His Right Hand [A Linda Wallheim Mystery] by Mette Ivie Harrison [in Library Journal]
Linda Wallheim, who debuted in YA author Mette Ivie Harrison’s first adult title, The Bishop’s Wife, returns to solve her second murder. For Linda, being a devout Mormon isn’t a barrier to speaking her mind and demanding justice in the men-centric community in which being the bishop’s wife gives her a certain degree of power – unofficially, of course.
When the ward’s second counselor – the bishop’s right-hand man– is murdered, Linda steps in to support his surviving family. When he’s revealed to have been a transgender man, Linda proves to be a rare voice of compassion and reason.
A self-described “active Mormon,” Harrison, a Princeton PhD-ed former professor, Huffington Post blogger, and triathlete mother of five, confronts one of the Mormon Church’s most heated controversies, the status of its LGBTQIA members. Though her use of the term transgenderism is incorrect – the “-ism” suffix connotes a belief or condition subject to change – grammar aside, Harrison couldn’t have chosen a more timely topic challenging the Mormon community.
Verdict: Narrator Kirsten Potter imbues Linda with a full emotional range, from stiff politeness to aching doubt to zealous pontifications to even out-of-breath exertion as she climbs the Utah hills with her walking buddy. Body count notwithstanding, listeners will be hoping for many more visits with Linda Wallheim.