ISBN: 1496458389
EAN13: 9781496458384
Language: English
Release Date: Oct 5, 2021
Pages: 384
Format: Paperback

All That Is Secret

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5
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5
   An exciting and well-researched mystery of 1920s African Americans
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers and The Book Club Network for an advance reader copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

By day Professor Annalee Spain teaches theology at a small Chicago Bible college, and by night reads Sherlock Holmes mysteries. She can't resist a vaguely worded telegram requesting she return home to solve the murder of her distant father. Her adventure begins on the train home when she is first locked in the baggage car, attacked by an unknown assailant, saved by an 11-year-old white runaway, then the two escape from the baggage car by jumping out of a "slowly" moving train. The novel continues to depict Annalee in a roller coaster of experiences as she vaults in and out of danger. The staccato writing style during these exploits easily conveys the feeling of danger, action, and excitement. I was often on the edge of my seat and couldn't turn the pages fast enough.

Alternating with the daring experiences of taking chances that risk her life, Annalee renews her relationship with God, which had grown uncertain and distant. Author Raybon includes the realistic conversations that Annalee has with God about trust and faith. This spiritual aspect is smoothly woven into the novel, and helps to create a well-rounded, honest, and likeable character that I believe many readers will connect with.

In addition to solving the mystery of her father's death, 24-year-old Annalee falls in love for the first time. This relationship helps her to accept herself, learn about self-worth, and how to properly value herself.

At first Annalee thinks it is her knowledge of Sherlock Holmes that allows her to succeed in her investigation. But as she evaluates the clues and suspects, she realizes that it is her intuition and instincts that help her along the way. Nonetheless, I thought she took unnecessary risks that put her and others in danger. There were many twists and secrets in the story, some I anticipated and some I didn't see coming.

This is the first of a promising series and was a well-researched mystery that incorporated the history of Denver's Ku Klux Klan with the life of African Americans in the west of the early 1920's. In addition to racism, other themes included class, family and love. I recommend this well-written historical novel that will stay with you long after the final pages have been read.
 
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