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About The Book

For Amanda Bell Brown, just living her life is murder!

How's a woman supposed to grapple with faith, a fine man, and turning thirty-five when she keeps tripping in her high heels over mysteries -- and not just the God kind?

Amanda Bell Brown knows that life as a forensic psychologist isn't quite as cool as it looks on prime-time TV. But when she turns thirty-five with no husband or baby on the horizon, she decides she's gotta get out and paint the town -- in her drop-dead red birthday dress. Instead, she finds herself at the scene of a crime -- and she just may know who the killer is. She needs to spill her guts, but not on the handsome lead detective's alligator shoes -- especially if she wants him to ask her out. A complicated murder investigation unearths not just a killer but a closet full of skeletons Amanda thought were long gone. Murder, mayhem, and a fine man are wreaking havoc on her birthday, but will her sleuthing leave her alive to see past thirty-five?

Reading Group Guide

discussion questions
1. The Lord's Prayer is prominently featured in this book. Is your experience with this prayer similar to Bell's -- -- rote memory? How do you interact with this classic prayer?
2. Bell and Carly have very different lifestyles. How do you deal with other Christians who may not have the same values you have?
3. Bell is Evangelical and Jazz is Catholic, yet they have a strong friendship. Do you have friends who are of different religions and denominations? How do you deal with your differences?
4. The attraction between Bell and Jazz is undeniable. Do you think they deal with their feelings appropriately? What would you do if you were in their situation?
5. Jazz's conflict about remarriage after divorce keeps him from pursuing a deeper relationship with Bell. What is your opinion of divorce and remarriage? Do you think Jazz should move on or remain single?
6. Bell says that at her church, the Rock House, God is like a pal. Do you think this attitude is too casual? Why do you think Bell would choose a church like this after her experience with Adam? What is your idea of a healthy church?
7. When Bell goes to Gabriel's house to find Susan, she experiences a painful consequence. Should she have gone? What should she have done differently?
8. Bell experiences several traumatic life lessons, yet she continues to have faith. What helps you hold on to God, even in times of suffering?
9. Bell never grieved the loss of her daughter. What would you do to begin to heal from a profound loss? What support do you think you would need?
10. In the end, Bell discovers her anger is deeper than she realized. Her rage could have led her to make the worst possible decision. How could she have handled her feelings differently when she confronted Gabriel?

About The Author

Photo Credit:

Claudia Mair Burney is the author of the Amanda Bell Brown Mystery series. The first in the series, Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man was released in 2006. She lives in Ann Arbor with her husband, five of their seven children, and a hamster.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Howard Books (April 1, 2008)
  • Length: 320 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416551942

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Raves and Reviews

"Funny, smart, self-deprecating, and strong, Amanda Bell Brown is the best private psychologist-sleuth to emerge in religious fiction in decades." -- Phyllis Tickle, compiler of The Divine Hours

"A sassy, intelligent, church-girl-whodunit romance! Get out the Godivas, wiggle into your fuzzy slippers, and enjoy this hold-your-breath read! Way cool!" -- Sharon Ewell Foster, author of Passing by Samaria and Ain't No River

"Claudia Mair Burney does a great job of blending mystery, romance, humor, and Christian truth to create a story that is hard to put down. I laughed out loud and I teared up, but I never stopped turning the pages. I'm ready for the next book." -- Angela Benson, author of The Amen Sisters

"Murder, Mayhem & a Fine Man seamlessly combines sass, smarts, and spirituality. Burney draws characters you love, and her page-turning storyline integrates faith beautifully into the plot. I absolutely can't wait for book two in the series. Sign me up for the fan club!" -- Lisa Samson, author of The Church Ladies, Songbird, and Club Sandwich

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More books from this author: Claudia Mair Burney

More books in this series: An Amanda Bell Brown Mystery