The Reverend Vincent Neville, head of the Church of Holy Redemption, was successful and admired. When he's found face down in his bath tub the police call it an accident, but his daughter disagrees and hires Al to investigate. He quickly finds himself knee deep in jealous husbands, ambitious assistants, and deadly rivals. He discovers that the victim had a secret life that could have lead to his death. Al has suspects and motives aplenty; and worse, finds himself on the wrong side of some dangerous people who will do anything to protect their secrets.
Charles gives an overview of the book:
Vincent Neville was a preacher.
He was not one of those run-of-the mill preachers; the kind who bore their congregations each Sunday with readings from the scripture, and injunctions to go forth and sin no more. No, Vincent Neville was a fire and brimstone, sin will cause plague to rain down upon you, be generous when the collection plate comes around kind of preacher. Members of his congregation, the Church of Holy Redemption, swore that when the man was in his stride he could preach the wallet right out of a man's pocket and the underwear off a woman.
No one could offer concrete proof of either, but collections on Sunday morning were always generous, and there were rumors that in the quiet of his office he had on more than one occasion caused the unmentionables belong to the fairer maidens of his flock to drop to the floor.
Vincent Neville was a handsome man. Tall and slender, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, an oval head with wide-set, dark brown eyes, a razor sharp nose, and lips that were neither too thick nor too thin. He wore a thin mustache always neatly trimmed, and had a cocoa butter complexion that in a less politically correct and racially sensitive age would have been called high yellow.
He wore expensively tailored suits on his six foot frame, mostly silver gray or blue, with powder blue ties and dark blue shirts. His shoes, wingtips that were always buffed to a mirror shine, covered slightly large feet.
When he preached, his congregation would often say, the rafters rang from the sonorous tones of his voice, and, many said they saw a glow around his wavy black hair.
Everyone envied and admired Vincent Neville. He had one of the largest and richest congregations in Northern Virginia. An ornate structure just off Leesburg Pike, near the intersection with Westpark Drive, on Sundays, the parking lot was filled to capacity. His congregation was as diverse as the Washington metropolitan area; wealthy whites, recent Hispanic immigrants, Asians, and black; they all came to hear the charismatic forty-five-year-old preacher, and all were generous when his assistants passed among them with the silver trays.
Vincent Neville had just about everything a man could want. His wife, Holly, two years younger; was as tall as her husbant, and with her flowing blonde hair and peaches and cream complexion, was envied by every female member of the congregation, and desired by every male. The Nevilles had only one child, a daughter. Lisa Neville combined all the good traits of her partnes; the cocoa complexion of her father, and her mother's blonde hair and sky-blue eyes. She was tall, with the body of an athlete, and had her father's ability to mesmerize a crowd. On occaison, Vincent would step aside and allow her to deliver the Sunday sermon, sitting in the tall, throne-like chair behind the pulpit beaming proudly as his child prepared herself to one day take his place at the head of the congregation.
For all he had, Vincent Neville should have been considered a lucky man, but, his luck ran out.
Everyone loved and respected Vincent Neville, as far as the public knew. It was, therefore, a seismic shock when he was found floating face-down in the large whirlpool bath tub that sat in the center of the marble and gold bathroom in the mansion behind the church just twenty minutes before the Sunday service was to start.
A native of East Texas, I have been involved in leading organizations (particularly those in trouble) for over 40 years. I have written a number of articles on history, culture and leadership, and have written three books on leadership in addition to my fiction works. The Al...
kudos to Charlie for his terrific book "Things I Learned from my Grandmother about Leadership and Life ." I gobbled it up and it would be wonderful reading for whatever incarnation of leadership training...
Things I Learned From My Grandmother About Leadership and Life is a small book that makes a great impact. Charles Ray, the author blends his fond memories of his grandmother with his dual career as a...