A Modern Day Fairy Tale

Faith. Family. Fiction. Fun.

Double the Lies by Patricia Raybon: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

In the cold and dangerous spring of 1924, amateur detective Annalee Spain races the clock to solve the murder of a handsome barnstorming pilot before the clever Black theologian―a target of the ruthless Colorado Klan―is framed for the crime, and before she is lured by the risky flirtations of the victim's dashing twin brother.

As this second installment of Patricia Raybon's critically acclaimed mystery series opens, Annalee Spain offers her fancy lace handkerchief―a gift from her complicated pastor boyfriend, Jack Blake―to a young woman crying in a Denver public library. But later that night, when police find the handkerchief next to the body of the young woman's murdered husband, Annalee becomes the number one suspect, and her panic doubles when she learns that Jack has gone missing.

With just days to solve the murder before the city's Klan-run police frame her for the crime, Annalee finds herself hunting for clues in the Colorado mountain town of Estes Park. She questions the victim's wife and her uncle, a wealthy Denver banker, at their mountain lodge, desperate for leads. Instead, she finds a household full of suspects and even more burning questions. Who keeps threatening her, why can't she find Jack, and will a dangerous flirtation be her undoing? Her answers plumb the depths of the human heart, including her own, exploring long-buried secrets, family lies, even city politics―all of which could cost the young detective her fledgling love . . . and perhaps even her life.

A writer of faith by day and mystery by night, Patricia Raybon is a Christy Award-winning Colorado author, essayist, and novelist who writes daring and exciting novels and books at the intersection of faith and race.

After a notable career in newspaper journalism and journalism education, Patricia turned to fiction with release of a 1920s mystery series about a prim, poor but clever Black theologian—a fan of Sherlock Holmes--who solves murder and crime in Colorado's dangerous Klan era. The series' acclaimed debut, "All That Is Secret: An Annalee Spain Mystery," won the 2022 Christy Award for First Novel and was a Parade Magazine Fall 2021 "Mysteries We Love" selection, a Masterpiece on PBS "Best Mystery Books of 2021" pick "As Recommended by Bestselling Authors," and Stephen Curry's March 2022 personal choice for his Literati Book Club.

"Double the Lies," the second installment in the Annalee Spain Mysteries, finds amateur detective Annalee racing the clock to solve the murder of a White barnstorming pilot before she is framed by Colorado's ruthless Klan for the crime--and before his dashing twin falls head over heels for the Black theologian, testing her already promised heart.

"It's something special," says Steph Curry about the Annalee story. Best-selling authors agree.

- "Readers will be hooked from the first line." Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of "Perennials."

- "Brava, Patricia...It is captivating." Jerry B. Jenkins, New York Times Bestselling Author

- "Not only a good mystery, but a realistic insight into the African American experience in the 1920s in the West." Rhys Bowen, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author

Patricia's personal essays on faith, family and race have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, USA Weekend, Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, the Charles Stanley Ministries In Touch Magazine and featured on National Public Radio's Weekend Edition.

For a deep dive into Patricia's compelling world of faith and fiction, connect with her daring and insightful books—and receive a free download of her "Busy Person's Guide to Hearing God" -- at patriciaraybon.com

Double the Lies is the second book in the  An Annalee Spain Mystery Series. I personally did not realize this before I started reading, and had not read the previous book. I do think it read just fine as a standalone, although I do think I'd have had a better understanding of the character and her backstory had I read the previous book first. 

From the moment I saw the cover, this book drew me in. Sure it had the 1920s glamour that I adore, but beyond that, it had an air of mystery about it too... and let me tell you, I love a good mystery. The 1920s seems like a perfect backdrop for just that, so I really enjoyed this trip back in time. While the history and the mystery certainly kept me captivated (and oh yes, some romance too), I also really enjoyed seeing Annalee's faith and prayer life as well. All of these elements worked together to create a story as beautiful and unique as its cover. 

If you enjoy historical mysteries, this is one worth checking out. 


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