Friday, February 24, 2012

A DARKLY HIDDEN TRUTH by Donna Fletcher Crow

After reading Donna Fletcher Crow’s A Very Private Matter, I was eager to read A Darkly Hidden Truth, the second in The Monastery Murders series. I now look forward to reading her third, An Unholy Communion. I enjoyed A Darkly Hidden Truth even more than the first in this series and highly recommend it.

Ms. Crow has created a compelling mystery with the theft of an icon, incorporating murder and intrigue. She continues the subtle romance between Felicity and Antony, puts their lives at risk, and brings things to a surprising conclusion. Will Felicity reconcile with her mother, and also be reunited with Antony? Will Felicity become a nun in the end, or submit to her attraction for the admirable Antony who helps solve the mysteries they encounter … that is, if he survives kidnapping and worse? Will she accept the veil of a nun, or become a bride?

I enjoyed learning more about the rich heritage of the Christian religion, the wisdom of the saints, the inspiring Catholic liturgy and rituals, life inside a monastery, the liturgical calendar, the practices and missions of the church...all well explained. 

Also enjoyable are the relationships that Ms. Crow explores. They literally flow through this novel, and the interaction between characters is well done. I particularly liked the complexities Ms. Crow attacks between Felicity and her mother, Cynthia. Felicity resents and judges her mother harshly, yet their relationship unfolds and is resolved in a touching way.

Ms. Crow has produced a modern mystery while incorporating fascinating history. I am a slow, methodical reader, and regret that time constraints forced me to hurry through this novel faster than I wanted to. In future, I will reread it, taking my time to ponder the many historical tidbits woven throughout the book.

A mystery that is both heartwarming and inspiring with characters you will begin to like and grow to love. A Darkly Hidden Truth is not to be missed.

We are grateful to Kriegel Publications for providing us with a copy of this book for an honest review.
—Gail Lewis

Product Details:
Paperback: 366 pages
Publisher: Monarch Books
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0857210505
ISBN-13: 978-0857210500

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