It’s time for another month of the Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge: Unlock an Adventure. I’m so excited to be joining you on an adventure this year with guest reviews from members of our reading challenge participants. If you have a review you’d like to submit for upcoming months, feel free to sign up for a month here and use the Google form to submit your review. As my time has become too limited to do a suggestions post each month, I encourage you to jump over to the Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge page and ask for suggestions from there or from any of a number of amazing reader groups like Avid Readers of Christian Fiction.
*The list of prizes available from my prize shelf can be found here.*
April’s Theme: Lawman Hero
*May’s Theme: Exploration or Pioneering
*suggestions can be found at the end of the post.
While this book is not a historical, it is ChristianFiction. 🙂
Dead Wrong: A Cozy Mystery
(Agatha’s Amish B&B Book 1)
by Vannetta Chapman
Review by: Madie – An Unlocking the Past Reading Challenge Participant
Short version: likeable characters, un-put-downable cozy mystery, sprinkled with humor and inspirational thoughts, not a romance novel (so NO frustrating love triangle, if you prefer to avoid that).
I was unsure what to expect when the description said Agatha had lost a family member. This book did not make me feel uncomfortable or depressed. It stayed lighthearted (but not shallow) on this subject, with occasional fond memories, or inspirational thoughts. I appreciated that.
I liked most characters. Lovable Agatha is my favorite! She reminded me a lot of a beloved family friend we have. She’s a positive person with a big heart, hardworking, smart, has faith-powered strength, and her inner thoughts are relatable and hilarious. The police station ones had me laughing out loud! Glad to see an older woman who isn’t romance-obsessed or a busybody.
That said, I did enjoy Gina, who technically is sort of a busybody. She’s funny, fearless, determined, and a good friend.
Ex-detective Tony is smart, brave, and a good person and neighbor. I like how he comes out of his shell to help Agatha with her serious situation. Having his more pragmatic thoughts was also a nice balance with Agatha’s.
Tony’s law enforcement facts were fascinating, as were Agatha’s about modern Amish living. Spaced out nicely, they didn’t delay plot, and there was time to absorb them. While many characters are devout, it’s never preachy or unrealistically perfect. Just decent people being fair and kind.
I suspected everyone except Agatha and the baby, but was left guessing until around the murderer reveal. I enjoyed the additional mysteries of what suspects innocent of murder were hiding. It was realistic when our perspective on some characters changed as we got to know them more.
The only time I could put it down before at least three chapters in a sitting was when there was too much background noise for me to read. My only criticism is that the ‘bad’ characters and their motivations are less developed than almost any of the ‘good’ ones.
Good setting descriptions. I knew Texas has rivers, but don’t generally think of them as quiet, scenic vacation spots. I’m eager to continue this series, and find out more about people’s pasts and loved ones.
I received a free copy from the author, but with no obligations. The opinions given here are my own.
For Fans of: Cozy mysteries, Amish stories
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Who killed Russell Dixon?
When Agatha Lapp’s brother and sister-in-law are tragically killed in a buggy accident, Agatha relocates to the new Amish community in Hunt Texas, nestled in the Texas Hill Country. She’s there to make a success of her brother’s dream–an Amish B&B. Agatha is friendly, efficient, and capable. She’s also a fifty-five year old widow who has learned to be independent.
Then she discovers Russell Dixon’s lifeless body in Cabin 3. She runs next door where retired detective Tony Vargas lives. The police determine that her guest died of natural causes, but as Agatha and Tony put together the events of the previous two days they become convinced that the police are Dead Wrong.
Dead Wrong is a story of discovering new friendships and embracing a different path in the midst of tragedy. Above all else, it’s a story of God’s grace and provision.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end Grand Prize Reader Basket. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on the 7th of each month at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget.
*Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.
What did you read for the challenge? What were your thoughts on it? Would you recommend it?
May Recommendations: A View Most Glorious by Regina Scott, A Sweetness to The Soul by Jane Kirkpatrick, An Untamed Land (Red River of the North Book #1) by Laura Snelling, Freedom in the Mountain Wind by Misty Beller, The Ladies Maid by Susan Page Davis, Love Comes Softly Series from Janette Oke, God’s Daughter by Heather Gilbert (Viking era, very unique and heavy topic hitter)
For April’s reading I chose Charles Martin’s book Thunder and Rain.
I read a few that fit this challenge: The Lady and the Gent by Rebecca Connolly, The Keys to Gramercy Park by Candice Sue Patterson and Blind Trust by Natalie Walters. All were good!
I read The Thief of Blackfriars Lane by Michelle Griep. It was really good.
I read Counterfeit Hope and I loved it!
My book my book for April was “Saving Hope” by Margaret Daley.
My books for April were Shadowed Loyalty by Roseanna White (I counted it because I felt it had two heroes, one was a Bureau agent) and Counterfeit Hope. I liked them both!!
Blind Trust by Natalie Walters
I am reading Hills of Nevermore by Janalyn Voigt!
I read The White City by Grace Hitchcock. Really great historical fiction meets true crime. 10 out of 10 recommend!
I read Rescue Mission by Lynette Eason. I really liked it-it was actually part of a series from Love I spired Suspense.
I read “Brentwood’s Ward” by Michelle Griep
OHHHHHHH!!!! That was my first ever Michelle Griep book, and I’ve been hooked ever since. Did you like it?
I did! This was my first “full sized” book by her, I’d previously read two of her Christmas stories in January (because why be on time for Christmas😜) and enjoyed those too. I think my sister bought this one, but I beat her to reading it!😂
I read The Hope of Azure Springs by Rachel Fordham. This was my first book of hers and I really enjoyed it. I highly recommend it.
Now I just have to figure out what to read for May.
Have you posted the question of book titles in Avid readers or the Unlocking the Past group? I’ve got a short list of suggestions at the bottom of the post, but pasting it here:
A View Most Glorious by Regina Scott, A Sweetness to The Soul by Jane Kirkpatrick, An Untamed Land (Red River of the North Book #1) by Laura Snelling, Freedom in the Mountain Wind by Misty Beller, The Ladies Maid by Susan Page Davis, Love Comes Softly Series from Janette Oke, God’s Daughter by Heather Gilbert (Viking era, very unique and heavy topic hitter)
I read A Lawman for Lisette. 2 stars from me.
I read your “Counterfeit Truth” book 🙂 . Will write a fuller review when things are less hectic here. I liked Felicity so much, and Hayden (and his mom). Fascinating setting, exciting story.
I have several options for next month, but am hoping to read a Christian fiction book I got as a gift,”Yucatan Deep”. It’s about a diver’s dangerous quest to explore the depths of a cenote, and his obsession’s effect on his personal life.