Cover image for Witness in Bishop Hill
Witness in Bishop Hill
Frommer, Sara Hoskinson.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2002.
Physical Description:
231 pages ; 22 cm
General Note:
"A Joan Spencer mystery"--Jacket.
Format :


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Things have finally calmed down enough for cozy heroine Joan Spencer and her new husband, Lt. Fred Lundquist, to take a long-delayed honeymoon to celebrate their three-month-old nuptials. Of course, it won't be a traditional honeymoon, since they'll have Joan's teenage son Andrew in tow, and the fact that they are using the trip to finally visit Fred's family makes it even more unusual. But Joan is happy; she'll get some time away with her family, and she'll finally get to see the tiny historic Swedish-American community where Fred grew up, Bishop Hill.

Unfortunately for Joan, neither her honeymoon nor her trip works out quite as she'd hoped. For starters, Fred's mother is farther down the road to Alzheimer's than they had been led to believe, and dealing with her illness turns out to be a tough test for their new family. The worst is yet to come when Mrs. Lundquist witnesses a brutal murder, but is a little too disoriented to be clear in her description of the killer. Suddenly everyone in the small village is a suspect, and the only person with the key to unlock the mystery is an elderly woman who floats in and out of clarity, often undetected. Joan will have to get close enough to her mother-in-law to figure out what really happened that night, and to protect her and her extended family from a killer who is bound to strike again. Witness in Bishop Hill marks the triumphant return of author Sara Hoskinson Frommer, whose previous Joan Spencer novels have won her a dedicated following.

Author Notes

Sara Hoskinson Frommer is the author of four previous Joan Spencer mysteries: The Vanishing Violinist, Murder & Sullivan, Buried in Quilts, and Murder in C Major . She lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and grew up a few miles from Bishop Hill.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Joan Spencer, musically inclined widow of Oliver, Indiana, and her new husband, Detective Lieutenant Fred Lundquist, are called to visit Fred's family in Bishop Hill just before Christmas. The Swedish American community there is a perfect picture for the holiday season, but Fred finds his sister needing a break from constant attendance on their mother, Helga. It doesn't take long for Joan and Fred to realize that Helga has Alzheimer's. When Helga is the only witness to the murder of an old friend's son, Joan and Fred have a mystery to solve along with keeping Helga safe from the murderer and from herself. The care and handling of Alzheimer's victims is neatly enfolded in this tale, which also gently treats Swedish Christmas customs; the tender and fraught relationship between Joan's college-age son Andrew, his new stepfather, and herself; and the long memories of small towns. Frommer is a brisk and clean writer, and she handles the rueful ambivalence of middle age very well indeed. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

When Joan and new husband Lt. Fred Lundquist travel to Bishop Hill for a belated honeymoon, the only witness to murder in the small Swedish-American community is Fred's Alzheimer's-afflicted mother in Witness in Bishop Hill, Sara Hoskinson Frommer's (The Vanishing Violinist) latest appealing Joan Spencer mystery. Expect plenty of cozy chills as Joan strives to prevent a vicious killer from striking again. Agent, Stuart Krichevsky. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved