Book Review: A Darkly Hidden Truth

22 Feb

Felicity can’t possibly help Father Antony find the valuable missing icon. She’s off to become a nun. And then her impossible mother turns up unexpectedly. And a good friend turns up murdered…

Breathtaking chase scenes, mystical worship services, dashes through remote water-logged landscapes, the wisdom of ancient holy women, and the arcane rites of The Knights Hospitaller keep the pages turning. Will Felicity choose the veil – or Antony?


Donna Fletcher Crow is the author of 36 books, mostly novels dealing with British history. The award-winning Glastonbury, an Arthurian grail search epic covering 15 centuries of English history, is her best-known work.  A Very Private Grave, Book 1 in the Monastery Murders series, is her reentry into publishing after a 10-year hiatus. Book 2, A Darkly Hidden Truth, will be out this fall, and she is at work on Book 3, An Unholy Communion, scheduled for 2012.

Donna and her husband live in Boise, Idaho. They have 4 adult children and 10 grandchildren. Donna is remembered by Idahoans with long memories as a former Queen of the Snake River Stampede, Miss Rodeo Idaho and runner-up for Miss Rodeo America. She is an enthusiastic gardener.

My Impressions:

A Darkly Hidden Truth continues the mysterious doings of Felicity and Father Antony (begun in A Very Private Grave) as they endeavor to discover the whereabouts of a stolen icon from the Community of The Transfiguration (CT).  Felicity is a young American woman struggling with her spiritual path.  She has been studying at CT and is on the threshold of making a commitment to greater devotion by entering a convent.  Antony, a history lecturer at the community has decided against becoming a monk due to his increasing interest in Felicity.  But despite her determination to go on a pilgrimage of discernment, Felicity cannot help but be drawn into the mystery that soon involves more missing icons and the murder of a fellow student.

A Darkly Hidden Truth blends church history and modern mystery. Although it is book 2 in a series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.  Not familiar with the Church of England, I learned all kinds of things.  I didn’t know there were Anglican nuns and monks and that the break with the traditions of the Roman Catholic church was not as dramatic as with other Protestant denominations.  As Felicity and Antony visit various religious communities and shrines, the history of the church develops along with the mystery.

The characters of Felicity and Antony are well-developed.  Felicity is endearing and exasperating.  Her desire to take vows could not be more opposite to her impulsive personality.  And Antony is long-suffering in his devotion to Felicity. Felicity’s mother also makes an appearance and that adds to the conflict and tension in Felicity’s decision-making.

The mystery of the stolen icons is interesting and there are quite a few candidates for the crime.  The book keeps the reader guessing to the end.  One negative however is the pace of the story.  I didn’t feel the action moved along quickly enough.  But it did mirror the pace of the various religious communities that the characters visit.

If you like historical and mystery fiction, you will like A Darkly Hidden Truth.

(I received A Darkly Hidden Truth from Kregel in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: A Darkly Hidden Truth”

  1. Donna February 22, 2012 at 3:52 pm #

    Dear Becky, thank you so much for your lovely review. The school techer in me is always delighted when readers say they have learned a lot from reading my books. Thank you, too, for including my trailer with your review. Your blog is beautiful, I’m so pleased to have this opportunity to meet your readers.

    • rbclibrary February 22, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by.

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