All posts by Karen Collier

About Karen Collier

Karen Collier is an author and reviewer of Inspirational / Inspy / Christian fiction. A librarian too. Her twitter handle is @karencollier and her blog features book reviews and discussion questions, plus tips for book groups at karencollier.com.

Book Review: Life After by Katie Ganshert

Title: Life After
Author: Katie Ganshert
Publisher: WaterBrook
Published: April 2017
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

It could have been me.

Snow whirls around an elevated train platform in Chicago. A distracted woman boards the train, takes her seat, and moments later a fiery explosion rips through the frigid air, tearing the car apart in a horrific attack on the city’s transit system. One life is spared. Twenty-two are lost.

A year later, Autumn Manning can’t remember the day of the bombing and she is tormented by grief—by guilt. Twelve months of the question constantly echoing. Why? Why? Why? Searching for answers, she haunts the lives of the victims, unable to rest.

Paul Elliott lost his wife in the train bombing and wants to let the dead rest in peace, undisturbed and unable to cause more pain for his loved ones. He wants normalcy for his twelve-year-old daughter and young son, to see them move beyond the heartbreak. But when the Elliotts and Autumn are unexpectedly forced together, he fears she’ll bring more wreckage in her wake. 

In Life After, Katie Ganshert’s most complex and unforgettable novel yet, the stirring prose and authentic characters pose questions of truth, goodness, and ultimate purpose in this emotionally resonant tale.

My Thoughts:

Katie Ganshert has a way of incorporating weighty topics into her novels without weighing down the story or the reader. She makes you think and feel, intersperses fun and light moments amidst the challenges, and ultimately ends on a hopeful note. At least that’s what I’ve observed in the three stories of hers that I’ve read so far. That’s A Broken Kind of Beautiful, The Art of Losing Yourself, and now this one if you’re counting. Frankly, I love that combination of elements in a story.

In this one, there’s grief, there’s guilt, there’s surviving, there’s brokenness, and there’s picking up the pieces. Not necessarily in that order. In some ways it’s about two broken people helping each other put things in perspective and move on. It explores searching for the why behind tragedy, and it explores where comfort can be found. And there’s a tender, subtle, and emotionally satisfying love story in there too, along with a whole host of other relationships among a lifelike cast of characters.

Fans of the author’s earlier books will love this one. And if you haven’t read her earlier books? Please do. Book discussion groups, and readers who appreciate a well-crafted story with complex characters, written in beautiful lyrical language, will especially want to give this one a try.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site

Book Review: A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Title: A Cup of Dust
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Published: October 2015
Series: Pearl Spence Novels
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Where you come from isn’t who you are.

Ten-year-old Pearl Spence is a daydreamer, playing make-believe to escape life in Oklahoma’s Dust Bowl in 1935. The Spences have their share of misfortune, but as the sheriff’s family, they’ve got more than most in this dry, desolate place. They’re who the town turns to when there’s a crisis or a need–and during these desperate times, there are plenty of both, even if half the town stands empty as people have packed up and moved on.

Pearl is proud of her loving, strong family, though she often wearies of tracking down her mentally impaired older sister or wrestling with her grandmother’s unshakable belief in a God who Pearl just isn’t sure she likes.

Then a mysterious man bent on revenge tramps into her town of Red River. Eddie is dangerous and he seems fixated on Pearl. When he reveals why he’s really there and shares a shocking secret involving the whole town, dust won’t be the only thing darkening Pearl’s world.

While the tone is suspenseful and often poignant, the subtle humor of Pearl’s voice keeps A Cup of Dust from becoming heavy-handed. Finkbeiner deftly paints a story of a family unit coming together despite fractures of distress threatening to pull them apart.

My Thoughts:

This tale of the dust bowl made vivid to me a place and time in history I previously knew little about. I read this one what feels like a long time ago and never got around to writing a review. But since I’ve recently been reminded just how much I enjoyed reading it, I’ve gone back over my notes and decided it’s time to share.

This is a young girl’s story, told in her own uniquely quirky voice. Readers are taken on an emotional journey, in turns heartbreaking, terrifying, and humorous, by a character who is somewhat paradoxically both naïve and wise beyond her years.

Our young heroine Pearl makes some great observations every now and then. For example, early in the story (pages 24-25) she notes: “That was when I learned that kindness could break a heart just as sure as meanness. The difference was the kindness made that broken heart softer. Meanness just made the heart want to be hard.”

Pearl’s story touches on some big and discussable themes like love and sacrifice and the true meaning of family. But the aspect that stood out for me was the way the author used different characters’ competing views on the nature of God and His role in their situations. Through these different viewpoints, readers are challenged to consider what we believe and why. This is a story that could foster some great discussion in a book group setting. Highly recommended, particularly to readers up for a literary coming-of-age story with a touch of mystery and suspense.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy of the book. I was not required to write a review, but I wanted to.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Author’s Site

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, August 2017

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the August 2017 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s August selection is Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. August’s selection is The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson.

