Christianbook.com Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Monarch Books A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2

Monarch Books A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2

What secrets lurk beyond monastery doors? In this sequel to A Very Private Grave, aspiring nun Felicity embarks on a "discernment journey"---only to discover a friend's murdered body. Things get even worse when Felicity and her mother are abducted---but will their predicament teach her more about life and faith than she could learn in the convent?
Average Customer Rating:
4.375 out of 5
4.4
 out of 
5
(8 Reviews) 8
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (8 reviews)
5 stars
4
4 stars
3
3 stars
1
2 stars
0
1 star
0
7 out of 888%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
Customer Reviews for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Review 1 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

a good series

Date:March 1, 2012
Customer Avatar
dani
Location:northern Illinois
Age:55-65
Gender:female
I enjoyed A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow. It really is a great help to read the first book in the series before reading this one even though I did not enjoy the first book quite as much. It gives the background and relationship developing between the two main characters of Felicity and Father Antony which continues into the second book. I enjoyed the medieval church history with this book and thought it was woven in nicely and not as heavily laden as the first book which tended to be a bit heavy on the history side and sometimes hard to follow.
If you are to enjoy this series you must be someone who will enjoy the religious history that is woven throughout the book. There are also other faith issues that are discussed. Felicity and Father Antony will return in another monastery mystery called An Unholy Communion. I will definitely want to continue to read this series.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 2 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Impossible to Put Down!

Date:February 23, 2012
Customer Avatar
tweezle
Location:PA
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Donna Fletcher Crow caught my attention a bit over a year ago with her first of the Monastery Murders series "A Very Private Grave". Her attention to historical detail and intertwining those details with thrilling plots make her books impossible to put down.
In "A Darkly Hidden Truth", Felicity and Fr. Antony are again involved with finding a missing icon that turns into much more than they bargain for. Rich with Church and English history, it captivates the reader not only with the detail, but the wonderful characters, clues, red herrings, and story line will keep the reader turning its pages to see exactly what happens next.
Although this is the second book in the series, one can easily read this book as a stand alone. There is enough back story that the reader shouldn't feel like they are "coming into" a series and really missing out.
Donna Fletcher Crow is one of my favorite authors. To be able to pen a second book in a series as captivating or possibly even more so than the first, illustrates what a talented writer she truly is! Now, just to be able to patiently wait for the third in the series...
I received a copy of this book to read and honestly review from Kregel Publications.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 3 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

A excellent jaunt through history

Date:February 23, 2012
Customer Avatar
OhioSarah
Location:Ohio
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I had the pleasure of reading the first book in this series, A Very Private Grave, and was so excited to be able to read the second book, A Darkly Hidden Truth. From the first page the mystery begins, well maybe not the first page, but it’s definitely fast in coming from the get go. With the missing friend who eventually turns up murdered, some things are eerily reminiscent of the first book, such as jaunts to far flung places in search of answers to the mystery, however that does not detract from this book and actually adds to the feel.
Getting to visit Antony and Felicity again is like visiting some old friends, who are unlikely matched up to help in finding missing icons and eventually solving the murder of their friend. Twists and turns through old priories and visits with different types of convents make the pages come alive as if you’re standing there yourself visiting these places and people.
The book has a lot to offer even those who don’t enjoy a mystery book, as the book is also chock full of history from the Catholic Church, and even those who aren’t Catholic will enjoy the history given in this book. As all histories tend to intertwine at points and we all share a common bond. I found it fascinating how many different sects (not sure if that is a good use of the word) of convents there are – some are active and modern while some still wear habits and are secluded from society. So Donna Fletcher Crow has another hit book on her hands – full of mystery, intrigue, history and even a little romance it has something for everyone.
**I was provided a copy of this book from Kregel Publishing in exchange for my honest review, no other compensation was given.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 4 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

A Great Multi-layered mystery!

