PublishAmerica, 2003, 19.95
Pastor Mike Raffles glows with optimism as he relocates from New Orleans to Kingsbury, California. However, the quiet simple life of a small town farming community seems more like home when someone murders Toews, an individual universally detested though he was to be the Grand Marshal in the upcoming parade. After a public incident between Toews and the Martinez family and the location of the body, police hone in on the Mexican-American community. They quickly arrest teenager Eddie Martinez.
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Pastor Mike has problems with the rush to judgment as he feels many townsfolk regardless of race, religion or national origin had motives to kill the obnoxious victim. With the help of a private sleuth, Mike makes his own inquiries and begins to believe that a form of de facto prejudicial profiling led to the arrest of Eddie without looking at the full possibilities. Mike needs to uncover the real culprit and expose discrimination for how worthless and negatively crippling a practice it is.
DEADLY DISCRIMINATION is categorized as a Christian amateur sleuth, but though Mike is a pastor and provides sermons against discrimination, the tale is more a deep look at the implications and fallout from prejudice. Mike is a delightful protagonist who seems to have it together, but loses a bit of his inner peace by the novel's end as the incidents impact him (he is human). The townsfolk for the most part are decent pious people yet many look down on the Mexican-Americans living there as being beneath them. The message is deep, but it is cleverly interwoven into the who-done-it investigation by Mike and pals so that the audience regardless of religion will appreciate a powerful mystery.