Otis Joy, rector at St. Bartholomews in Foxford, loves his work. He loves the baptisms, the weddings, the ceremoniesand he also loves embezzling funds from the church. When the Bishop discovers his chicanery and threatens to expose him, the Bishop dies. In fact, the Bishop dies in a most ignominious manner with his good name sullied.

Otis Joy continues on his way, bringing happiness into the hearts of most of his parishioners. However, whenever someone gets a little too close to the truth, they end up as dead as the Bishop.

As time passes, someone becomes quite annoyed with the Rector and begins to dig up the dirt, all the dirt, on him. As evidence of Joys rather unGodly ways come to light, it becomes only a matter of time until justice is servedbut served with what?

Wildly funny, THE REAPER is the wickedest black comedy since The Talented Mr. Ripley. Grand master Peter Lovesey shines in this sparkling tale of the wages of sin. (Apr., 304 pp., $23.00)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg