The Tentmaker

The Tentmaker is an exciting and thoroughly original debut mystery, featuring Lily James Connor, an Episcopal priest whose passion for the truth forces her to confront the evil hiding in her own church.

Lily has spent the past six months in her native Texas, caring for her father, who was dying of Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. After his death, her close friend Bishop Spencer calls from Boston to offer her a job as interim pastor for a wealthy parish that has just lost its priest. The beloved rector died suddenly, of a heart attack caused by insulin shock, and the parishioners need an experienced, compassionate leader to guide them through the next few months. Because she is a tentmaker, Lily is an old hand at filling in at parishes who are temporarily without a rector. 

But soon after she takes over the job, she begins to suspect the official version of the priest’s death and the people who are insisting on its truth. As she begins to uncover the secrets hidden deep within the parish, Lily discovers that she may pay for her role of truth-seeker with her own life.

Filled with rich prose, razor-sharp characters and gripping suspense, The Tentmaker is a masterful debut from an exceptional new author.
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"Blake has a gift for making her characters into real people, no small accomplishment in any setting, but especially noteworthy considering the temptations a parish mystery poses...There's good and evil afoot, the be certain, but not in the expected guises, and Blake's plot, which covers most of the seven deadly sins, keeps a reader guessing. As an exploration of spirituality and faith, the book succeeds on its own terms, rewarding the reader in the richness of its observations about the life of the spirit, one of the most interesting mysteries there is."

San Francisco Chronicle

"Lily is the most sympathetic heroine I've met in a long time, incredibly smart, literate, funny, and sexy--as well as (sometimes) insecure. And the church politics are so absorbing in their complexity, Trollopian in their wit. A terrific debut."

New York Times bestselling author Alice Adams