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All That Is Secret

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From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle confronting the hidden secrets of class, race, family, and love. Can an amateur detective solve the cold case mystery of her lost father's murder? In the winter of 1923, Professor Annalee Spain--a daring but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college--rec From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle confronting the hidden secrets of class, race, family, and love. Can an amateur detective solve the cold case mystery of her lost father's murder? In the winter of 1923, Professor Annalee Spain--a daring but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college--receives a cryptic telegram calling her home to Denver to solve the mystery of the murder of her beloved but estranged father. For a young Black woman, searching for answers in a city ruled by the KKK could mean real danger. Still, with her literary hero Sherlock Holmes as inspiration, Annalee launches her hunt for clues, attracting two surprising allies: Eddie, a relentless young white boy searching for his missing father, and Jack, a handsome Black pastor who loves nightclub dancing and rides in his sporty car, awakening Annalee's heart to the surprising highs and lows of romantic love. With their help, Annalee follows clues that land her among Denver's powerful elite. But when their sleuthing unravels sinister motives and deep secrets, Annalee confronts the dangerous truths and beliefs that could make her a victim too.


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From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle confronting the hidden secrets of class, race, family, and love. Can an amateur detective solve the cold case mystery of her lost father's murder? In the winter of 1923, Professor Annalee Spain--a daring but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college--rec From award-winning author Patricia Raybon comes a compelling new historical mystery series, a riveting puzzle confronting the hidden secrets of class, race, family, and love. Can an amateur detective solve the cold case mystery of her lost father's murder? In the winter of 1923, Professor Annalee Spain--a daring but overworked theologian at a small Chicago Bible college--receives a cryptic telegram calling her home to Denver to solve the mystery of the murder of her beloved but estranged father. For a young Black woman, searching for answers in a city ruled by the KKK could mean real danger. Still, with her literary hero Sherlock Holmes as inspiration, Annalee launches her hunt for clues, attracting two surprising allies: Eddie, a relentless young white boy searching for his missing father, and Jack, a handsome Black pastor who loves nightclub dancing and rides in his sporty car, awakening Annalee's heart to the surprising highs and lows of romantic love. With their help, Annalee follows clues that land her among Denver's powerful elite. But when their sleuthing unravels sinister motives and deep secrets, Annalee confronts the dangerous truths and beliefs that could make her a victim too.

30 review for All That Is Secret

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jocelyn Green

    This novel kept me turning the pages right to the end! I loved the protagonist, Annalee Spain, and the fact that this mystery didn't sacrifice character development for clues and red herrings. It's a great blend of action and reflection, faith and doubt, puzzles and solutions. I can't wait for more in this series! This novel kept me turning the pages right to the end! I loved the protagonist, Annalee Spain, and the fact that this mystery didn't sacrifice character development for clues and red herrings. It's a great blend of action and reflection, faith and doubt, puzzles and solutions. I can't wait for more in this series!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Landsem

    Patricia Raybon's first mystery in this series grabbed me from the very first page. Annalee is a compelling character faced with a mystery she is determined to solve. The plot twists and surprises kept coming, as did a cast of fascinating supporting characters that I grew to love and hate. The mystery was perfectly laid out to keep me turning pages long past my bedtime. Highly recommended for anyone who loves history, drama, and spiritual weight in a fast-moving story. Patricia Raybon's first mystery in this series grabbed me from the very first page. Annalee is a compelling character faced with a mystery she is determined to solve. The plot twists and surprises kept coming, as did a cast of fascinating supporting characters that I grew to love and hate. The mystery was perfectly laid out to keep me turning pages long past my bedtime. Highly recommended for anyone who loves history, drama, and spiritual weight in a fast-moving story.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kav

