The preacher’s bride is a truck-stop waitress half his age with a reputation that horrifies his congregation and a free and easy way with the male membership. Still, no one expects Reverend David Hailey to stone his wife to death. But that isn’t the worst of Hailey’s acts. Substituting his wife’s body for the Virgin Mary in the nativity scene is a worse act of sacrilege than murder. With feelings at a fever pitch in the little Texas town of Canadian, John Lloyd Branson steps in to defend the reverend. But first he must learn why the preacher killed his wife, then he must persuade his legal clerk, Lydia Fairchild, that he is not deliberately throwing the case with his seemingly inept courtroom strategy.