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The Bishop’s Wife

(Linda Wallheim Mystery #1)

3.13  ·  Rating details ·  4,121 ratings  ·  916 reviews
In the predominantly Mormon city of Draper, Utah, some seemingly perfect families have deadly secrets.

Linda Wallheim is a devout Mormon, the mother of five boys and the wife of a bishop. But Linda is increasingly troubled by her church’s structure and secrecy, especially as a disturbing situation takes shape in her ward. One cold winter night, a young wife and mother name
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published December 30th 2014 by Soho Crime (first published January 1st 2014)
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Laurie Carlson It is not a blooper. Check your facts, first.
This is the #1 way of freezing potatoes! Go here:
and it explains h…more
It is not a blooper. Check your facts, first.
This is the #1 way of freezing potatoes! Go here:
and it explains how to do it - just like in the book.
Remember, NEVER 'assume'! We know what that gets us!
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Average rating 3.13  · 
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 ·  4,121 ratings  ·  916 reviews

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Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-lds
I wanted to like this book. I liked Linda, the protagonist, most of the time, because she was a mostly real, LDS woman who is nonjudgmental, a great listener, and a real giver of service, except when she's doing things that are incredibly stupid, which I can't describe without a lot of spoilers.

My chief complaint is that the book misrepresents the Church in some ways, and some of them are necessary to construct a plot and some of them aren't. I realize that everyone's experience in The Church of
Feb 02, 2015 rated it did not like it
Oh, I really wanted to like this book. I guess this book is an accurate depiction of Mormonism - if your neighbors are all pedophiles, misogynists, fanatics and spouse abusers. Otherwise, no, this is not an accurate depiction of Mormonism.

I don't want to simply discount the book for going too far in one direction (at one point, the main character even looks at her own grown sons and wonders how many of them are abusing their young wives- wow!) but, the plot is also convoluted and some interestin
Jun 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Warning: this does contain a few spoilers. Sorry.

Early: I'm only a few pages in, and already I have comments. This book can't seem to decide if it is for people familiar or NOT with LDS culture: it explains about Relief Society and cultural halls, and takes a stab at temple marriage, but rolls right past Stake Presidents and High Councils and calls the Word of Wisdom "ridiculously high standards".

Update: The book still can't decide on its audience. And the funeral home scene should be majorly s
Deborah Markus
Mar 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-find
This is a fairly enjoyable tour guide through Mormonism, and an absolutely hot mess of a mystery.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely loved this book!

Full disclosure: I am a Mormon. However, like the main character, I am a convert and was not born and raised in the faith. But, unlike Linda, I am unmarried and childless.

I'm sure some people thought that there was too much background about the Church in the book. I'm not one of them. The author needed to project just how distinct Mormon culture is from mainstream America. This culture is important to the book.

This book brings up troubling images and places them in
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
In this mystery, the setting is as integral a part of the story as the plot and characters. Written by a practicing Mormon, The Bishop’s Wife takes place in a mainstream (not polygamous fundamentalist) Utah Mormon community, which the author acknowledges will seem like a foreign country to many readers--me included--because of its distinct worldviews and unique organization.

Main character Linda Wallheim is mostly devout, but not without some troubling questions and opinions about her church’s s
Jan 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
First, let me start out by saying this was a good story, and the writing is compelling. My criticisms of it are not with the quality of the story, and I like that a work based on a Mormon (i.e. a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, sometimes LDS for short) protagonist is published for a non-LDS audience. Some criticize books published by Deseret Book and other LDS publishers as being too vanilla, with “happily-ever-after” endings where everyone (or nearly everyone) ends up ...more
Laurie Anderson
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Coleman
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Linda Wallheim is the bishop's wife. A mother of five boys and the surrogate mother of her ward in Draper, Utah. She's used to late-night phone calls, visits, and responds to the call for help. When her friend, Carrie, disappears, leaving behind her young daughter and husband, Linda fears for the worst. Carrie's husband, Jared, is acting strangely, and Linda is determined to get to the bottom of where Carrie has gone.