For August, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander AND Close to You by Kara Isaac. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for August is The Courtship Basket by Amy Clipston. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for this summer is An Anthology: 365 Readings by George MacDonald. The discussion is planned for August 17, 2017.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett (WaterBrook, June 2017, Historical Romantic Suspense)

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin (Bethany House, June 2017, Historical Romance)

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury (Howard Books, June 2017, Contemporary Romance)

The Divide by Jolina Petersheim (Tyndale House, June 2017, Amish Romance)

So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Audiobook Review: If I Run by Terri Blackstock

Title: If I Run
Author: Terri Blackstock
Print Publisher: Zondervan
Audio Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Narrator: Nan Gurley
Published: February 2016
Series: If I Run, Book 1
Genre: Suspense, Christian Fiction
Length: 6 hours, 41 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Casey knows the truth. But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

My Thoughts on the Book:

If I Run makes a fabulous kick-off for Terri Blackstock’s suspense series by the same name. The first person point of view draws you in and gets you thinking about the what-ifs behind the premise. What would you do in Casey’s shoes? In Dylan’s? Overall, this story has a great premise, relatable characters, suspenseful action, and high stakes. I especially love how well matched Casey and Dylan are as adversaries… and potentially allies? At first, I wondered what could possibly be Casey’s reason for running, but as the story unfolds, it all makes an unfortunate kind of sense. I’m impressed, and I must read more!

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Nan Gurley’s narration does justice to the characters’ personalities and voices as written. She takes us into the characters’ heads and beautifully portrays the emotions and challenges they’re going through. I look forward to a repeat performance in Book 2, If I’m Found. It’s going on my must-listen list.

I borrowed this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review, but wanted to share how much I enjoyed the book.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site

Audiobook Review: Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Title: Fraying at the Edge
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Print Publisher: WaterBrook Multnomah
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Stina Nielsen
Published: August 2016
Series: The Amish of Summer Grove, Book 2
Genre: Amish Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 6 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Family, community, faith, and love. These “quilt blocks” sewn together made Ariana’s beautiful life. When they are pulled to pieces, will anything familiar remain?

The Old Order Amish life Ariana Brenneman loved vanished virtually overnight with the discovery that she was switched at birth twenty years ago. Now she’s immersed in the Englischer world, getting to know her mother and under the authority of her biological father, an atheist intellectual with resolute plans to expand Ariana’s worldview. Only Quill Schlabach, a childhood friend living Englisch, can steady the tilting ground between Ariana’s two worlds, but can she trust him after so many betrayals?

 At the same time, Skylar Nash is forced to choose rehab or spend several months with her true relatives, the large Brenneman family and their seemingly backward life—no electricity, no technology, no fun. What the young woman can’t leave behind is her addiction to illegal prescription drugs and a deep emptiness from the belief that she doesn’t belong in either family.

New ties are binding Ariana and Skylar to the lives they were meant to have. Can they find the wisdom and strength they’ll need to follow God’s threads into unexpected futures?

My Thoughts on the Book:

If you read my review of the first book in The Amish of Summer Grove series, you know that Amish fiction isn’t my usual cup of tea, but that I particularly enjoyed the start of this series. Enough that I had to know what would happen next. Well, the story of the switched-at-birth Ariana and Skylar, and their friends and families, continues with Fraying at the Edge, and in my opinion, it does not disappoint.

This is a satisfying middle-of-the-series read, picking up where the previous book left off, shaking up our characters’ lives in new ways, and answering some questions, while leaving others to be addressed in a future book. Ariana and Skylar both grow and change for the better over the course of this story, but their futures remain unresolved. And I for one, cannot wait for the next book…though I guess I’ll have to.

I found this story very thought provoking. In particular, I was fascinated by the closer look it takes at what the Amish believe and why, as compared to the “Englisch” world I’m more familiar with. The story also takes something of an oblique look at nature vs. nurture as we see similarities and differences between the girls and their biological and non-biological families. And it was interesting to see each girl react to challenges to her belief system.

I would recommend this book to fans of Amish fiction, as well as to book groups and to anyone who enjoys a good thought-provoking read.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

This audiobook was recorded by the same narrator who read the first book in the series, and I’m happy to report that this encore performance is just as well done as the earlier one. The narrator does a great job at giving different voices to the various characters within dialog and expressing their emotions in her reading.

I borrowed a copy of this audiobook from my local library. I was not expected to write a review. But I wanted to.

Quick Links: About the Book | About the Series | Audio Sample | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, July 2017

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the July 2017 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s July selection is Home at Last by Deborah Raney. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. July’s selection is Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley.