Date:February 21, 2012
Customer Avatar
Kimfurd
Location:Alabama
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
“Those high brick walls weren’t there to keep the nuns or monks in. They were there to keep the noise, the rush, the worry out.” (p.133)
Once again, Felicity finds herself in the midst of a murder investigation, well not entirely in the midst of…for she is seeking her true calling in life, and she thinks she should be a nun. The nun-in-charge of the novice program (trying to simplify here) tells Felicity that the process for being assured that your calling is indeed from God and not an attempt to run away from the world’s problems, takes YEARS. And Felicity is one of the most spontaneous decision makers ever invented! In short, patience is not one of her virtues.
So, this story follows Felicity’s search for her direction in life, alongside a murder mystery/theft/romance/family relationship reconciliation…it other words, Donna Fletcher Crow has created a multi-dimensional story line that takes the reader deep into England’s church and the inner-workings of faith, obedience to Christ, and the human heart’s search for meaning and direction. All along the way significant pieces of church history (icons) are being stolen, and the price of keeping the thief hidden is often paid in life’s blood.
As Felicity discovers the will of God for her life, she also uncovers a family relationship that had seemed to always elude her. Toward the end, she also discovers the very well-hidden thief and murderer as well as the real love of her life! There is much to be enjoyed in this story, and if you like a multi-layered mystery, you will enjoy this book immensely!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 5 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Steeped in religious history

Date:February 20, 2012
Customer Avatar
Vera
Location:North Carolina
Age:Over 65
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Donna Fletcher Crow has written a book filled with liturgy, iconography, and medieval history while pursing a modern day mystery dealing with theft, murder, and romance.
The story line follows Fleicity and Anthony who are in the contemplation process of pursing a life in "the church" while finding themselves chasing thieves of church icons. They also are finding that in spite of their possible calling to "the church" they are drawn romantically to one another. This poses very conflicting emotions in the two.
I was not prepared for a book so steeped with high-church Anglican or either Catholic church processes, Church of England history, saints, religious icons, monasteries, and nunneries. Of these the book overflows. The author's immersion of the story with this information and dialogue so overshadowed the modern day story that I did not enjoy the book, even though I am a history buff, as I would normally enjoy a historical novel. However, as Christians we do need to realize and accept the role the early Church in Wales and Britain played in the spread of Christianity to those areas and that from those seeds came protestant, reformed, and other denominations.
It is quite obvious that Donna Crow is very knowledgeable of British and early Church history in Britain as the story is filled with details only an author who is personally knowledgeable of or who has thoroughly researched the material would be able to provide. The story also takes place during Holy Week and is replete with details surrounding the activities in High Anglican Church practices as well as Roman Catholic services.
Ms. Crow delves into the venerated life of Julian of Norwich, an Anchoress, who was an early female mystic in England and a strong proponent of "Our Savior ... is our mother." (page 82) So contrary is this idea of Christ being our mother to my Christian beliefs that it was an instant put off.*
I really did like Felicity and Anthony as characters and felt that they were developed extremely well by Ms. Crow and that they were truly "faithful" in their beliefs and life. Except for my personal exception to the strong Anglican and/or Catholic nature of the book, I think the author has a very well-written and interesting story plot that will appeal to some whereas not to others.
Research: Ms. Crow fully researches each of her books. Here is a link to her website with pictures and information regarding her research for "A Darkly Hidden Truth." http://donnafletchercrow.com/book2.php
Donna Fletcher Crow: Short Biography: Donna Fletcher Crow is author of more than thirty-five novels. She has twice won first place in the Historical Fiction category from the National Association of Press Women, and has also been a finalist for "Best Inspirational Novel" from the Romance Writers of America. She is a member of The Arts Centre Group, and Sisters in Crime. www.donnafletchercrow.com
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publishers for the purpose of a review and was under no obligation to render a positive review.
Publisher: MonarchBooks ISBN: 978-0-85721-050-0
*For further reading on the controversial, in my opinion, Julian of Norwich see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_of_Norwich
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 6 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Suspense joined with deep spiritual truths

