This book by: Nancy Mehl is the second book in her Finding Sanctuary series. Sanctuary is a small, quiet, town which was founded by Conservative Mennonites. Now the town smoothly combines the modern culture with the simpler Mennonite ways. Sarah is the school teacher at the local Christian private school. She finds out that her sister Hannah is murdered and that she will now be the care taker of her niece Cicely. Her sister’s murder is eerily similar to the murder of their parents that occurred 20 years ago. There were white orchids found at both murder scenes. The Kansas City Police Department does not seem to be taking Sarah’s concerns seriously. Sarah and Paul, the deputy of Sanctuary, both try to uncover the mysteries and start to realize the danger they could be in because of their digging. Meanwhile, Sarah tries to help Cicely work through the trauma of loosing her mother and learns how to difficult it is to be a parent. Sarah fully relies on God to help her through the trials she is facing and leans on the help of her Christian friends.
I have not read the first book in the series but this book seems to be a stand alone story. Although, there are some references to what I assume was a storyline to the previous book. I was attracted to this book because of the murder mystery theme. I am a huge fan of crime dramas on tv and the suspense genre of books but I found this book moved way to slow for my taste. I also thought that it was very predictable. It is labeled as a Romantic Suspense, however, there was barely any romance or suspense. I also felt that some of the reactions and responses throughout the book were somewhat unrealistic. For example, Sarah was consistently calm, never showed anger, and barely seemed to grieve (except for the initial shock) even though her sister was murdered. She did show frustration and did grieve a little bit but everyone I know who has lost someone they love go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, denial, depression, acceptance) in various ways and intensity. Once Sarah gets over the initial shock she jumps straight to acceptance. There is a constant Christianity theme throughout the book which for some people is a good thing but could come across as preachy or overwhelming to others. For me, this book was boring (and I am not really persuaded to want to read more of this author) but I know several people who would love it.
In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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By Nancy Mehl / Bethany House
Also in this series: