Saturday, June 15, 2013

Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard - REVIEWED

About the Book: (from Revell Publishing)
Kate knows the truth is out there--but if she's right, that means a killer is out there too.
Research scientists Kate Adams and Daisy Leacock were on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy was suddenly found dead. Kate knows that her mentor's death wasn't suicide or a careless accident--and she's determined to do whatever it takes to unearth the truth about what happened to the woman who changed her life.

Former FBI agent Tom Parker is finding it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gave him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom's just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation into her friend's death, he knows his job is at stake. But despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate may have something to hide.

As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?

My Thoughts:
“Is your faith in who God is, or who you thought Daisy was?”  (p 319)

By the time Kate has this question asked of her, she is truly at a point of indecision concerning her pursuit of answers in the wake of her mentor and best friend’s death.  From the very first pages of Sandra Orchard’s novel, Deadly Devotion, Kate is convinced that her friend was murdered and not the victim of suicide as the news headlines trumpet.  Convincing the local police to re-open the case is only one of many challenges she must face!! 

I’ve never read Sandra Orchard’s work, and I must say I was thrilled to find a new suspense author to add to my collection!  Orchard weaves many aspects of the Port Aster community together to create an increasingly taut story line!  Although Port Aster is a small, close-knit community, Orchard allows her characters and circumstances surrounding Daisy’s death to cast doubt in every conceivable direction.  I think that all of the main characters had some shadow fall across their path at some point in this story.  You even begin to doubt the bad guy is really the bad guy even when a partial confession is made!! I know I was relieved to finally know beyond a doubt when justice was being served.  (well, at least until I read the first chapter of the next novel at the end!! Arggggghhhh!!!)

Aside from the stellar suspense build, I really grew to like the characters in this novel.  I admired Kate’s tenacity.  I loved Keith and Tom’s brokenness and the way they struggled to reconnect in the wake of their own personal tragedy.  I even grew to tolerate Hank’s crustiness!  The small town feel is complete with coffee shops with cool names, nosey neighbors and a thread of faith that appears during  honest moments between the characters as their lives grow more closely knit together.    And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the brilliant way that the author uses herbal remedies as the center of this murder mystery!!  She even gives us the recipe for the “deadly” tea!!!

This was a very satisfying and suspenseful read that I am HAPPY to recommend!!

You can go HERE to see additional book features!

About the Author:
Sandra Orchard is an active member in American Christian Fiction Writers, The Word Guild, Romance Writers of America, and a local writing group. She recently participated in the Writers' Police Academy for hands-on training and simulations at a police training facility. She is the author of Shades of TruthCritical Condition, and Deep Cover, which won the Canadian Christian Writing Award for romance in June 2012 and was recognized as one of the top five novels of the year by Family Fictionmagazine. Sandra has also received a Daphne DuMaurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense in both the inspirational category and for best score overall. She lives in Niagara, Ontario, Canada. To find out more, please visit

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