    Whoa -- a new mystery series set in one of my favourite eras?! I am so in!!!! And what an unputdownable reading experience All That is Secret was! So many secrets! A knotted, mangled heap of them and Annalee so stubbornly intent on releasing each and every one. At great peril to herself and those close to her. This is definitely not a cozy mystery. It's grittier, uglier and much too serious for that. But I found myself mesmerized right from the chilling prologue through to the heart-racing, gasp- Whoa -- a new mystery series set in one of my favourite eras?! I am so in!!!! And what an unputdownable reading experience All That is Secret was! So many secrets! A knotted, mangled heap of them and Annalee so stubbornly intent on releasing each and every one. At great peril to herself and those close to her. This is definitely not a cozy mystery. It's grittier, uglier and much too serious for that. But I found myself mesmerized right from the chilling prologue through to the heart-racing, gasp-out-loud climax. And I learned a ton about this time and place. I had no idea that Denver of all places was so ensnared by the KKK! The author shows the underbelly of a corrupt city ruled by greedy opportunists who crave power and fortune and are willing to do anything -- even murder -- to achieve their ends. And in waltzes Annalee, connoisseur of all things Sherlock Holmes, ready to live out her very own mystery. Only it isn't as easy as the books make it seem. But Annalee forges on -- a unique combination of grit, impulsiveness and steadfast charm. And she's unstoppable. Raybon has created a heroine who is easy to cheer for and also to lament over because....gah!...Annalee doesn't waste time thinking. Or planning. She's a sleuth in motion, relying on instincts and plain nerve to find the answers she's looking for. She finds them...but uncovers a whole new set of questions. Which is fine by me since this is the first of a new series! She is also a theologian who has lost her connection with God and her journey back to faith is both inspiring and touching. There's a great cast of secondary characters with complicated back stories who help or thwart Annalee's quest. Including one very dapper, toe-curl inducing pastor. Jack is as enchanted as he is exasperated by Annalee and their romance is heading in the right direction by the end of this first Annalee Spain Mystery. An intriguing mystery with enough heart-stopping moments to require a defibrillator on standby.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ginny Yttrup

    I loved this story! Annalee Spain is a smart and savvy protagonist, and one I'll want to revisit in future books. All That is Secret is an engaging page-turner and a wonderful fiction debut. I loved this story! Annalee Spain is a smart and savvy protagonist, and one I'll want to revisit in future books. All That is Secret is an engaging page-turner and a wonderful fiction debut.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eliza Cross

    I'm already a Patricia Raybon fan and love her nonfiction books, so I've been eagerly anticipating her foray into fiction -- and what a stellar debut! All That Is Secret is the riveting story of Professor Annalee Spain's quest to unravel the mystery of her father's murder. I was completely absorbed by page 2 of the Prologue and found the setting and period details of Denver in the late 1920s especially fascinating. Patricia's precise narrative and well-drawn characters make this book a joy to re I'm already a Patricia Raybon fan and love her nonfiction books, so I've been eagerly anticipating her foray into fiction -- and what a stellar debut! All That Is Secret is the riveting story of Professor Annalee Spain's quest to unravel the mystery of her father's murder. I was completely absorbed by page 2 of the Prologue and found the setting and period details of Denver in the late 1920s especially fascinating. Patricia's precise narrative and well-drawn characters make this book a joy to read from start to finish, and I'll be thinking about this story for a long time to come. Compelling and beautifully written - can't wait for book #2!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy Pye

    What a wonderful story! I love how the author wove in the Christian faith so seamlessly. Annalee captivated me as did the time period. I'll write more when I select this book for the Woman Alive book club, which I run. In the meantime, read it! What a wonderful story! I love how the author wove in the Christian faith so seamlessly. Annalee captivated me as did the time period. I'll write more when I select this book for the Woman Alive book club, which I run. In the meantime, read it!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Terese

    This book caught me by surprise, There are some books that really grab you from their first line and this was one of them. From the very first moment, with a dying infant to set the tone, this book was intensely atmospheric and kept a really good pace. It felt like watching a detective show set in the 1920's, Raybon painted the picture very well. The use of Sherlock Holmes quotes at the start of each chapter also helped set the tone. This book is about Annalee Spain, a theology professor whose f This book caught me by surprise, There are some books that really grab you from their first line and this was one of them. From the very first moment, with a dying infant to set the tone, this book was intensely atmospheric and kept a really good pace. It felt like watching a detective show set in the 1920's, Raybon painted the picture very well. The use of Sherlock Holmes quotes at the start of each chapter also helped set the tone. This book is about Annalee Spain, a theology professor whose father is murdered, a crime she is intent to solve with some unorthodox sidekicks she meets on the way, including an orphan and a pastor. I loved Annalee, she felt very organic as a character. She was smart, strong, and independent, but without it being her sole traits, she was also vulnerable, insecure, and scared. She felt relatable, even when she went of as an amateur sleuth, which most of us wouldn't. I also really, really enjoyed that when she is being slightly scolded by her romantic interest for going off on her own, she actually stands up for herself and frankly states that what she wants him to say is that he is impressed by her boldness and willing to listen to her side. Which, yes girl! Annalee is no damsel, even if there is a lesson about caution and not having to do things alone, I still salute that she refuses to swoon into some big strong man's arms and rightly stands her ground. "There are times in a woman's life when things seem as if they should add up but don't. Because they're not supposed to add up. Life will show a woman that, if she's paying attention." I really enjoyed the writing and pacing of this novel, it never felt like it was being too on the nose, there was subtlety and nuance which I really enjoy. What I enjoyed the most was Annalee reflecting on her flawed relationship to her father, it was very moving and heartfelt. The mystery itself is also quite intriguing, more names to keep track of than I thought there would be so I had to pay attention. What I learned from this book is that the 1920's makes for a great atmosphere for a murder mystery, but Lord, let's leave that past in the past, the casual sexism and blatant racism are, naturally, very upsetting and leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I thought Raybon wrote it very well, but I'm quite glad just to read about it, not experiencing it. If there is one minor gripe I have about this book it is that it uses the word theology a it much, as a theology major myself, I do enjoy theological aspects and points made, however the word itself - when used repeatedly - is a bit clunky. However it might be necessary as familiarity with the term may vary. I also wasn't sure the romance was necessary, but if the relationship continues in future books I may change my mind (I mostly mind when there is a new romance in each story) Either way, that was a very small complaint from an otherwise excellent mystery. I tend to get very loyal to crime writers, I'll pick an author and read everything they put out if I enjoy their style, I am intrigued where Annalee might go from here (as this case was very personal), so I'm looking forward to seeing where this series will go. Thank you so much to Tyndale publishers and Netgalley for enabling me to read this ARC. I hope to see it in print soon.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nora St Laurent

    GIVEAWAY ENTER TODAY - https://psalm516.blogspot.com/2021/10... This story and its well-developed characters grabbed my heart and emotions from the start, here’s a peek…” The little baby was four hours old. Still unwashed. Barely crying. But Joe Spain’s old ears recognized the sound. A human infant. Somebody’s mistake, left in the Colorado cold to die.” Oh, my I was hooked, and surprised by this gripping, powerful and emotional opening situation where we meet Annalee’s father. I felt a part of t GIVEAWAY ENTER TODAY - https://psalm516.blogspot.com/2021/10... This story and its well-developed characters grabbed my heart and emotions from the start, here’s a peek…” The little baby was four hours old. Still unwashed. Barely crying. But Joe Spain’s old ears recognized the sound. A human infant. Somebody’s mistake, left in the Colorado cold to die.” Oh, my I was hooked, and surprised by this gripping, powerful and emotional opening situation where we meet Annalee’s father. I felt a part of the investigation as this brave young lady, makes her way to the scene of the crime. I like the way readers are introduced to this determined, educated, and confident woman who isn’t afraid to do the right thing, even if it looks impossible. As the story builds, Annalee faces incredibly difficult situations as she tries to dig up clues leading to her father’s murderer. There is a quote under the chapter number from Sherlock Holmes novels. Chapter one says, “Perhaps I have trained myself to see what others overlook.” Sherlock Holmes, A Case of Identity. I liked reading about this young female sleuth from the 1920s. My heart went out to the orphan boy and the pastor, who were unlikely back for Annalee. I liked how historical events were woven into this murder mystery, which gave the reader a different point of view. I liked what the author says about the main character, “Amid this hostility, my character Annalee Spain found respite in stories of Sherlock Holmes, the iconic fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. All of the Holmes epigraphs featured in All That Is Secret are from stories first published in the Strand…Annalee doesn’t solve crimes like Holmes, famous for creative solutions using deductive reasoning. She affirms his belief, however, that a women’s instincts are valuable crime-fighting skills. So, I enjoyed letting Annalee deploy her instincts to unravel the mystery in this novel. How will she grow as a detective? Her next mystery will be coming soon.” The author includes twelve discussion questions to help create a lively discussion for your book club. This is the authors’ debt novel. I look forward to seeing where the author takes Annalee and what mysteries she will solve. This page-turner that will grab your heart and never let it go. Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher through NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising” Nora St. Laurent TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! The Book Club Network blog www.bookfun.org

