Hayden Konig is the police chief in the small Appalachian town of St. Germaine, North Carolina. His part-time job, however, is serving as the choir director and organist at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, but he’s also determined to write the next great hard-boiled mystery novel a la Raymond Chandler — a liturgical mystery novel with no real plot, but enough bad prose to make the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest look like the Oxford University Press spring catalog.
She was attractive in the sort of way that some heavy women with very short hair and no makeup, wearing a three piece brown-tweed suit with wingtips and smoking a cigar can be called attractive. She reminded me of my Aunt Mable. Or Winston Churchill.
Chief Konig is also lucky enough to be independently wealthy, which is why he decides that his lack of talent in the writing department can easily be remedied, or at least greatly enhanced, by the purchase of Raymond Chandler’s 1939 Underwood typewriter. He is sadly mistaken, but the results are uproarious! Even as Hayden works on his opus, he must deal with other, more pressing, problems — a new priest at St. Barnabas, a Christmas feud between the Rotarians and the Kiwanians and, more importantly, a dead body in the choir loft. It’s a good thing that Hayden keeps a loaded Glock under the organ bench!
As Christmas approaches, the tension (and hilarity) rises to a fever pitch. St. Barnabas is introduced to “The Penguin of Bethlehem” and the town’s Nativity feud turns ugly when the Kiwanian’s bagpiper spooks the Rotarian’s camel. A 12 year old wine snob, hedgehogs, Benny (the world-champion thurifer), church antics, and an episode that is just too good to give away, fill out this mystery that will leave you laughing with every page turn.