For July, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green AND Playing By Heart by Anne Mateer. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for July is Katie’s Choice by Amy Lillard. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for this summer is An Anthology: 365 Readings by George MacDonald. The discussion is planned for August 17, 2017.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston (Zondervan, May 2017, Amish Romance)

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson (Tyndale House, May 2017, Historical Fiction)

The White Feather Murders by Rachel McMillan (Harvest House, May 2017, Mystery)

Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman (FaithWords, May 2017, Romantic Suspense)

So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Audiobook Review: Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

Title: Ties That Bind
Author: Cindy Woodsmall
Print Publisher: WaterBrook Press
Audio Publisher: Recorded Books
Narrator: Stina Nielsen
Published: September 2015
Series: Amish of Summer Grove, Book 1
Genre: Amish Fiction
Length: 11 hours, 55 minutes. Unabridged.

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Ariana’s comfortable Old Order Amish world is about to unravel. Will holding tightly to the cords of family keep them together—or simply tear them apart?

Twenty-year-old Ariana Brenneman loves her family and the Old Ways. She has two aspirations: open a café in historic Summer Grove to help support her family’s ever-expanding brood and to keep any other Amish from being lured into the Englisch life by Quill Schlabach.

Five years ago Quill, along with her dear friend Frieda, ran off together, and Ariana still carries the wounds of that betrayal. When she unexpectedly encounters him, she soon realizes he has plans to help someone else she loves leave the Amish.

Despite how things look, Quill’s goal has always been to protect Ariana from anything that may hurt her, including the reasons he left. After returning to Summer Grove on another matter, he unearths secrets about Ariana and her family that she is unaware of. His love and loyalty to her beckons him to try to win her trust and help her find a way to buy the café—because when she learns the truth that connects her and a stranger named Skylar Nash, Quill knows it may upend her life forever.

Ties That Bind is the first novel in the Amish of Summer Grove series.

My Thoughts on the Book:

I don’t read a lot of Amish fiction. It’s not that I dislike it, or anything, but there are other genres I tend to gravitate toward first. That said, I loved this story and these characters, and I’m looking forward to reading more from this series.

Ariana is a sweet and likeable young Amish girl, and I found myself rooting for her to achieve her dreams, even as complications arose to throw those dreams into disarray and cause her to question her own identity, purpose, and family ties.

Skylar is a young woman with a lot of hidden pain, and while her story seems only to have started in this book, I am very curious to see how her life might be changed within a future book in this series.

Quill is a particularly interesting character, and one whose perspective I can appreciate on a number of issues, particularly his perspective on faith. I will be very curious to see what the future holds for him. Hopefully something good!

This book has a number of romantic threads running throughout, and I’m curious to see if I’m right about who’s going to wind up with whom. But at the same time, I liked the fact that the story takes a broader perspective than many romances, looking at a variety of relationships within and outside families. It raises many thought provoking questions on issues of identity, religion and more, leading me to wonder how I would respond if I found myself in a situation similar to the ones these characters are facing.

This novel’s ending leaves me more than ready to find out what will happen with these characters in the next book. Thankfully Fraying at the Edge is already available. I just need to track down a copy.

Overall, it’s a book/audiobook I would gladly recommend, but don’t go into it expecting to read just one! This story reaches a comfortable stopping point, but there are a lot of unanswered questions remaining to be addressed.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

Stina Nielsen does a great job narrating the audio edition of Ties That Bind. With quite a few viewpoint characters, this story must have been quite a challenge to narrate, but she makes it seem effortless! Male and female voices are well done and distinct, and characters’ emotions are clearly portrayed in the reading. I am very happy to see that the next book in the series has been recorded by the same narrator.

I listened to a copy of the audiobook that was borrowed from my local library.

Quick Links: About the Audiobook | About the Series | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site

Christian Fiction Audiobooks, New for Summer 2017

I love Christian fiction! But you knew that, right?

And I love audiobooks. Big surprise? 😉

So with “June is Audiobook Month” rapidly coming to a close, I want to take a moment to feature some of the fabulous new Christian fiction audiobooks scheduled to release this summer. Without further ado, here are the twelve titles I’m most excited about listening to, chosen from among dozens of upcoming new titles.

