Thursday, September 17, 2020

"Make Haste Slowly" by Amy Rognlie

Callie Erickson has moved from Ohio to Short Creek, a small town in central Texas. Her great-aunt Dot has moved into a retirement home, and Callie has bought her house and set up a florist/bookstore business. It sounds almost idyllic, except that Callie has brought more than physical baggage with her – the memories of a marriage that was failing, a husband slowly dying from ALS disease, and then his death in an automobile accident. It’s been five years, but Callie is still haunted by what she left behind.

Then she finds a body on the doorstep of her shop, a dead man clutching a box of what looks like relatively worthless bottles, trinkets, and books. The box seems to be addressed to her, with a note inside one of the books bearing a familiar anchor logo with the Latin words for “Make haste slowly.”

Amy Rognlie
More mysteries develop. The minister of a nearby church begins to behave oddly. The sheriff seems to be suspicious of anything Callie says or does. A neighbor’s granddaughter may be caught up in sex trafficking. Callie herself is knocked unconscious inside the church as she arrives to arrange flowers for a wedding. What’s going on in Short Creek?

Make Haste Slowly is the first in the Short Creek Mystery Series by Amy Rognlie (The second is Where There’s a Willand the third is To Err is Human.) The novel is as much about faith as it is a mystery, and, rather refreshingly, the author doesn’t mask the strong Christian beliefs of many of her characters.

In addition to the Short Creek mysteries, Rognlie has also published two novels in the Miss Opal Series and three historical romances. She had published three works in the late 1990s before taking a break from writing to raise her family and earn her teaching credentials. She lives in Texas.

Make Haste Slowly has more coincidences than might be expected, but it’s an engaging story that tackles sex trafficking, old sins, the things our faith asks us to do, including forgiving others and ourselves. And there’s a touch of romance thrown in as well.

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