Thursday, October 31, 2019

"A Darkly Hidden Truth" by Donna Fletcher Crow

American Felicity Howard is studying at a seminary in England. What she’s actually considering is becoming a nun, and a spiritual advisor suggests that she visit a number of houses and convents before she definitely makes up her mind. She’s also attracted to fellow ordinand Father Antony Sherwood, and she keeps trying to suppress that attraction because, well, she wants to be a nun. And sooner rather than later.

Then an icon goes missing from the chapel. A good friend of both Felicity and Antony and a fellow ordinand, Neville Montara, seems connected to the theft. Felicity begins her visits to various religious houses and orders, and another icon goes missing, with Neville in the vicinity. Neville himself disappears, until he calls Antony and asks for a meeting at a ruined abbey in the Broads, the famous marshy area near Norfolk. Antony and Felicity arrive at the abbey, and they find Neville’s body. He’s been murdered. 

Because Antony has been asked by his superior to try to retrieve the missing icon as quietly as possible, he and Felicity being their own investigation, apart from the police. Their search takes them to the Temple church in London, sites in London and elsewhere connected to the Knights Templar, and back to the Norfolk area. The main clue is a peculiar kind of drawn cross with various emblems. Complicating their search is Felicity’s mother, to whom Felicity has never been close. She’s arrived from the States to announce her impending divorce from Felicity’s father and that she’s considering a legal job in London.

Donna Fletcher Crow
A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow is the second book in “The Monastery Murders” series. It is part thrilling mystery, part historical religious travelogue, part romance, and part religious history – the reader is treated to a number of readings from Julian of Norwich and Margery Kempe.

Crow is the author of some 50 books, mostly novels about British history. In addition to “The Monastery Murders” series, she has three novels in the Lord Danvers series, A Most Inconvenient Death, Grave Matters, and To Dust You Shall Return.

Felicity and Antony will face their own personal dangers during the investigation – kidnapping, attacks, and a push down an escalator on the London Underground. They’ll also have to come to grips with their feelings for each other. A Darkly Hidden Truth is a satisfying mystery filled with twists, turns, considerable information about icons, and a nice dash of romance.


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