Bonnie S. Cahill
Abingdon Press/mystery, Christian fiction, suspense
Release Date: April 2, 2012
After her mother dies from a heart attack, Sloane Templeton goes from Cyber Crimes Unit to bookstore owner before she can blink. She also “inherits” a half-batty store manager; a strange bunch of little old people from the neighborhood who meet at the store once a week, but never read books, called the Granny Oakleys Book Club; and Aunt Verline, who fancies herself an Iron Chef when in reality you need a cast iron stomach to partake of her culinary disasters. And with a group like this you should never ask, “What else can go wrong?” A lot! Sloane begins to receive cyber threats. While Sloane uses her computer forensic skills to uncover the source of the threats, it is discovered someone is out to kill her. Can her life get more crazy?
There is a lot going on in this book- exes, psychiatrists, million dollar antiquarian books, mystery contacts in Egypt and gun-toting senior citizens, just to name the crucial plot points. One would think that so much activity would keep the mystery deeply buried until the big reveal at the end, but it does not, and the end was predictable by the third chapter.
The “Christian” aspect of the book seemed unnatural and forced. It felt like I was reading the obligatory passages to qualify it as “Christian fiction” with no real connection to the character. I don’t need every other paragraph to be a Bible verse, but I do need the references to seem genuine to the character.
My verdict: Skip it. There are about 5 passages in this book that, if taken alone, would convince me this is a book I would enjoy. Unfortunately, taken as a whole, it just does not come together for me. I think there is hope for this series, and I will give future installments another chance.