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Brewer

    Thank you to Net Galley and Tyndale Publishing for the chance to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own. All That Is Secret is a mystery that takes place in the winter of 1923. Professor Annalee Spain is called to Denver to find out who murdered her estranged father. Along the way she meets Eddie, a young white boy who is looking for his father. She also becomes involved with Jack, a handsome pastor. Eddie and Jack help Annalee uncover some hidden secrets and figure out why Thank you to Net Galley and Tyndale Publishing for the chance to read and review this book. The opinions expressed are my own. All That Is Secret is a mystery that takes place in the winter of 1923. Professor Annalee Spain is called to Denver to find out who murdered her estranged father. Along the way she meets Eddie, a young white boy who is looking for his father. She also becomes involved with Jack, a handsome pastor. Eddie and Jack help Annalee uncover some hidden secrets and figure out why and who murdered her father. I liked this book! It had some action as well as some surprises. I also liked the religious aspect of this story. I highly recommend to all mystery lovers!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Farrow

    Transforming a nonfiction writer’s voice to that of a fiction writer is not an easy task. Yet in All That Is Secret, Patricia Raybon has not only exchanged the journalist’s “who, what, when, where” for “who dunnit,” she has managed it very well. Reading this book is like taking a ride on one of those old wooden rollercoasters. The first few chapters build suspense as they clatter and clank up that first steep hill. Then, when it lets go the twists, turns and plunges keep coming until the very en Transforming a nonfiction writer’s voice to that of a fiction writer is not an easy task. Yet in All That Is Secret, Patricia Raybon has not only exchanged the journalist’s “who, what, when, where” for “who dunnit,” she has managed it very well. Reading this book is like taking a ride on one of those old wooden rollercoasters. The first few chapters build suspense as they clatter and clank up that first steep hill. Then, when it lets go the twists, turns and plunges keep coming until the very end! All That Is Secret is set in Denver, Colorado during the 1920s when the KKK held sway over the city. Annalee Spain, Raybon’s heroine, is an educated black woman who teaches on prayer. Chapter after chapter, she faces what look like insurmountable difficulties while solving her father’s murder. In the end she learns life’s big mysteries are solved one small piece at a time. If you love a fast moving mystery don't miss this one! Thanks Tynedale House and Net Galley for providing an advance copy for me to enjoy.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Norato

