This was my first encounter with Christian mystery. I didn’t even know such a thing existed. However, with the focus on God, it definitely takes and changes what we are expecting when we think “mystery.”
Jeanine Adorabelle Talbot is the main character. She’s a stay-at-home-mom who home schools her two children, Justin and Josie. She’s married to a military man named James. And yes, that’s a lot of J’s in a single family. It’s one of the flaws, actually. It made it difficult to keep track of everyone!
This is the third book by Susan. All of them deal with Jeanine and her family. There are references to the other stories in this book, so I’ll have to be sure to look into them. However, in this book, they were invited to her father’s girlfriend’s island for Christmas. Jeanine had a hard time with that idea because Christmas meant cold weather, fires, pageants at the church, and other traditions. Heading down to the tropics for Christmas didn’t seem like much fun. To top it off, Margo, her father’s girlfriend, definitely had money and was not an easy person to like.
Unfortunately, Christmas took an exciting turn when Margo gets injured, a clue to the age-old Banet family history emerged, and Margo’s nephew went missing right before a major storm rolled in. Stuck on the island with the help and Margo’s odd family, Jeanine and her children set out to solve the mystery surrounding Margo’s family past.
This book, even though it’s a mystery, isn’t as ‘thrilling’ as we’re used to in mainstream mystery fiction. With the focus being more on God, all of the danger and gruesome details are toned down. Since it’s not what one is normally expecting, especially if you’re not aware it’s a Christian novel, it might set you back a bit. However, she does a masterful job weaving in her belief system into a standard mystery. It’s even a book I’d allow my children to read as there’s no unnecessary cursing, gore, or anything else of that nature. All in all, I found it a relaxing and enjoyable read.