Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon — Book Review

This Christian novel has it all — mystery, suspense, and romance. Grace Reilly, a forensic pathologist in rural Missouri notices something odd during the autopsies of two older residents. The cause of death appears to be heart-related (not unusual considering their age), but both have some sort of seeds in the contents of their stomachs. After making her concerns know to the new Sheriff, Nate Cox, the two embark on a quest to discover whether these deaths are linked, and not natural at all. Their association leads to mutual attraction, and eventually (SPOILER ALERT), marriage.

The romantic plot is predictable, but the unraveling of the crime is entertaining and has plenty of twists and turns that will keep you guessing. Who is the murderer? You probably won’t get it right! There are some ethical dilemmas that add interest to the plot. Since most of the characters are Christian, the reader is spared the deplorable language which characterizes so much fiction these days.

VERDICT: 4 STARS. A light, enjoyable read.

For more Christian fiction, see these posts:

a long time comin’ by Robin W. Pearson — Book Review

Every Secret Thing by Ann Tatlock–Book Review

The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton–Book Review

Christmas Every Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren–Book Review

Christmas Every Morning by Lisa Tawn Bergren (2008-05-03)

If you are looking for an easy, escapist beach read this may be the book for you. Otherwise, pick something else.

++SPOILER ALERT++The plot is completely predictable. Ever since she can remember, Krista Mueller felt unloved by her mother (her father was not in the picture at all). For years, her mother has been cared for in a facility for Alzheimer patients, and Krista has not visited with her. Now, notified that her mother is dying, Krista returns to her home town of Taos, New Mexico, to make peace. She also reunites with her teenage flame, Dane, who is (surprise!) the director of the Alzheimer facility. Old wounds are quickly exposed and healed, the lovers find one another again and the relationship between mother and daughter is restored.

The characters are not well developed and the Christianity portrayed is superficial. Conflicts are resolved too quickly to create much tension. I read it in one day.

The most edifying part of the book was the description of the Alzheimer facility. Here the author had done her research and suggested some interesting alternative therapies, such as the “Christmas room” where residents could hear carols and see Christmas decorations every day and garden paths that led back to the rooms to satisfy their desire to roam without the risk of getting lost.

VERDICT: 2 STARS. Even if you’re looking for an easy read, there are better choices.

For other Christian novels see:

Chasing Francis by Ian Morgan Cron–Book Review

white picket fences by Susan Meissner–Book Review

Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane–Book Review

Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane–Book Review

I ordered this book through Bookbub ( simply because it was free, and I wasn’t at all sure I would like it. On the surface it’s a formula romance with a predictable plot. *** SPOILER ALERT*** Young man and young woman get off to a rocky start but end up finding true love in one another. The frightening experience of surviving a tornado together quickly deepens their feelings and through the tragic loss of a friend, they learn valuable life lessons and grow in their Christian faith.

Beyond the Storm (Quilts of Love Series Book 1)

Beyond the Storm is part of the Quilts of Love Series, and in my mind, the quilting theme helped to raise it a bit above the usual Christian romance novel. The main character, Abigail, has an aunt who owns a quilting shop. After the tornado, and the tragic death of Danny, a dear, Christian friend, Aunt Selma encourages the survivors to create a quilt in his memory. The center piece contains a piece of his Bible cover, and each person whose life he touched made a square to represent what he meant to them. The quilt was bordered with scraps found during cleanup of the wreckage. I thought this was a lovely idea, although I’m not a gifted crafter and could never do it myself. Here’s a quote that explains the metaphor:

I love to see the ways the Lord finds to use us. Each of us, like Danny ….is the center of our own quilt. Our lives are made up of bits and pieces, some good, some bad. And isn’t it amazing how God, in His infinite wisdom can use our mistakes and what we might consider chaos, to His glory.”

There are also discussion questions at the end, so this wouldn’t be a bad book club pick.

VERDICT: 3 STARS. Not deep, but better than the average Christian romance..

For more Christian novels see:

white picket fences by Susan Meissner–Book Review

The Purple Nightgown by A. D. Lawrence–Book Review

pearl in the sand by Tessa Afshar–Book Review

Hope’s Highest Mountain – Book Review

I always like to start my reviews with a little bit of information about the author. Misty M. Beller is an author who has set her stories in the 1800’s frontier. She has several well-received series and this is the first in a new series titled “Hearts of Montana”.

This book is a fiction book but I can believe that some of the incidents and locations referred to in the story exist or have existed.

Hope’s Highest Mountain is about a young woman named Ingrid Chastain and her journey to a settlement to deliver a smallpox vaccination. The book starts with a horrifying accident that claims the lives of her entire traveling party, including her father. She is found in freezing conditions, seriously hurt by a “mountain man” who later turns out to be a doctor with a past.

I do not typically read this genre of book, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was enthralled by the storyline and once started I did not want to put it down. The author uses descriptive language to bring the reader into the physical surroundings and paints the picture so well, I sometimes thought I could feel the cold.

I also loved that the main character’s Christianity was soft in its delivery but firm in the showing of her faith. You were led into the story of her hero’s walk back to faith in a believable way.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a Christian romance with sustenance.

I have received a free copy of this book in return for an honest and fair review – Disclaimer according to FTC 16 CFR Part 255

You may purchase this book at the link below:



A Father’s Prayer–Book Review

I met the author of this book, Linda Wood Rondeau at the local senior center where she spoke to a small group of people interested in writing.  She told us her story of leaving her job as a social worker in her 50’s and launching a writing career.  She has now published a number of novels.  At the end of her presentation she allowed several of us to pick one of her books to take home.  I chose A Father’s Prayer because she said it dealt with an autistic boy;  I have two autistic nephews, so I was drawn to that topic.

A Father's Prayer by [Rondeau, Linda Wood]

This short novel falls into the genre of Christian romance;  frankly, not my cup of tea.  However, it may be yours.  It’s an easy read, predictable and formulaic.  The heroine, Alexis, returns home after the death of her parents to raise her adopted autistic brother, Gib.  Well-known country singer, Ethan Jacobs arrives on the scene to perform at a benefit for Gib’s school and takes a special interest in Gib.  I won’t say more to prevent this review from becoming a “spoiler.”  What follows includes romance, and the neat wrapping up of various problems encountered by Alexis and Gib, all presented within a Christian framework.

If you would like to learn more about Linda and her other books, you can visit her website:

She serves God through her writing, speaking engagements, and mentoring other writers.  If you are interested in writing, or need a speaker for an event, she would be a great resource for you.