The Price of Truth – Review

 

How do solving mysteries and restoring vintage quilts go together?  Like needles and thread!  Kidding aside, when Guideposts Books puts together a series, you can bet it will be uplifting, inspirational and always interesting.  Sarah Hart is a vintage quilt restoration expert, and an avid quilter herself, who tends to get tangled up in one mystery after another.  In “The Price of Truth”, Sarah’s in Boston with her daughter-in-law, Maggie, an antique dealer, for an antique auction.  The Maple Hill Historical Society has asked Sarah to bid on a quilt they believe was owned by one of the town’s founders.  But there’s something fishy going on with the quilts at this auction.  Sarah has to find out if the desired quilt is even authentic, then discover why other quilts are selling for way above their value, before it goes up for bid.  Meanwhile, an elusive stranger keeps having secret meetings with the auction manager and Maggie’s best friend is having marital problems.  Read on as Sarah uncovers the mysteries of the quilts, helps Maggie’s friend rethink her divorce plans and saves an auction house’s reputation.

The Price of Truth is #20 in the Patchwork Mysteries Series from Guideposts Books.

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The Third Secret, by Steve Berry

I enjoy Steve Berry’s books.  He is definitely a gifted historical/mystery/suspense writer.  I don’t even mind his frequent digs at the Catholic Church.  Heaven know, we deserve some of it.  But it goes way too far in “The Third Secret”, based on the mysterious Third Secret of Fatima.

Whether you believe in the apparitions of Mary the Mother of Jesus at Lourdes, Fatima, La Salette and Medjugorje or not, to even concieve of the woman who carried our Savior in her womb would even suggest that abortion was a woman’s choice (“know that your body is your own”) is repulsive.  Mary’s entire story (the biblical one) is about the sanctity of life.  Without Divine intervention, Mary’s life would have been seriously hampered by the birth of this baby.  In fact, she should have been stoned to death when the pregnancy was discovered.  Even Mr. Berry’s statement in the author’s notes, that the “second half” of the Third Secret, upon which the book centers, is completely a product of his imagination, does not redeem this novel in my eyes.

My advice, don’t even waste your time.  Cotton Malone doesn’t even appear in this book, and though it does give structure to the character of Colin Michener, who finally reappears in the Venetian Betrayal, you won’t be missing out on anything  by skipping “The Third Secret”.

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Book Club

A book club is an interesting place.  I joined because I love to read and am writing a book.  I thought it would help to discuss books with fellow readers and learn their likes and dislikes.  It is certainly an ear opener!  For instance, the general consensus seems to mandate the “obligatory sex scene” in a book, whereas I feel my imagination needs no assistance in that particular area.  However, obviously it sells mainstream books, because it tends to be in most of them.  Thus, it should come as no surprise that I frequently find I have greatly enjoyed a book that the others disapproved of and vice versa.

Case in point:  a couple of months ago, our book was “Mutant Message Down Under” by Marlo Morgan.  It is
a story about an American doctor who goes on walkabout in the Australian Outback with a group of Aborigines.  The sufferings she endures help the tribe to teach her their spiritual principals of interrelatedness, divine creation, unconditional love, and being non-judgmental. I felt that it presented a powerful reminder of spritual principals we should all be living.  Most of the others discounted the whole thing because “obviously she didn’t learn anything from the experience because she still wears makeup and colors her hair”.  Huh?  Not everyone is called to be a St. Francis of Assisi or Mother Theresa.  We are all called to proclaim the Good News in our particular circumstances in life.

Then there are the ever-popular vampire books currently circulating as the “Twilight” series.  Many of my book club confreres rave about them, but vampires simply do not appeal to me.  Now give me a good historical suspense novel.  I have the new Amelia Peabody mystery on hold:  “A River in the Sky”.  After seeing the new “Sherlock Holmes” movie, I reread the books in a whole new light, with new enjoyment.  And my friend from the Baptist church turned me on to Terri Blackstock’s novels – who knew such wonderful work was being produced by Christian publishing houses?  I am thrilled.

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I Resolve for 2010…

I love the time between Christmas and New Years. For me it has always been a kind of quiet, contemplative time. A time to sit in front of the fire with a much anticipated new book. A time to reflect on the past year and reevaluate goals for the new one.

Now that the school supplies have been broken in and well used, it’s a time to break open a crisp new calendar, planner and journal. The unmarked pages lie full of hope and promise. Perhaps a colorful new pen and some stickers and stamps with which to decorate the record of a life. I know it will be another year where the pages of the calendar turn too quickly, the jobs in the planner will never get all crossed off, and the journal may not be written in as often as I’d like. But just for these few nights, I will reflect, and plan, and look forward joyfully to a fresh start.

I will try to be more realistic with my goals, flexible with my plans, more disciplined in my work.

I will worry less and pray more.

I will smile until I feel like smiling.

I will try a little harder to see and serve Jesus, especially in those I don’t like.

I will sacrifice some of my excess and even, sometimes, some of my necessities, so that someone else may have basic comforts of food, shelter,clothing or education.

I will try to remember to make the best of every situation I find myself in, and if possible, to have fun with it. Even if others are determined that I should not.

I will play music, and read books, and walk in the woods.

I will share all these things with my children.

I will try to leave my little corner of the world a better place.

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