James R. Callan

Reviews for Over My Dead Body

Oh my word! I was asked to read and review Over My Dead Body, but I had NO idea how entertaining this novel would be - I couldn't put it down until I finished the last page!

Donna's Bookshelf

If you like a GOOD mystery/detective story, you will LOVE this book. Excellent writing and character development; and expertly builds up the suspense. I couldn't put it down, then didn't want it to end, because it's hard to find such an entertaining book!

S. Sehon

Over My Dead Body is a well-crafted mystery. It captures the characters and spirit of life in a small Texas town. The mystery to be solved is perfect for the setting - no unbelievable villains, no secret societies - just ordinary crimes hidden in plain sight, where nobody sees it. Father Frank and Georgia are a potent crime-fighting team - lots of fun!

Adele Weitz

I love a good mystery and this kept me wondering: whodunnit? I was not sure who had killed cranky Syd Cranzler almost to the very end of the book. Father Frank is a likable, well drawn character whom you can't help but root for and the issue of mineral rights and imminent domain is topical and interesting. Well done! I look forward to the next Fr. Frank mystery. Keep 'em coming!

Mystery Girl

Callan's Father Frank stories are always a treat and this latest is no exception. If you enjoy well drawn characters, a gripping plot and twists to keep you guessing, this is a book you'll want to add to your reading list.

John R. Lindermuth, Author of Sooner than Gold

You'll enjoy Over My Dead Body if you like a good mystery; and you'll enjoy spending time in Pine Tree, Texas; and you'll find Father Frank a delight to hang out with.

John M. Daniel, author of Hooperman-a bookstore mystery

Over My Dead Body by James R. Callan will keep you guessing till the very end. A man dies. Is it an accidental overdose, murder, or suicide? Like in its predecessor, Cleansed by Fire, Mr. Callan has woven the life of Father Frank into the ever day troubles of his parish and community. In fact, Father Frank has his own problems, one of which is staying alive. I recommend this book to anyone wishing to read an exciting page turner that doesn't depend of hot bedroom scenes.

Galand Nuchols

Another great book from Mr. Callan with Father Frank.


I'm definitely going to read others in the series! When I finished the book I thought, "Glad I read that!"

Shirley H

Unraveling the mystery behind the crimes is a fun exploration of human nature and how what we might try to hide is too easily revealed. Callan has earned a place on my reading list.

TN in GA

Father Frank at it again. I love tbese books. Great character development. Plot is very tricky, with many possible suspects. Waiting for the next in the series.


This is a great book to read when you want to relax and simply enjoy a story. The characters of Father Frank and Georgia Peitz offer some humor along with their sleuthing. The twists kept me guessing, and although I thought I knew early on who-done-it, I was wrong!

Mary L. Hamilton

Over My Dead Body by James R. Callan had all the components of a great mystery: an intriguing plot, believable and likeable characters and a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend this Father Frank mystery.

Patricia Gilgor

I love this book! Over My Dead Body had me reading almost non-stop.

Eileen Obser

This is a can't-stop-reading-and-put-it-down book. The second in his Father Frank mysteries, author Jim R. Callan has once again penned a winner.

Piney Woods Books

Over My Dead Body by James R. Callan had me guessing until the very end. ... You won't want to put it down.

A Mcgraw

Another great Father Frank mystery. Not only is he brilliant, but he is compassionate. Callan's ability to weave a complicated mystery is intriguing and delightful.

Bonnie Engstrom

Father Frank is back!
While Syd Cranzler stands in the way of a large corporation taking his land for a shopping center, he makes the mistake of saying "you'll get my land over my dead body!" When he is found dead the next day of an overdose, the police call it suicide, saying he was depressed over the battle he was destined to lose. But Father Frank, Syd's pastor, decides to look into the matter. Sad was not the type to commit suicide.

After Father Franks is attacked, the police decide to investigate further. Mr. Callan has written the characters so convincingly he keeps your interest from the first sentence, to the last page. We are eagerly awaiting another Father Frank mystery!


Drawn in from the opening paragraph, I quickly found myself reading through several chapters before I remembered I had been planning on just peeking at the story before going to bed early. Over My Dead Body is that kind of book, where you don't realize how long you've been clicking through the pages (I have the Kindle version) because it pulls you from the end of one chapter right into the next. And then it's hard to stop!

The characters are likable (except for cranky Lance, an unsympathetic brother-in-law to the deceased), and I particularly liked Father Frank's sister, Maggie. I don't remember her from the previous Father Frank mystery (Cleansed By Fire), but more Maggie in the next release would be welcome.

I went back to the beginning after I'd finished the book and re-read a few chapters, and realized I had missed all sorts of clues. Ha ha! Good job James R. Callan.

Big Picture

Fr. Frank is fast becoming one of my favorite sleuths!
When a parishioner, Syd Cranzler, is found dead from an overdose of heart medicine, the police call it suicide and close the case. But Fr. Frank knows his parishioner and suicide is not something the cantankerous Syd Cranzler would do. Fr. Frank's friend and parishioner, Georgia Seitz, agrees and tries to get her sort-of boyfriend, Mike, who is a detective, to get the case reopened. There are plenty of people who wouldn't have minded seeing Syd dead... and Fr. Frank becomes a suspect himself when it's revealed that his parish is a beneficiary of Syd's considerable estate!

The story is well-written and fast-paced, keeping the reader interested and intrigued. My only complaint is the way Georgia badgers Mike for information on the case and then pouts and acts rather unreasonable and uncharitable when he lashes back. In contrast, Fr. Frank's sister, Maggie, is a welcome addition to the cast and I hope to see more of her in the future!

A. Bennett

Publisher's Weekly Over My Dead Body James R. Callan. Pennant, $11.95 (316p) ISBN 978-0-9646850-8-6
When a friendly, inquisitive parish priest starts exploring the details of a parishioner's unusual death in a small town in east Texas, tensions rise and accidents begin to happen. Father Frank can't quite believe that crotchety old Syd Cranzler would actually commit suicide, no matter what the medical examiner and police say. Syd was too busy fighting recent corporate attempts to buy him out of his property. Frank and Syd's mutual friend Georgia agrees, much to the chagrin of her boyfriend, police detective Mike Oakley. Despite Mike's opposition, Frank and Georgia team up to sleuth out the peculiar circumstances of Syd's death, not realizing the danger they face. Callan (Cleansed by Fire), after using a weak plot device to kick-start the investigation, rebounds to keep the pace lively and the dialogue interesting. Easygoing, insightful Frank anchors a colorful cast of characters who are the highlight of the book. Even though a priest is at the center of the story, matters of faith are touched on lightly, but with a positive spin. This is a solid, entertaining whodunit with believable characters, twists, and complications. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 09/12/2016

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