Donna Crow is the author of more than 35 novels and a member of The Arts Centre Group and Sisters in crime. I was not at all disappointed by this fast paced treasure hunt. This is the first book in the Monastery Murders series, Her descriptions of the English and Scottish settings were very impressive.
It is a contemporary novel with a thoroughly modern heroine learning ancient truths to solve the mystery and save her own life. Lovers of both British and church history will be pleased with the author's knowledge of the subject. Felicity Howard is a young American, studying at the college of the Transfiguration in Yorkshire and she is devastated to find her beloved Fr. Dominic bludgeoned to death and her church history lecturer, Fr. Antony, soaked in his blood. There is plenty of suspension, intellectual puzzles, romance, and both modern and ancient clues.
Felicity was quite naive, I found her heading off without thinking of her possible danger and falling in love a bit too quickly but other than that I found the characters in the book to be fairly well drawn.
The book is a fascinating retelling of Saint Cuthbert life and dreams. I was quite interesting in the church history but if you are not, you might find the scripture and quotations to be a bit much. They were necessary to the plot, and I found myself caught up in the saga. I am not a mystery reader usually so I can only speak for myself. I would consider reading the sequel "The Darkly hidden truth" and I think the book fills a nitch in the church library fiction collection that is not present.
Donna Crow is a lifelong Anglophile and history buff, most of her 30 books deal with British Christianity so she knows her material. She lives in Boise Idaho and has often traveled to Britain and Scotland on research trips and pilgrimages. Be prepared to enjoy her writing and the mystery of the unraveling mystery.