Advance Praise for Murder at the Rummage Sale

by Elizabeth Cunningham

Murder at the Rummage Sale will be published in August, 2016 by Imagination Fury Arts! Here is some advance praise:

As Lucy Way, the moral heart of Elizabeth Cunningham’s delightful new novel observes, we read murder mysteries not for the solution but for “their miniature portrait of a world, their cast of eccentric characters.”  Murder at the Rummage Sale offers both of these as well as a thoughtful inquiry into the nature of evil and the essential virtues of trust and forgiveness.  This is a rich, lively, amusing and rewarding novel. Don’t miss it!

Valerie Martin, author of The Ghost of the Mary Celeste

With her characteristic wisdom, whimsy, and extraordinary attention to quirky detail, Elizabeth Cunningham transports readers to the 1960s. Think: “Mad Men” Meets Church. Murder at the Rummage Sale features the mainline church of rummage sales, privilege and ironic despair, as well as glimmers of light. Murder at the Rummage Sale is a whodunit in the grand tradition of rollicking mysteries with memorable characters who keep readers turning pages and wondering about the ending long after the mystery is solved. Love this book, more please!

Meredith Gould, author of Desperately Seeking Spirituality

Murder at the Rummage Sale delivers all the pleasures of a good village murder mystery and considerably more.  The author knows her setting intimately, cares about her sharply drawn characters, keeps up the suspense patiently, and divides the innocent from the guilty artfully. As with all Ms. Cunningham’s novels, Murder at the Rummage Sale is well told, thoughtfully written, cleverly and propulsively plotted, and features her signature concerns with religion, magic, childhood, humor, good will, humane openness, and moral seriousness.  Readers are in for plenty of fun, vicarious guessing, and delight on the way to the book’s satisfying resolution.

Robert Wexelblatt, author of Zublinka Among WomenHeiberg’s Twitch, etc.

The presidential race between Nixon and Kennedy in September 1960 is the backdrop for Cunningham’s complex whodunit set in an unnamed small town. Charlotte Crowley, the leader of the Episcopal Church of the Regeneration and organizer of the rummage sale, is found dead in the church basement under newly pressed coats. With the local authorities convinced that Charlotte’s death was accidental, it behooves four churchgoing sleuths to find her killer: alcoholic rector Gerald Bradley; Katherine, his Narnia-loving seven-year-old daughter; Anne, his dutiful wife; and spinster Lucy Way, a longtime nurse and cook with a mystical streak. Into the drama of the amateur investigation Cunningham (the Maeve Chronicles) deftly weaves in aspects of postwar life (many of the characters are still overcoming the trauma of WWII), theological stances including Anglo-Catholic mystic and Social Gospel breast-beater, and lush descriptions of food and nature. Fans of Anglican novelist Elizabeth Goudge will find a lot to like.

Publisher’s Weekly

It is August 1960, and the women of the Church of the Regeneration are preparing for the annual rummage sale. With help from parish handyman Frank Lomangino, Lucy Way makes sure her donation of coats, carefully cleaned after the death of her mother, are stored in the attic. But when Charlotte Crowley, the much-disliked titular head of the rummage sale, is found in the basement, smothered to death by the dry-cleaning bags holding the garments, Lucy knows something is amiss, even if the police do not believe her. The suspect list is quite long and names most of the parish, including Anne Bradley, the rector’s wife. In their search for a solution, Anne and Lucy are unknowingly aided by Anne’s seven-year-old daughter, Katherine, and her best buddy Frankie Lomangino Jr. VERDICT Cunningham(“Maeve Chronicles”) has written a paean to the vanished world of 1950s and early 1960s America. Still, human nature with all its foibles, such as murderous intent, remains unchanged. Recommend for readers of Benjamin Black and Jennifer Donnelly.

Library Journal

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