I read this book on the plane ride back from BEA (Book Expo America) this year,
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“As a practicing Mormon, I felt Harrison did a great job of detailing Mormon culture and doctrine without evangelizing. I appreciated that the bishop is a good man, and the bishop’s wife is a woman who has been through her own struggles. The bishop’s wife sometimes can barely keep up with all the drama and mysteries around her. But she does, and does it quite well under the circumstances. This is a rather brave book.”

Amanda Monson, Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'll never forget the cab driver who drove me from the Salt Lake City airport to my hotel, telling me that the Mormons in that town weren't all as upstanding as they seemed and proceeded to tell me about secret bars for Mormon men who kept up appearances to their wives and the rest of the world. I remember this so clearly because at that point, even though this was shortly after Elizabeth Smart's very public return from captivity, I knew very little about the Mormon religion or the expected life ...more
I'm seventy-five pages in and I just can't make myself go any farther. I'm a fan of taut, fast-paced murder mysteries, even though they're not my preferred genre, and this is not it. Instead, the writing is very plodding and elementary (a lot of "I did this, and then I did that, and then I did this other thing," which makes for a rather dull read), and even 20% of the way through the book I should have some inkling of whether a murder had been committed or if I suspected someone.

Perhaps Harriso
Gail Strickland
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it
I'm not sure how I feel about this novel. Lots of information on the LDS church and it's practices, several mysteries, and unlikeable characters. The writing isn't bad, but needs to be tighter as the story rather meanders all over the place at times and some situations aren't as clearly put forward as they should be. I did read this in an ARC, so hopefully by publication, someone will take another look at it, not only to tighten up the writing but to correct the many, many copy errors. ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The first one hundred plus pages I sailed through. The last one hundred pages, I suffered through. The book was interesting in so far as describing the Morman faith, of which I don't know too much about. The premise of the book was good but fell flat. I guess if you don't have anything else to read, this would be a good filler. ...more
Andrea Galbusieri
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
I really enjoyed reading The Bishop's Wife, and I find it very interesting that the reviews are so polarized. Some have issues with Harrison's depiction of life in a Utah Mormon ward, but I assume that it can't be that far from the truth as Harrison is a practicing Mormon herself. I wasn't prepared to like Linda Wallheim, the bishop's wife and stay-at-home mom of five boys, so much. She is very down-to-earth with a healthy view of faith and slightly flawed, and I can certainly relate to her repe ...more
Mar 27, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Man, I wanted to like this book. I really really wanted to like it. I heard her interviewed on Radio West, and, even though my reaction to her comments was mixed, I found her intriguing, and I wanted to give her book a try. Also, I was one degree separated from the author from two different sources. Unfortunately, I found myself having to slog my way through every page. I found myself wishing for a more edited version.
In her interview on Radio West, she said that her editor kept asking for more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book - I love the other mysteries published by Soho Press and am sort of fascinated by the Mormon religion and those who practice it. BUT, even with an "exotic" setting, you still have to have a good mystery. The various plot lines in this book, instead, are more crazy soap opera drama than true detective mystery. Linda, the Bishop's wife, spends most of the book waffling between thinking someone is good and that the same person is bad, depending on the last thing anyon ...more
Sarah Beth
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: age-31
well, for starters, I thought this was a mystery about mormons, but it turned out it was a mormon mystery. big difference. second, this was really creepy and terrible and I hope mormonism isn't really like that. third, that poor bishop's wife. her constant constant stating that "i'm the bishop's wife" was just a little thou doth protest too much about her importance. fourth, that youngest son is gay, right? they just dropped the storyline with the youngest son all together! he mentions the dad g ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm unsettled by this book. I appreciate the author exploring elements of Mormon culture, but why do it in a darkish mystery? I'm very disturbed by the main character whose entire world is her husband and nearly-grown sons. She pretty much had no friends, no outside interests, no job, no community service opportunities based on her own merits. She defined her place in her community through her husband's church service assignment alone. I did not like that. Plus, you know, murder. ...more
Una Tiers
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book has clear writing, a little information about the Mormon religion and a slow plot. A pleasant read.
Lisa Shafer
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Stuck home with a nasty cold yesterday, I was intrigued by the polarized reviews of Mette Ivie Harrison's recent mystery, The Bishop's Wife, so I bought a kindle copy and read it.
Basically, it's a step up from cozy (it's been edited, for one thing!) but not a real crime novel. It still features a middle-aged female protagonist, but there's no romance sub-plot, as she is happily married. Also, this woman is not stupid (as in most cozies) and she has no "in" with any cops. Linda, the protagonist,
Iris P