Date:February 19, 2012
Customer Avatar
Christianfictionaddiction
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
The second book in The Monastery Murders series sees the return of Felicity and Father Antony in a search for a missing icon. Felicity is about to set out on a mini-retreat to various convents to explore whether God has called her to be a nun, something that seems at odds with her uncertain feelings for Antony, when she discovers the theft of the icon of Our Lady of the Transfiguration. Soon she and Antony become swept up in the search for the icon, despite Antony's efforts to sheild her from the investigation. Their search takes them around the country-side, through the pages of history, and into situations of grave danger as they get ever closer to discovering the truth about the icon and about the future of their own relationship.
A Darkly Hidden Truth is a mystery where twists and turns abound, and where scenes of suspense are joined with discoveries of deep spiritual truths. I enjoyed the unfolding relationship between Felicity and Antony, Felicity with her spunk and determination, and Antony with his feelings of love running up against misunderstandings. I also loved visiting England through the story, both past and future, and wish I could hop on a plane and visit all the landmarks that Felicity and Antony stumbled across during their investigation! Despite my enjoyment of the mystery, the characters, and the spiritual journey that unfolded, I do have to say that I found that some of the historical narratives, while providing rich detail, did slow down the story for me. There were times I was tempted to skim ahead to the next scene of peril. However, the conclusion was both gripping and supremely satisfying and tied everything together well.
I give this book a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars, and recommend it for readers who enjoy a blend of conemptorary mystery with rich historical undertones.
Book provided courtesy of Kregel Book Blog program and Monarch Books for the purposes of this unbiased review.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 7 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

"An Enjoyable Read" – Ann Sorensen

Date:February 19, 2012
Customer Avatar
A Cluttered Mind
Location:Rochester, MN
Age:45-54
Gender:male
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
My wife, Ann, read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. Here, for the purposes of this review, I interview her about A Darkly Hidden Truth:
Who were your favorite characters in this story?
Antony and Felicity, most definitely. Oh, and Felicity’s mother, Cynthia too. I liked her.
Why?
Part of my interest in these two was the relationship they had with each other. They’re in a relationship that is uncertain from the beginning. In fact, as the book begins, they don’t even really know IF they’re in a relationship. The interplay between the two, the questions they ask of themselves and the circumstances they are thrown into make you follow this all the way through to the end of the book. And even then, you’re left hanging about where this couple might end up.
Did you find the plot engaging? How so?
Yes, very much. There’s so much history going on here in this story, it’s no wonder this mystery was so difficult to solve. It almost seemed like Antony and Felicity were caught up in the flow of the historical, trying to gleans clues. I also got caught up in how Felicity, who is trying to find her path in life––whether to become a nun or not––ends up at all these spiritual centers and the plot just wraps itself around her.
Were there characters you didn’t enjoy? Why?
Oh, I didn’t like Cyril, almost from the beginning. Something about him made me feel creepy. And when one of the other key characters in the story gets caught in his web of deceit, I really wanted to jump in and rescue that person.
What did you think of the relationship between Antony and Felicity?
I think until Felicity could even figure out and explore the options for her own life, she really didn’t know what the relationship could be. Sometimes you need to come to a crisis in your life to figure these things out. A crisis happens to her, via Antony, that brings this into very stark focus.
The relationship between Felicity and her mother, Cynthia, is not in the best of shape. As a mother, how did this affect you?
I don’t think Cynthia backed down from the hard questions or accusations her own daughter would ask or make. Cynthia was willing to take the heat and explain herself. She even expresses a measure of regret at how things had been. Cynthia is clearly a very strong woman of clear convictions; when she sets her mind to something, she’s going to do it. And, at times, Felicity realizes she has misjudged her mother regarding some things and there is movement toward forgiveness and reconciliation in the story line.
Did you find yourself wishing you’d read the first book in the series in order to stay up with the plot here?
No, I didn’t need to have read the first one. I know there are connections, but I could read this as a stand alone novel. You may not know much about a previous murder that brought these two together in this book, but that doesn’t affect your reading here.
Would you read the next book in the series?
Oh yes. I would like to read that one too because I want to know what happens next in the relationship between Antony and Felicity. There are far too many open questions in A Darkly Hidden Truth for me to know where it will go next.
On a personal note from this Cluttered Mind: I started to read this book and did not finish. The reasons will go unmentioned here; they aren’t terribly important anyway. However, there were parts of what I did read that I thought quite good, such as the author’s descriptive imagery of place and people. The reader will have no difficulty seeing, with their mind’s eye, the scenes depicted. When author’s do their “homework,” as Crow has clearly done, it shows in their writing, most prominently in the wonderfully detailed descriptiveness.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
Review 8 for A Darkly Hidden Truth, Monastery Murders Series #2
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Mystery at it's best

Date:January 15, 2012
Customer Avatar
Stephanie Whitson
Location:Nebraska
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
This was my first Donna Fletcher Crow book. It will not be my last. Compelling characters and a first rate mystery with faith matters skillfully woven in. Ancient monasteries and abbeys, mysterious symbols and a chase that made me want to go to London. I couldn't put it down.
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.