“In Smith’s work—as in life—there are no minor characters.”

—SJ Rozan, Edgar-winning author of the
Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels

Six months after her cancer treatment, Detective Claire Codella defies the media and her lieutenant to solve her most challenging case to date.


Days before Palm Sunday, the bloody corpse of senior churchwarden Philip Graves is found lying in the herb garden of historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. On first glance, his murder looks like a random act of big city violence, but it soon becomes clear that his death was the result of a meticulously calculated crime perpetrated by someone who knew him.


The church rector, five vestry members, and a choir director are possible suspects. So are the ten men sleeping in the church homeless shelter. Struggling to share the case and maintain their personal relationship, Claire and Brian, along with trusted Detective Eduardo Muñoz, work around the clock to uncloak the desires, resentments, and secrets of the diverse group of New Yorkers drawn through the iron gates and into the hidden beauty of one little Romanesque church.