The Deweyville Church Secretary, Devil's Basement
Jackie McGrath, the Stephanie Plum of the Bible belt, is older but with the same penchant for misadventure. As secretary for a church, she balances eccentric parishioners and wayward pastors with three ex-husbands, four jobs, and a passion for poker. An exploding boiler reveals a skeleton in basement requiring investigation by the hunky chief of police and installation by an amorous boiler man. More
Speeding down the highway of life becomes more than a metaphor when Jackie McGrath is arrested after twice breaking the speed limit on her way from her job as the secretary for the First United Methodist Church of Deweyville to the Gone Native Casino. Watching her new convertible being hauled off to impound while she is handcuffed and hauled off to jail is about to put her over the insanity limit and into a full blown asthma attack. What else can possibly go wrong for a woman who once played tennis with the country club set? Plenty. For starters, she has two ex-husbands and the third soon-to-be-ex, the two-timing boy toy, is bleeding her dry. Her house is in jeopardy of being taken by the bank; her teenage son has decided to attend the Religion Within Reach church where Gospel Bob has invented a new religion; one of her four jobs requires her to sit with the recently deceased; and she’s having nocturnal fantasies about the very married chief of police.
The church should be Jackie’s sanctuary, a place of rectitude and harmony where her job is to write the newsletter and type sermons on tolerance, but one calamity after another puts her in the middle of the biggest scandals in Deweyville. First, the elderly organist, who might have been a bank robber, has a coronary while playing for a wedding. Jackie’s flamboyant best friend Gerié is fired for coming out of the closet, and she endeavors to help him get his job back as the church organist. Then there’s the matter of sin, a lot of sin. Her pastor might be having an affair, and a teenaged parishioner is claiming the choir director fathered her baby.
If keeping the flock of crazy characters in line isn’t enough, the boiler blows up in the church basement, and a body is discovered in the wreckage. Not only is the chief of police hanging around the church while investigating the crimes, he’s making Jackie feel guilty about her impure thoughts. And the new boiler man, Rusty, is giving her the jitters. Unlike her ex-husbands, Rusty is a real man, one of those tight-lipped guys with a tool belt, a lot of common sense, and a disappearing act.
Our heroine is attacked by one of the church’s most reputable citizens when she discovers him searching for the bank money in the basement. Finally, Jackie must deal with the newest in a long secession of ineffective pastors. The latest one has a little OCD going on, and wants to fire her because he believes she has too much influence on an eccentric congregation he doesn’t know how to handle.
All Jackie wants to do is sleep, play a little Texas Hold’em with her casino money, and land the starring role in the latest little theatre performance. Falling for the boiler man is not on her complicated To Do List, but when he offers to help relieve her stress the old fashioned way, she can hardly resist.
“Devil’s Basement” is the first in this hen lit series about “The Deweyville Church Secretary.” Slightly irreverent, a tiny bit naughty, it's totally fun and funny. If one were to dig around, one might find some similarities to a real live person in a very real town, but Jackie and Deweyville are fictional—fictional and fun. D’ville is written by the Carroll sisters from Oklahoma, Frankie and Johnnie, definitely not fictional characters.