Tag: Christian fiction

The Blue Moon Book Review

If you like good old fashioned mysteries without the mayhem of murder, you will love The Blue Moon by Lorena McCourtney. This entertaining tale revolves around the mystery of a necklace which may or may not be known as the Blue Moon.

The Blue Moon Plot

The novel opens with the discovery of a beautiful necklace by protagonist Abby Stanton. Apparently, the jewelry had been taped to the underneath of a desk drawer. Thus, the mystery begins. Abby wants to track down the rightful owner.

This proves difficult. Multiple people step forward once a value is attached to the necklace. Apparently, an appraisal of three million brings out many. Even rumors of a curse do not slow the number of presumptive owners.

Among the many claimants are a couple of dangerous types. They are not working together, but as rivals. One even dognaps Mary Stanton’s service dog.

Characters in The Blue Moon

Abby and her sister Mary figure prominently as independent women. Both also have a romantic interest featured in the story. But as this is a work of Christian fiction, the relationships are earnest not steamy.

The two sisters face danger head on. Finnegan the service dog aids in his own rescue. But the theme is one of intellectual feats versus action packed adventure.

Pacific Northwest

The setting for the novel is the Pacific Northwest. Travel is just as likely by boat as by car. This factors into the story line on several fronts. McCourtney brings the area to life through her descriptions of the climate and topography.

Christian Fiction

The Blue Moon is a bit more scriptural than other books by Lorena McCourtney. As this is the first book featuring the Stanton sisters’ that I have read, I do not know if this is the norm. Passages of scripture are weaved throughout the novel in addition to the lead characters’ upstanding moral characteristics.

Overall, The Blue Moon reminded me a bit of the Encyclopedia Brown mysteries I read as a child. The two men who died prior to the start of the story were NOT murdered. Truly, the plot revolves around the mysterious appearance of the Blue Moon necklace and its ownership.

Christian fiction may not be for everyone, but it has been soothing to my soul during these stressful times of uncertainty and unrest. I read this book through the Libby App. The book is enjoyable and an easy read.

 

Invisible book Review

Invisible by Lorena McCourtney was released in 2004 but is a newly discovered series for me. And I enjoyed this murder mystery featuring retiree Ivy Malone. The novel falls into the category of entertaining vs. suspenseful. My first GOL (giggle out loud) occurred on page 13. A good omen in my opinion.

Ivy Malone

The novel opens with Ivy and Thea, her neighbor and fellow widow, visiting a cemetery, which has been vandalized. Unfortunately, the day is too much for Thea and she succumbs to natural causes. This leaves Ivy adrift. She no longer has a sidekick to experience life with.

Thus, Ivy begins to feel invisible. So she decides she can scout out the cemetery, cloaked in her figurative invisibility, to find the vandals. Her nightly stakeout of the graveyard entertains with just a touch of slapstick humor. But hoodlums are only the beginning.

Murder Plot

While Ivy is occupied with the nightly visits, Thea’s tenant Kendra disappears. Since Ivy is looking after Thea’s house she redirects her snooping to discovering what happened to the mysterious young woman.

Ivy forms a bound with a young police officer, Dix, due to the fact his grandparents lived down the street long ago. Even though Dix does not stay in charge of the investigation, his presence remains as Ivy tries to bring him back into a spiritual relationship.

McCourtney weaves a lot of Christianity into her characters as well as some romance for both the young and the not so young. Chemistry abounds between multiple characters with one of my favorite combinations that of Ivy and Mac MacPherson. Mac, while not central to the story certainly adds some spice.

Invisible

Ivy does not let anything slow her down. Her leads take her on several trips to Arkansas. But the excitement occurs when she returns home to Missouri and comes face to face with both the vandals and the murderer. Naturally, she comes out on top, at least until the trial.

I enjoyed the book to the extent I plan to check out the next in the series when I return Invisible. These fun reads have a definite place in my reading rotation. They offer a break from the seriousness of life. Much like a sitcom. But unlike sitcoms, the books remain on the shelves for new readers to discover instead of facing cancellation.

 

Judgement Day Book Review

Judgement Day – A Television Show

Judgement Day is a Christian based murder mystery written by Wanda L. Dyson. Suzanne Kidwell is the character at the center of the story. She is a journalist in Washington D.C. with an expose style show called Judgement Day. Her show is top rated but her journalistic skills leave something to be desired. She often jumps to conclusions without verifying her sources.

Throughout Judgement Day, Suzanne’s life is in danger. Furthermore, she has been framed for a murder. Private investigators Marcus Crisp and Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne are hired to find the truth. Complicating matters, Marcus and Suzanne were once engaged.

Suzanne has many enemies so Marcus and Alex have their work cut out for them. Most of their other cases are put on the back burner to help Suzanne. However, Alex continues to search for missing teenagers. Of course the two cases end up being tied together.

Suzanne had been working on a story which she blamed the teen disappearances not only on the wrong person, but also the wrong motive. Instead of the missing teams ending up in a sex related crime, the kids are kidnapped and used on the black market as organ donors.

Contrasting Characters

Dyson portrays Suzanne as very unChristian. She is not a like-able person. This is certainly a case of actions speak louder than words. Unlike her TV persona where she seems to champion the underdog and flesh out the bad guys, Suzanne manipulates all. She is self-centered and unkind to others.

In contrast, the actions of Marcus and Alex are very charitable. Marcus was betrayed by Suzanne long-ago yet he is willing first to clear her name and later to save her life. The character of Alex is used as a comparison to Suzanne. Her actions and personality are quite considerate towards Suzanne.

Two incidents change Suzanne. First she encounters a strange woman in her jail cell. The woman rambles scripture. The passages directly apply to Suzanne. Second she herself is kidnapped and readied for organ harvesting. I believe she achieves redemption.

Judgement Day speaks to all of us as well as the characters. Many of the characters confront their own Judgement Day. Some survive intact and become better people. Others have a less happy ending. The book has Christian overtones but an unusual cast of characters. Judgement Day hones in on the truism, you can’t judge a book by its cover. I am glad I checked this book out of the library and plan to look for other books by Wanda L. Dyson.