lessons learned from Joseph’s life, such as the dreams that God sent Joseph and also sends Cooper to prepare her for trouble in her life’s future. Just as they identify with Joseph’s human traits, the group connects with each other’s weaknesses and supports each other, such as in encouraging their romantic relationships or holding another up amid health concerns.
As I wrote in my review of Path of the Crooked, the first book in the series, I usually avoid so-called “Christian fiction” because it usually seems to try to squeeze just enough Christianity into the book to make it fall into the classification of being a Christian novel. However, The Way of the Wicked avoids that weakness even better than the first book did. The Bible study group gets involved in a mystery as an outgrowth of their effort to live their faith in serving others, and the discussions of the Bible study sessions sound human and not idealistic, with members showing different degrees of knowledge of their faith, based upon how long they have been Christians. Adams does a remarkable job of connecting the Bible study topic of Joseph with the plot of the book.
As for the plot itself, it is fairly straightforward, with no major surprises but also no clear evidence hidden in advance to give the reader a clue of the solution before the murderer is formally revealed. But while not finding the story complex in its denouement, I clearly enjoyed reading the whole book. The development of Cooper and Nathan’s relationship, in fits and starts, along with the constant pursuit of Cooper by Emilio, Cooper’s new co-worker who believes he is God’s gift to each and every woman, gave the book an extra bit of fun.
The book is ably narrated by Cris Dukeheart and is available on Audible. If you get this book, be sure to get the 2014 edition of the book, The Way of the Wicked, as the author fully revised the 2010 edition of The Path of the Wicked into this version.
For being a well-organized book that I truly enjoyed reading and that is clearly worthy of being called a Christian book without its doing any preaching to the readers, I award this four stars.
The Way of the Wicked is available in multiple formats. To order on Amazon click here. You may also find it in your local bookstore or library. Happy reading and let me know what you think!