    I was drawn in right from the start with the powerful and emotional prologue. All That Is Secret offers a bit of everything - mystery, intrigue, romance, action and danger - which made for a very enjoyable read. I would sum up this novel with a quote from heroine Annalee Spain. "Oh, Mrs. Stallworth, solving a murder is not about crime. It's about finding fear and greed, and well, about lust." I enjoyed Annalee's dialogue with God, her questions, and her search for answers from above. I can imagi I was drawn in right from the start with the powerful and emotional prologue. All That Is Secret offers a bit of everything - mystery, intrigue, romance, action and danger - which made for a very enjoyable read. I would sum up this novel with a quote from heroine Annalee Spain. "Oh, Mrs. Stallworth, solving a murder is not about crime. It's about finding fear and greed, and well, about lust." I enjoyed Annalee's dialogue with God, her questions, and her search for answers from above. I can imagine Annalee's relationship with God will be ongoing throughout the series, as she grows and learns. This book is a great choice to curl up with, whatever your level of spirituality.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susan Peters

    I thoroughly enjoyed All that is Secret by Patricia Raborn. Luke Chapter 8, verse seventeen Older people I knew often paraphrased this elegant verse by saying, “Chile, what’s done in the dark will sho shone in the light.” I am a native of Chicago and I know very little about the history of Colorado. The fact that this mystery that was set in the 1920’s was set in both places was an engaging part of the story. The powerful first chapter was seeded with so many clues that propelled me through this l I thoroughly enjoyed All that is Secret by Patricia Raborn. Luke Chapter 8, verse seventeen Older people I knew often paraphrased this elegant verse by saying, “Chile, what’s done in the dark will sho shone in the light.” I am a native of Chicago and I know very little about the history of Colorado. The fact that this mystery that was set in the 1920’s was set in both places was an engaging part of the story. The powerful first chapter was seeded with so many clues that propelled me through this lovely book. I both loved and empathized with Joe Spain from the beginning, which helped me to see into him and to understand the spirit of the little girl, turned theologian that he raised. I appreciated learning the history of 5 points Colorado. Like many of us who don’t know as much about our history as we should, I always thought that the Klan was predominate in the south and along the winding of the Mississippi river. It was news to me the Colorado in the 20s had a population of Klan membership second only to Indiana, which was the #1 in Klan membership in the United States. I loved her connection with the white orphan that tied them both into an unlikely friendship in which the small white child becomes a critical ally. Her connection to the young pastor was fated and unfolded in a very tender way. The introduction of the Sherlock Holmes quotations also anchored Analise with a legacy detective. I loved this book and will continue reading the mystery revelations of the reluctant detective, Analise Spain. I purchased the book on audible and the performance was also very engaging.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

    "All That Is Secret" is a romantic suspense set in Nov. 1923 in America. I was expecting Annalee to be smart, logical, and a Christian. Nope. She knows the Bible but hasn't prayed in a long time. She's more of a philosopher and doesn't follow any of Sherlock Holmes' methods. She tells herself things like, "Stop trying so hard. Let the answers find their way to you." Or when a child pointed out that Goldilocks didn't break in, Annalee's suddenly sure that her father's mysterious key must unlock s "All That Is Secret" is a romantic suspense set in Nov. 1923 in America. I was expecting Annalee to be smart, logical, and a Christian. Nope. She knows the Bible but hasn't prayed in a long time. She's more of a philosopher and doesn't follow any of Sherlock Holmes' methods. She tells herself things like, "Stop trying so hard. Let the answers find their way to you." Or when a child pointed out that Goldilocks didn't break in, Annalee's suddenly sure that her father's mysterious key must unlock something that's already open. Huh? She's very impulsive, makes foolish choices, and has scattered thoughts. The author used a lot of short, partial (poor grammar) sentences, giving it a poorly edited feel. By 20% into the book, I wasn't even sure why Annalee had quit her good job to follow up on a cryptic message that might have to do with her father's murder. Everything seemed so disjointed that it's hard to follow what's going on or put clues together. Her thinking was hard to follow, especially since coherent ideas about the case were kept out of her thoughts until nearly the end. For example, she told someone she needed a distraction, but we're not told why or what she's looking for until her actions show her intent. I also felt like some things that happened weren't probable for the time period. For example, the pastor knew he was picking up a single woman, and he's a single man, living alone. There's a rooming house within view of his house with rooms available. He didn't arrange a place for her to stay, though, so she ended up sleeping in his bed (with him in another room). Really?! In the end, Annalee basically solved the mystery by happening to hide from the bad guy and overhear his confession. So many details were never explained, especially things that happened on the train. The Christian element was Annalee starting to pray again as she realized she needed God's help. There was no sex or bad language. I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert Intriago

