Morgue Mama, The Cross Kisses Back Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Morgue Mama, The Cross Kisses Back

Poisoned Pen, Oct 2003, 24.95, 234 pp.
ISBN 1590580745

Several months ago the popular and famous televangelist Buddy Wing, based Ohio, died on national TV. It was discovered that the seventy-seven year old Pentecostal preacher didn't die from natural causes but was murdered. The killer put Lily of the Valley in his drinking water and repainted the cold cross on his bible that he kissed midway during each vision show with a highly toxic heart drug. Sissy James, a former member of the congregation, confessed to the murder after evidence was found linking her to the homicide.
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New crime reporter Aubrey McGinty for the Herald-Union doesn't believe that Sissy killed the preacher. She goes to Dolly Madison Sprawls, affectionately known as Morgue Mama, for background information on the case. Maddy gets so caught up in Aubrey's quest to free Sissy that she becomes the reporter's willing helper, going with her to interview witnesses and looking through the morgue for possible suspects. When both women discover that Sissy had an alibi for the night Billy wing was killed, they have the makings of a Pulitzer Prize winning story on their hands.

This is C.R. Corwin's debut novel and this crime thriller reads like Sara Paretsky or Barbara Parker wrote it because of its brilliantly executed plot. The author has a gift for storytelling and she sets the reader up so that the climax as a complete shock. Told in the first person narrative of the Morgue Mama, readers will find themselves entranced with character and hope she is the star in future books in this series.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Morgue Mama, The Cross Kisses Back

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   solving long-past murder Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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C.R. Corwin Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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