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preaching to the corpse

deadly advice

preaching to the corpse

Berkley Prime Crime (December 2007)
ISBN: 978-0425218372

The holidays have arrived in postcard-perfect Guilford, CT, but someone's taking the joy out of the season...

Psychologist/advice columnist Dr. Rebecca Butterman gets a call in the middle of night from the minister at her church. He's in custody after going to a fellow parishioner's home and finding her dead. The murdered matron was the leader of a search committee charged with finding a new assistant pastor after the previous assistant left in a rush. The minister begs Rebecca to intervene.She learns that the committee was divided--has someone tried to eliminate the competition? Rebecca puts her analytical skills to work to do her own search--for a killer--all while resisting the urge to break the seventh commandment with a very married detective, and praying she's not the next victim.

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Discussion questions for Preaching to the Corpse:

People are drawn to religion for many reasons. What do you understand about why Rebecca attends church?

What does Rebecca conclude about the balancing act between being an ordinary human being and serving as a minister--or a therapist?

Rebecca struggles with her own issues (post-traumatic divorce disorder, she calls it) while helping her therapy patients and dishing out advice. How do you feel about hearing her concerns? How is she different or like other therapists you've seen in movies and books or on TV?

How do you feel about the men in Rebecca's life? Mark (her ex)? Detective Meigs? Bob? Do any of them seem right for her?

How important do you think it is for Rebecca to make contact with her father? What might be the best outcome she could expect?

How is Rebecca's role as advice columnist different from that of therapist? What is the function the column serves for her? How does she feel about Dr. Aster? How about you?

If your background and beliefs are different from Rebecca's, did that affect your enjoyment of the book? How?


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