    An African American cowboy is murdered while riding a train in the 1920’s. His daughter, a theology professor in Chicago, decides to investigate the murder. A cute but exceedingly silly and mushy book. Good writing and some good characters, especially Eddie Brown.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Agnes-Crockett

    Synopsis: Invited by her hometown reverend to investigate her father’s untimely death, Bible professor Annalee Spain returns home to begin making inquiries. Inspired by Sherlock Holmes and aided by the reverend (as well as an orphan boy), Annalee goes undercover to research the local suspects. Set in the 1920s, this well-researched historical novel also provides insight into the real-life atrocities of the resurgence of the KKK in Colorado. *I received a complimentary e-ARC of the book through th Synopsis: Invited by her hometown reverend to investigate her father’s untimely death, Bible professor Annalee Spain returns home to begin making inquiries. Inspired by Sherlock Holmes and aided by the reverend (as well as an orphan boy), Annalee goes undercover to research the local suspects. Set in the 1920s, this well-researched historical novel also provides insight into the real-life atrocities of the resurgence of the KKK in Colorado. *I received a complimentary e-ARC of the book through the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Overall Impression I was surprised, and very impressed, to learn that this was Raybon’s debut novel. Wow! The writing is stellar, the plot well-paced and intriguing, the message insightful. Even though I don’t usually gravitate toward historical fiction, I really enjoyed the novel. The Writing Raybon’s writing is excellent. Whereas some books make up for in plot what they lack in writing, Raybon’s storytelling demonstrates skill and ease. I was not surprised to learn that the author previously won awards for her nonfiction memoir. I also found that the book’s endorsements rang true. In my opinion, Raybon’s writing stands out because of its lyrical quality. To my observation, strong writing often demonstrates a poetic quality, and Raybon certainly delivers. I noted at least one passage that read like a poem, with its descriptiveness and symbolism. Raybon also demonstrates a knack for voice, crafting a believable and engaging narrative through Annalee’s eyes. Premise and Genre One of the reasons I was drawn to this book was due to its unique perspective and premise. Historical romance novels, particularly in the Christian fiction genre, are often/usually written from a white perspective, and it was refreshing to read an #OwnVoices novel by a black author with a black protagonist, which acknowledged the presence of members of other races. I also really appreciated the fact that, although the book was set during Prohibition, it was not all about flappers and Speakeasies. Raybon deftly navigates the period setting, seamlessly incorporating historical elements, without falling prey to period cliches. While the details clearly conformed to the time and place of the setting (as detailed in the Author’s Note), historical elements felt effortlessly integrated, rather than self-consciously placed. I didn’t feel like I was being bombarded with reminders that the book was set in a different time period, but the historicity was sharp. While the book was educational, I didn’t feel like I was being forced to learn— and that is something I look for in historical fiction. Romance The romance was both light and tasteful, and I was impressed that the romance plot was a subplot. I would categorize the novel, first, as mystery, then as historical fiction— with a thread of romance. While the romance added to the plotline, it wasn’t the reason I kept reading. Plus, the content was clean 🙂 Content Disclosure One piece of content I would like to note is that there were several instances where the character would use the term “Lord,” in her thoughts. I think this was more colloquialism than prayer. Spiritual Elements Beautiful. This book was full of gems in its exploration of Annalee’s faith and relationship with God. I bookmarked multiple meaningful passages throughout the text. While I recommend some titles more because they are “clean” than because they are uplifting, this was an instance in which I can recommend the book on both grounds. Favorite Quote: “Absolutely nothing random… in God’s doings. Not just letting things unfold, drifting along, hoping to get to where you’re aiming and struggling to go.” Patricia Raybon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Higgins

