In April of 1843, Phoebe’s family hears about a murder while they are traveling to their new home in the Shenandoah Valley. They arrive to learn the victim attended the church her father has agreed to pastor and the crime took place on a leading church member’s plantation.
Eager to make new friends, Phoebe forms a unique relationship that propels her into the middle of the mystery, and she begins to question several acquaintances’ motives. Will she uncover their secrets before the plantation owner’s charming son discovers hers?
My thoughts: I enjoyed reading this work of historical fiction! The characters are well writing and interesting as they face the challenges of moving in the 1800's. When they are pulled into the mystery of the murder, things get interesting!
I thought that the author did an excellent job with the characters, writing a beautiful story that draws the reader in and leaves one longing for the next book in the series. I look forward to reading more of Sydney's books!
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
About the Author
Sydney Tooman Betts resides with her husband near the extensive cavern system that inspired the setting for several chapters in her series The People of the Book.
While single, Ms. Betts (B.S. Bible/Missiology, M.Ed) took part in a variety of cross-cultural adventures in North and Central America. After marrying, she and her husband lived in Europe and the Middle East where he served in various mission-support capacities. Her teaching experiences span preschool to guest lecturing at the graduate level.
Before penning her first novel, A River too Deep, she ghost-wrote several stories for an adult literacy program.
More from Sydney
Proverbs 25:11 says, “Words spoken fitly are like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I was not a great reader as a child, but I loved stories. We remember stories, whether told through movies, good sermon illustrations, parables, or simple novels.
Think of something you’ve read in the Bible. Did an instructional verse, a narrative, or a parable leap to mind? Stories have power because we can relate to them. We see ourselves in the shoes of the main character and ask what we might do in the situation. Mysteries, a new genre for me to write, are a little different. You are in the puzzle with the main character, working out the solution as you both come across the clues. I hope you will enjoy joining Phoebe in her first mystery as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Sally Lunn Bread
1 cup water
1 cup milk
¼ pound unsalted butter
8 cups of high-gluten or bread flour
⅔ cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
¼ cup yeast
In a saucepan, combine water, milk and butter. Heat until the butter is very soft.
In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients with half the flour. Add the warm liquid, and mix well to form a smooth batter.
Add 3 eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add another cup of the flour, and mix well. Add the second 3 eggs, one at a time. Add the remaining flour, and mix until the flour has been incorporated and the batter has formed a smooth ball. The dough should be less firm than bread and more firm than a batter.
Put the dough in a clear bowl with a little oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Proof until double in volume. Divide the dough between two bund pans or two loaf pans, or one of each. Proof again until risen and doubled in volume. Bake at 350° for about 20 minutes. Makes 20 servings.
Texas Book-aholic, September 29
deb’s Book Review, September 30
Inklings and notions, October 1
For the Love of Literature, October 2
Blogging With Carol, October 2
For Him and My Family, October 3
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, October 4
Mary Hake, October 4
Locks, Hooks and Books, October 5
Artistic Nobody, October 6 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Pause for Tales, October 6
Ashley’s Bookshelf, October 7
Connie’s History Classroom, October 8
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, October 8
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 9
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 9
Splashes of Joy, October 10
Lighthouse Academy Blog, October 10 (Guest Review from Marilyn Ridgway)
Betti Mace, October 11
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, October 11
Happily Managing a Household of Boys, October 12
Maureen’s Musings, October 12
To celebrate her tour, Sydney is giving away the grand prize package of $25 Amazon gift card and a softback copy of Phoebe’s Secret!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.