My review of A Darkly Hidden Truth by Donna Fletcher Crow

Publisher: Monarch Books (December 1, 2011)

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.


Image of Donna Fletcher CrowDonna Fletcher Crow, who lives in Idaho with her husband of 46 years, is the mother of four adult children, grandmother of 10 and author of thirty-some books, mostly novels dealing with British history. Her best known book is the epic historical novel Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England, which was awarded First Place, Historical Fiction, by the National Federation of Press Women.

After almost 10 years in the publishing wilderness Donna is reentering the fray with The Monastery Murders, a series of ecclesiastical mysteries featuring Felicity Howard, an American woman studying for the Anglican priesthood in a monastery in remote Yorkshire. When Felicity's favorite monk is bludgeoned to death she finds herself learning about a lot more than theoretical theology. A Very Private Grave, the first in the series will be released by Monarch Books (Lion Hudson) in May 2010 in the UK and next Sept. in the US by Kregel Books.

She says, "I write historical novels and contemporaries that draw heavily on historical background, because I believe it is vitally important that we not loose touch with our rich historical heritage. Those who have gone before us have worked too hard and suffered too much to preserve the privileges we enjoy for us to forget their stories. Reading of the triumphs of the faithful in ages past can inspire and strengthen us for our own challenging times."

Donna is an enthusiastic gardener, enjoying the challenge of growing an English cottage garden in the Idaho desert. You can visit her garden at
She also enjoys drinking tea with family and friends and hearing from her readers. You can write to her at


  1. Jeremy, thank you for the very thoughtful review. I do hope you have an opportunity to visit some of these places in person. in the meantime you might enjoy seeing pictures of my research trips:
    And you have my full permission to skim any of the bits you want to in any of my books. smile

    1. Thanks for visiting Donna!

      Looking forward to future works from your pen :)


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