The book is well written and I found the explorations and description of the Mormon culture and customs fascinating.

A few weeks ago, I heard an interview with the author on NPR and was intrigue with the unusual setting of the story. This is the first adult novel by Mette Ivie Harrison, who apparently is already well known in the world of young adult/fantasy romance genres.

Linda Wallheim, who is the title character and narrator of the book, is a 50 something mother of 5 boys and the Bishop's wife
This book was hard to put down. It's described as a mystery, but it's definitely not a formulaic mystery (ie body found in the beginning and murder solved by the end)... But I appreciated that because I'm all for changing things up. The tone of the story read more like women's fiction and the religious "world" reminded me a lot of The Ladies Auxiliary by Tova Mirvis (one of my all-time favs) in which we get a frank look inside a religious woman's mind who has a strong testimony of her faith but ...more
Linda Hart
Mar 06, 2016 rated it did not like it
Poorly written. Misrepresents the LDS Church and is just too, too much. The author can't leave out any possible controversial subject. to quote Lisa, , another reviewer, "--Blacks and the priesthood? Check. Homosexuality? Check. Polygamy and some controversies surrounding Joseph Smith? Check. The position of women in the Church? Check, check, check. Domestic abuse of every stripe? Check, check, check, check. I don't disagree with the author's treatment of ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The writing wasn't ground-breaking, but I enjoyed the fairly un-edited view of a Utah ward. (Full disclosure, I'm a practicing Mormon). I kept alternating between thinking "wow, people must think we are so strange!" and "actually, this is a fairly unfiltered view of how a Mormon ward actually works." Granted, there were things that were exaggerated (patriarchal/misogynistic men are not a dime a dozen like the book portrays them to be), but it was interesting to set a murder mystery within the fr ...more
Sigh.... I don't know if it was the intent but I spent much of The Bishop's Wife by Mette Ivie Harrison angry and depressed. This is the first book in Harrison's Linda Wallheim mystery series. Linda is the wife of a Mormon bishop in Draper, Utah. (I apologize from the outset if I get any terminology about the Mormon religion or practices wrong).

The story starts out with the disappearance of Carrie Helm, the wife of one of the families in the community. Suspicion immediately falls on Carrie's hu
Full review at Smoke & Mirrors: Wow...just wow. Geeminy! This guy is sicker than sick. In many ways I thought this murder mystery was creepier than The Girl on the Train! There are so many things I appreciated about this book/story! Firstly, the depiction of men at various levels of hierarchical beliefs regarding their roles, particularly in relationship to the women in their lives. And how true that others can so easily fool us at times, especially if t ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: mormon
I wanted to like this more. A mediocre mystery, but the setting is Draper, Utah so maybe that is what you should expect. It is fun to have Mormon characters, and this is better than other "Mormon" novels I've read. Of course, because it does hit close to home, I noticed the inconsistency of some of the literary license she takes that I wouldn't notice/care about in a Catholic or Jewish story. She does a good job of showing questions, and those who are not your stereotypical Mormon women. Fun to ...more
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
I found the plot intriguing but the narrator's focus on her stillborn daughter became redundant. I think that Harrison has potential. ...more
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