    A great new mystery series begins! When theologian professor Annalee Spain receives a cryptic telegram hinting at foul play for her estranged father’s death, she takes a hard look at her life in Chicago and decides that she should follow the trail. She’s always been daring, known as the colored professor at the bible college, but in 1923, it doesn’t always pay to be daring. Aboard the train to Denver, trouble manages to find her as someone seems to want to keep her away. As she explores the event A great new mystery series begins! When theologian professor Annalee Spain receives a cryptic telegram hinting at foul play for her estranged father’s death, she takes a hard look at her life in Chicago and decides that she should follow the trail. She’s always been daring, known as the colored professor at the bible college, but in 1923, it doesn’t always pay to be daring. Aboard the train to Denver, trouble manages to find her as someone seems to want to keep her away. As she explores the events related to her father’s death, she finds a trail that leads to more danger mixed with high-ranking members of the KKK. Along with colorful supporting characters, Annalee must charter the skills of her favorite literary detective, Sherlock Holmes, if she hopes to find the truth. I always love getting the start to a new series and mysteries are the best. This one sets the characters paths for future installments and I just love Annalee Spain. She has spunk and is daring, but also has times of self-doubt that made her seem human. There wasn’t a tremendous amount of descriptive scenery set throughout the book, but it did not take way from the story line at all. There were hints and traces of 1923 Denver, but the mystery is what really drove the story. I can’t wait to see how the relationship between Jack and Annalee blossoms in the future and I’m curious about how young Eddie will progress and grow as a character. The book is colorful, exciting, and mysterious; just what anyone needs for these upcoming cold nights. I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becca

    “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Luke 8:17 Set in 1920s Colorado, All That is Secret tells the story of Bible college professor Annalee Spain and her search to find answers following her father’s death. The story begins with a bang and the plot continues to be fast paced through much of the book. There were two things in these pages that felt special or unique to me. First, each cha “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.” Luke 8:17 Set in 1920s Colorado, All That is Secret tells the story of Bible college professor Annalee Spain and her search to find answers following her father’s death. The story begins with a bang and the plot continues to be fast paced through much of the book. There were two things in these pages that felt special or unique to me. First, each chapter begins with a Sherlock Holmes quote as the epigraph, a nod to the original mystery solver and Annalee Spain’s love of his novels. Second, the setting felt fresh to me in the historical fiction genre. The KKK plays a role here, and I learned some surprising (to me) new information about their presence in Colorado. Thank you to Netgalley and Tyndale House Publishers for the advanced review copy. All That is Secret releases October 5 as the first installment of the Annalee Spain mystery series. There is something for everyone here: mystery, romance, faith, identity, and more. Let me know if you pick it up!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Ule

    Patricia Raybon's debut mystery is a fascinating view into a different time and place. She's chosen unusual characters set against an ugly crime in 1923 Denver. I always appreciate reading about times and places new to me and my knowledge. Annalee Spain is a unique sleuth--a Black theologian--who returns to her hometown to solve her father's very strange death. The cast of characters includes a determined orphan boy, a handsome WWI vet/pastor, and a too-large group of Ku Klux Klan members. At the Patricia Raybon's debut mystery is a fascinating view into a different time and place. She's chosen unusual characters set against an ugly crime in 1923 Denver. I always appreciate reading about times and places new to me and my knowledge. Annalee Spain is a unique sleuth--a Black theologian--who returns to her hometown to solve her father's very strange death. The cast of characters includes a determined orphan boy, a handsome WWI vet/pastor, and a too-large group of Ku Klux Klan members. At the story's heart is a determined woman trying to overcome poverty, racism, and the loss of her estranged father. Bewildering events, insight into the cultural and financial divide of the 1920s, and a Sherlock Holmes fan provides an enjoyable mystery. Hopefully with more to come!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deirdre