June Releases

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin
Read by Renee Ertl
Historical Romance from Oasis Audio
Also available in print from Bethany House

God Bless the Broken Road by Jennifer Dornbrush
Read by Lauren Ezzo
A novelization of the upcoming movie by the same name
Also available in print from Howard Books

Love Story by Karen Kingsbury
Read by January LaVoy and Kirby Heyborne
The Baxter Family, Book 1
Romance from Simon and Schuster Audio
Also available in print from Howard Books

July Releases

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck
Read by Windy Lanzl
Romance from Brilliance Audio
Also available in print from Zondervan

Just Look Up by Courtney Walsh
Read by Matilda Novak
Romance from Blackstone Audio
Also available in print from Tyndale House

August Releases

Bread of Angels by Tessa Afshar
Read by Rendah Heywood
Biblical Fiction / Historical Romance from Recorded Books
Also available in print from Tyndale House

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason
Read by Rachel Dulude
Elite Guardians, Book 4
Romantic Suspense from Tantor Media
Also available in print from Revell

Sandpiper Cove by Irene Hannon
Read by Therese Plummer
Hope Harbor, Book 3
Romance from Recorded Books
Also available in print from Revell

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson
Read by Johanna Parker
Evie Blackwell Cold Case, Book 2
Suspense / Thriller from Recorded Books
Also available in print from Bethany House

True to You by Becky Wade
Read by Stephanie Cozart
Bradford Sisters Romance, Book 1
Contemporary Romance from Recorded Books
Also available in print from Bethany House

Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren
Read by Cynthia Farrell
Montana Rescue, Book 1
Contemporary Romance from Recorded Books
Also available in print from Revell

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall
Read by Stina Nielsen
Amish of Summer Grove, Book 3
Amish Fiction from Recorded Books
Also available in print from WaterBrook


So those are my top picks for summer listening. Which books and audiobooks are you most looking forward to?

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, June 2017

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the June 2017 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s June selection is A Changed Agent by Tracey J. Lyons. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions. For those celebrating June is Audiobook Month with me, this title is available in audio format from Brilliance Audio.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. June’s selection is Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green.

For June, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing The Things We Knew by Catherine West AND Newton and Polly by Jody Hedlund. Newton and Polly is available in audio format from Blackstone Audio. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for June is The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for this summer is An Anthology: 365 Readings by George MacDonald. The discussion is planned for August 17, 2017.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills (Tyndale House, April 2017, Romantic Suspense)

Sunset in Old Savannah by Mary Ellis (Harvest House, April 2017, Mystery)

What the Bishop Saw by Vannetta Chapman (Harvest House, May 2017, Amish Romance)

So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?

Audiobook Review: Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa

In case you didn’t already know, June is Audiobook Month! In case you’re thinking of celebrating by listening to an audiobook, here’s one worth considering.

Title: Annabel Lee
Author: Mike Nappa
Print Publisher: Revell
Audio Publisher: Oasis Audio
Narrator: Romy Nordlinger
Published: Print: March 2016; Audio: August 2016
Series: Coffey & Hill, Book 1
Genre: Christian fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Length: Unabridged. 10 hrs, 36 mins

About the Book: (from the publisher’s Web site)

Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. The secret’s name is Annabel Lee.

She doesn’t know why her enigmatic uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He’s left her with a few German words, a barely controlled guard dog, and a single command: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

Miles away in Atlanta, private investigator Trudi Coffey is visited by a mysterious older man calling himself Dr. Smith. He’s been trailing a man for a decade–a man she met through her ex-partner Samuel Hill–and the trail has led him to her office. The last thing Trudi wants to do is to contact Samuel. But it will take both of them to unravel this mystery–before it’s too late.

My Thoughts on the Book:

Mike Nappa’s Annabel Lee strikes me as an unusual novel with uniquely interesting characters. Its plot is quite suspenseful, with ever-present danger and an intriguing mystery to be solved. But be aware, it can also be quite violent at times, so if you’re especially squeamish about blood, consider yourself warned.

In my opinion, Annabel Lee, the Mute, and Dog pretty much stole the show from the series’ lead characters Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill. Annabel’s uniquely child-like yet mature voice and way of looking at the world combined with Mute’s and Dog’s unique lack of voice (yet interesting personalities nonetheless) kept me turning the pages more than anything else. Well, okay, there was also that nagging curiosity about WHY Annabel was in this situation in the first place. And whether everything would turn out okay in the end.

Trudi and Samuel have more than their fair share of baggage as ex-spouses and ex-business-partners, which I presume they’ll continue working through in future installments of this series. I am interested to see where the author will take their relationship in the future, but I have to admit to being a bit annoyed by some of their more petty moments and occasional tactical blunders in this book. I’m hoping to see them get their act a bit more together in The Raven. Which, by the way, has what sounds like another intriguing storyline.

The Christian thread in Annabel Lee seems subtle and well thought out, with a lot of the deeper story coming to fruition within the Epilogue.

Overall, a delightfully unusual offering in this market, and one that I would recommend to fans of mystery and suspense.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

The narrator, Romy Nordlinger, does a fabulous job portraying the voice of a young girl, complete with accent, as well as voicing a variety of male and female characters with nuance and emotion. If you can get a copy of the audiobook, listening will be a treat.

My copy of the audiobook was borrowed from my local library.

Quick Links: Audio Sample | Audible | Author’s Site | Narrator’s Site