Once again, Benni Harper's grandmother Dove has sucked her into doing something. This time, it's taking over the reins of a play featuring 28 children at their church.

But soon Benni is caught up in a mess that's anything but child's play when she finds the church handyman, beaten and dead, in front of the altar. With her past crime-solving experience, Benni quickly begins to unravel the intricacies of this killing. The only witness is a little girl, and Benni doesn't want to see anyone else to get hurt.

Fowler raises the stakes in Benni's professional and home life and keeps this long-running series fresh. We learn more about Benni's husband, Gabe, who is always intriguing. Benni, meanwhile, is as lovable as always, but Dove's interfering gets to be too much at times. With its suspenseful story and careful plotting, this is a fine addition to the series. (May, 320 pp., $23.95)
Reviewed by: 
Robyn Glazer