Tag Archives: Rhona Weaver

Book Review: A Noble Calling

8 Nov

A Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver was a Christy Award nominee for First Novel. Since it is a mystery (my favorite genre) and set in Yellowstone (I visited in September), I said yes please to reading it. It was a great book to read in preparation for my Yellowstone vacation. Check out all the details and my thoughts below.

A Southern farm boy who loves God and family, college football and America, rookie FBI agent Win Tyler lives in pursuit of making the world a better place. But when he becomes embroiled in a major political corruption case on the East Coast that takes a bad turn, he is exiled by the Bureau to a do-nothing post in Yellowstone National Park. Dejected by the demotion, and with his heart heavy from the sting of a bad breakup, Win arrives in Yellowstone deeply conflicted as to his true calling in life.

Win quickly finds himself confronting pure evil when anti-government militiamen attempt to violently disrupt the park’s dedication of a Jewish monument. The militia leader, a self-styled prophet, exploits the day’s mayhem to advance an even more sinister agenda. The demands of Win’s job test his courage and faith as he is faced with hazardous river rescues, dangerous wildlife, and hostile terrain. Feeling desperate and alone, he strives to build partnerships with park rangers and with one of the most enigmatic and dangerous militiamen, who may or may not be an ally in the Bureau’s fight against domestic terrorism. But within this increasingly tangled web of deceit, violence, and revenge, everyone’s motives are questioned.

Set amid the stunning landscape of Yellowstone National Park, A Noble Calling is a story of suspense and intrigue about a young man seeking redemption and his true identity. It is the first book in the FBI Yellowstone Adventure series.

Rhona Weaver is a retired swamp and farmland appraiser who had a thirty-five-year career in agricultural real estate and founded a program for at-risk children in Arkansas. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas, a Sunday School teacher, and an avid gardener. Growing up on a cattle farm in the Ozarks gave her a deep appreciation of the outdoors and wildlife. Her ideal vacation spot is a state or national park. Her novel draws on her love of the land and her deep admiration for the men and women in our law enforcement community who truly share a noble calling. Those park rangers, FBI agents, and other first responders are her heroes. Rhona’s husband, Bill Temple, is a retired Special Agent in Charge and Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI; he helped immeasurably with researching the book. Rhona and Bill live in Arkansas on a ridge with a view with three contented rescue cats. A Noble Calling is Rhona’s debut novel and the first in the FBI Yellowstone Adventure series. Please visit her website, http://www.rhonaweaver.com.

My Impressions:

I love a good mystery, and Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver is that. FBI agent Win Tyler has been posted to Yellowstone National Park as punishment for being part of an investigation gone wrong. While others have left the FBI, Win knows he should be happy he still has a career, but Yellowstone is a dead end job. What should have been a road to obscurity turns out to be one of his biggest cases.

Win is a very likable character. He is charming, smart, and determined. He is also not very careful. I found that to be a flaw in his development. Although it allowed progression of the story, I found it a bit unbelievable that he gets caught without a weapon so often. Did it take away from my enjoyment of the book? No. But it did make it a little less credible. Win gets into a lot of interesting situations in which he proves himself resourceful and savvy. He is truly the hero of this story. I did find Win’s spiritual journey very credible. He has past regrets for turning away from God, but through this new chapter in his life he seeks to restore his connection with God. I liked that his family relationships helped to bring him back to faith. There are other characters who are also a big part of breaking the case in question, and I liked how Weaver developed them. The Yellowstone setting was wonderful. I read this book prior to a trip there and found Weaver’s descriptions spot-on. When I drove into Mammoth Hot Springs, I felt like I would see Win strolling the sidewalks along with the tourists. The mystery is puzzling, although the reader knows who the bad guys are early on. You just don’t know how its all going to turn out. The book is long (500+ pages), which is unusual for a mystery. While it did slow down in the middle, at the end I was furiously turning the pages.

Overall, I really liked Noble Calling. I hope Weaver has a few more adventures for Win Tyler. I really would like to tag along. 😉

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2021 Christy Award Finalists

5 Oct

Congratulations to the 2021 Christy Award Finalists! So many books to add to your TBR list! 😉

Contemporary Romance

Just Like Home by Courtney Walsh

Some Bright Someday by Melissa Tagg

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

First Novel

A Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

Rain by Dana McNeely

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

General Fiction

Set The Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

The Way It Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson

Historical

Like Flames in The Night by Connilyn Cossette

Under The Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

Historical Romance

A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Point of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Short Form

A Match Made at Christmas by Courtney Walsh

Joy to The World: Far As The Curse Is Found by Amanda Barratt

Joy to The World: Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Speculative

Extinction Island by Janice Boekhoff

Forsaken Island by Sharon Hinck

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Young Adult

Dust by Kara Swanson

Moral Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann