The Empty Pulpit

The Empty Pulpit

by Sandra Arrants

ISBN: 9781430311836


Published in Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description

Fourteen year old Sherman Thompson has stumbled upon the body of his pastor. Laid out, dead, on the front lawn of the parsonage, Reverend Archibald Temple had a voice of thunder that has been rendered silent forever. Sherman and his sister Grace are determined to find out who killed him and why, even if they unravel secrets in the congregation of their tiny church.

Sample Chapter

Summer time was always hot in Pensacola,Florida and this particluar Satruday was no exception as William Sherman Thompson and his younger sister Grace Elizabeth made thier way down Johnson Avenue in the Ensely section of this coastal town in extreme northwest Florida.Sherman slapped his thigh for the upteenth mosquito landed on his bare leg. He wiped the back of his neck with sweaty hand. It was barely eight o'clock in the morning and already he knew it would be a scorcher. August always was. For a moment he wondered what it would be like to live in Anchorage,Alaska. They had studied about Alaska his last term at school.

"How much further, Sherman?" his sister whined, breaking into his thoughts of snow drifts and much cooler temperatures.

"Four houses up once we make it to Pine Place,"Sherman answered, staring ahead at the row of shotgun houes and ramshackle bungalows, still damaged from the ravaging they took with Hurrican Ivan the year before, that lined the streets in this poor working class neighborhood in northest Pensacola. It was eerily quiet, not even a paper carrier in sight.

Their mother had dropped them off about ten mintues before on the corner of Old Palafox and Johnson Avenue as she hurried to her job to the drycleaners up on Bayou Boulevard. It was her morning to open and the only reasons she agreed they could go was if they walked up to the parsonage from her usual route to work. At the time Sherman thought it was worth the walk but now he wasn't so sure.

Anyway, Sherman and Grace, as they were called, were invited to go on a bowling excursion with the other youth in their church. Nine altogether, as their church was very small in numbers.

Reverend Temple asked that they meet at the parsonage at nine and all ride together across town in the church van. They were early due to their mother's scheudle but Sherman didn't think that the Reverend Temple would mind much.

Sherman and Grace made their way up Johnson and turned left onto Pine Place, Here, the houses were much the same, only closer together and every bit in need of repair. Many possessed cracked driveways, junked cars and gardens that held more weeds than blooms.

The Parsonage was no exception. An A-frame structure that was once shiny white but now the color of a dirty sock, it sat on a corner lot with the only redeeming feature a massive, centuries old Live Oak tree that had bravely withstood Ivan.

Sherman and Grace made their way up the cracked walk to the sagging front porch, a reminder of the ravaging storm. Sherman knocked on the door as Grace lagged behind on the steps, rubbing the reddened heel of her left foot.

"I told you to wear socks",Sherman commented. "Now you are going to have a blister and won't be able to bowl".

"The socks did not match my outfit", she said, holding a pair of blue socks and pointing to the purple short overalls she wore.

Sherman turned back to look at Grace and it was at that moment a blue jay swooped low and landed on the ground just beyond the steps to peck at an acorn. He watched it fly off again only to land a few feet beyond to the west and peck around what looked like a dark blue laundry bag lying between the oak tree and the southwest corner of the house. Curious, Sherman stepped off the steps,with Grace trailing, and went to inspect the laundry bag. He thought it odd that the Reverend would leave his laundry outside his house.

Only it was not laundry.

It was a man's legs. Legs encased in dark blue trousers. Legs that belonged to Reverend Temple.

Reverend Temple wasn't moving.He was lying on his stomach, his face pressed against the grass. He was wearing a wrinkled dark blue shirt and it was stained on the front. Dark red in color.

Sherman heard Grace cry out.

"Hold still," he said.

"Is he..." she whispered.

I think so," Sherman said.


Excerpted from "The Empty Pulpit" by Sandra Arrants. Copyright © 2007 by Sandra Arrants. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Sandra Arrants

Sandra Arrants

Sandra Arrants has written several mystery novels Melody for Murder The Empty Pulpit Murder Most Misty She lives in Pensacola Florida

View full Profile of Sandra Arrants

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