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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

DEADLY DEVOTIONS by Sandra Orchard

Marji Laine revews:
Having trust issues can be a good thing when they protect from pain and hazard. But Kate Adams has a different problem. She trusts far too easily. Especially when her mentor/best friend is dead from an "accidental" dose of poisonous tea. Daisy would never have made that mistake. An expert at botany and as strong in her faith as she was in her skill with the chemical properties of plants, she'd never have killed herself either.

But when Kate expounds on that point, to Detective Tom Parker, the majority of the officers in the station, and a good piece of the population of the small town, she scares someone. Or someones. A person or persons who doesn't want her rant to uncover things that Daisy's death seals.

And though Tom knows the dangers, he feels pulled to help this woman. Even though assisting her against his chief's wishes might very well cost him his job. But that isn't his worst risk. His trust issues stem from old disasters. He dare not put his faith in the woman. Not if he wants to survive.

Sandra Orchard casts a delicious mystery in a picturesque town just north of the Canadian border. Port Aster is the quaint tourist village expected from travel magazines. But like the dilapidated buildings covered by the street-front facades, there's a lot more going on there than visitors can see. Things aren't always what they seem to be. A theme that echoes throughout this story.

Full of twisted sub-plots and unexpected laughs, the story baffles, as a good mystery should. Tom and Kate waffle between possible scenarios and suspects, carrying the reader along. With a number of reasonable killers, good motives, and plenty of secrets that draw attention, the constant mind-changing actually makes perfect sense.

The story sets followups, too. Little details are left unresolved, ready to explode into new plots. And then there's the budding romance. Bud is as far as the romance goes, even though the feelings seem intense. Left me quite giddy! I'm looking forward to seeing it build!

The good news is, Book 2 in the Port Aster Series came out in June of 2014. Yea! Book 3 follows soon!

Reviewer: Marji Laine

Marji Laine is a collaborator in three novellas with short stories published in both books and magazines. A homeschooling mom or four, two of which are graduates, she is married to a wonderful business analyst who keeps her grounded in reality. Her blog, Faith Driven Fiction, posts reader and writer focused articles as well as analysis of popular movies with a Biblical World view. Find her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads, or Google+.

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