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What a fun book! Cecil Murphey is a prolific writer (just Google him), and Everybody Loved Roger Harden is a great addition to his repertoire.
This is a whodunnit with a Christian slant. A classic murder mystery, Roger Harden is written mostly in the first-person through the eyes of Julie West, a psychologist and one of the two primary sleuths investigating Mr. Harden's murder. Her co-investigator is James Burton, a pastor who, like Julie, is a dinner guest of Harden's the evening of his murder--and who, again like Julie, shares a first-person perspective alternately througout the story.
It seems a carefully selected group of Roger Harden's "friends" have been invited to his private island for dinner. The guest list has been carefully prepared, for each one of the invitees has a unique relationship with Mr. Harden. Unfortunately, before dinner even begins, their host is found murdered in his study. The remainder of the story has Julie and James piecing together the puzzle of who may have killed Harden.
As the story unfolds, each of their fellow guests reveals--some less willingly than others--why they probably appeared on the guest list for this special dinner, and how they really felt about Roger Harden. Each one of them, it appears, has a motive for eliminating their host. But who stands to gain the most by his death? His wife, who inherits her husband's considerable estate? The TV weather personality, who's indebted to him for her success--and hates it? The professor, who Mr. Harden discovered cheated on his dissertation and holds this knowledge over his head?
Everybody Loved Roger Harden flows wonderfully from chapter to chapter as, bit by bit, the facts emerge about a manipulative, hard-hearted millionaire who craved control over people and their lives. But something has happened in Roger Harden's life, and he has invited--no, not invited, but summoned--them all to his island for dinner and a special announcement, one that will affect each one of their lives. Does his announcement die with him? Can Julie and James ferret out the truth, or is there more to the story than can ever be told?
If you enjoy a light-hearted mystery with plenty of twists, but don't want to be nervous about turning the page into a gory or explicit scene thrown into your face for effect, Everybody Loved Roger Harden is for you. Oh yes, did I mention there's chemistry between Julie and James that teases their efforts to concentrate on the mystery at hand? The fun never ends!
This was another one Jeannie and I enjoyed reading together at night. Give it a try. See if you can finger the culprit before Julie and James do. We didn't...