Sunday, June 2, 2024

Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon: Book Review

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

On a lovely June night in 1924, amateur detective Annalee Spain is mingling bravely at a high-class political fundraiser in the lush backyard garden of famed political fixer Cooper Coates, one of the wealthiest men in Denver's Black neighborhood of Five Points. When Coates’s young daughter discovers a pretty stranger dead in her father’s garden shed, Annalee is thrust onto the baffling new case just as she’s reeling from another recent discovery—a handwritten letter, found buried in her own garden, that reveals the identity of her mother.

Not ready to face the truth about her hidden past, Annalee throws herself into solving the mystery of the young woman’s demise. With the help of her pastor boyfriend Jack Blake, her orphaned buddy Eddie, and her trustworthy church friends, Annalee follows the clues to three seemingly disconnected settings—a traveling carnival set up downtown, a Black civic club, and a prestigious white seminary on the outskirts of Denver. Intriguing advice also comes from a famous, real-life Denver visitor. But is Annalee on the right track or just running in circles, fleeing from conflicts racing in her heart?

In a taut, heart-gripping narrative driven by secrets, romance, and lies, Annalee must unravel a case with higher stakes than she imagined—one where answers about a lovely woman's death point to truths and tensions still throbbing today.

  • A clean historical mystery featuring an amateur female detective, from the Christy Award–winning author of All That Is Secret
  • Third installment in the Annalee Spain series
  • Includes discussion questions for book groups

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. Her devotional writing appears in Our Daily Bread where she's a regular contributor. She also authors the Annalee Spain Mysteries, an exciting "history mystery" featuring a young Black theologian—a fan of Sherlock Holmes—who solves crime and consequence during Colorado's dangerous 1920s Klan years.

- "Readers will be hooked from the first line." Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of "Perennials" on "All That Is Secret: An Annalee Spain Mystery."

- "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

Truth Be Told is the third book in the Annalee Spain Mystery series. I have not personally read all the previous books in the series, and I found it read just fine as a standalone. There are definitely moments in which I could tell that this was part of a series- brief mentions of past events or her relationship with Jack- but not in any way that made me feel like I was missing anything crucial to the story. It did take me a little bit to sort out characters in the beginning, so that may have been different had I read the previous books, but it wasn't a huge issue. 

This was such a wonderfully written book. The author did a great job of sending readers to 1920s Denver. You could definitely tell the author had not only done her research, but really cared about the subjects too. Taking on race relations of the time, it was definitely a bit of an emotionally tough read at points... I found myself getting teary eyed on a few occasions and one moment in particular was particularly difficult to read... but I do think that these are stories that need to be told, pretty or not and I definitely found myself learning a lot. The mystery was great and kept me guessing throughout. I definitely find myself wanting to read more books in the series after this one! 

If you're looking for a wonderful Christian historical mystery, don't miss this one. 

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