    Wow, what a wonderful read! The author is so whimsical with her words and the way she describes feelings and thoughts. You will enjoy the main character’s inner dialogue for sure. I’ve never read another book with such a distinct style. The plot of this book is deep and continued to keep my interest, peaking at the final chapters. It is a page turner. This book was inspiring and pulled at the heart strings. I would recommend it to all readers!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rosalyn

    I loved this story! I’m always excited to find new mystery authors, and Patricia Raybon is now on my list of Must Read authors. Annalee is a delightful heroine detective. I just love her! So real and down to earth, and I’m excited that this is just the first in a series about her! The setting is the 1920s, and it is absolutely charming and fun to read a lot. Ms. Raybon did such a good job at bringing those days to life throughout these pages. Annalee is initially living in Chicago, but when she rec I loved this story! I’m always excited to find new mystery authors, and Patricia Raybon is now on my list of Must Read authors. Annalee is a delightful heroine detective. I just love her! So real and down to earth, and I’m excited that this is just the first in a series about her! The setting is the 1920s, and it is absolutely charming and fun to read a lot. Ms. Raybon did such a good job at bringing those days to life throughout these pages. Annalee is initially living in Chicago, but when she receives a mysterious telegram about her fathers death, she heads to Denver. Determined to solve the mystery, she encounters so many bad guys, and stumbles into way more than she bargained for. Disclaimer: I receive complimentary books from various sources, including, publishers, publicists, authors, and/or NetGalley. I am not required to write a positive review, and have not received any compensation. The opinions shared here are my own entirely. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

  21. 4 out of 5

    Chris Jager

    I love finding new mystery writers. Patricia Raybon leads us on an interesting trail of intrigue that draws us into the underside of Denver in the 1920's. The Klan has it largest stronghold in this western state and are ready to use that to their advantage in the next election. Annalee arrives back in town to find out why her father was murdered. What she uncovers is a nest of people willing to do just about anything to make sure the town and election goes their way, even murder. I found myself I love finding new mystery writers. Patricia Raybon leads us on an interesting trail of intrigue that draws us into the underside of Denver in the 1920's. The Klan has it largest stronghold in this western state and are ready to use that to their advantage in the next election. Annalee arrives back in town to find out why her father was murdered. What she uncovers is a nest of people willing to do just about anything to make sure the town and election goes their way, even murder. I found myself lost in not only the mystery of this novel, but also the history of the book. Raybon uncovers a part of Denver's history that few would have known about. It makes for a rich and wonderful read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Professor Annalee Spain travels to her home town of Denver from Chicago. She had received a letter from her father's church asking for help in investigation her father's sudden death. The year is 1923 and the KKK is a very active presence in Denver. The police are not taking the death of a black cowboy seriously. Eddie Brown, Jr., is a stowaway on the train from Chicago. He is a white, preteen orphan and while Annalee tries to care for him, she must be careful not to be seen with him in public. T Professor Annalee Spain travels to her home town of Denver from Chicago. She had received a letter from her father's church asking for help in investigation her father's sudden death. The year is 1923 and the KKK is a very active presence in Denver. The police are not taking the death of a black cowboy seriously. Eddie Brown, Jr., is a stowaway on the train from Chicago. He is a white, preteen orphan and while Annalee tries to care for him, she must be careful not to be seen with him in public. This is a fun mystery, who done it, love story.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    It’s hard to put into words how good this book is. When you read a lot of mystery novels they often start to feel alike. This book steps out of any formula and stands alone. I found myself really invested in the characters, their lives, the mystery itself. I look forward to the next installment.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Floyd

    “Because our gathering this morning, my sisters and brothers, isn’t so much about us —and why we’ve come here —wearing our nice clothes and our fancy hats and our new shoes —” ... “Instead,” Jack added, “we gather in this place —this holy place— to worship and praise our God. So draw in the wanderings of your minds, turning from your concerns and worries, and let’s turn our attentions solely on him.” Yes! YEs! YES! Patricia Raybon has created a great piece of historical fiction that leaves the reader primed “Because our gathering this morning, my sisters and brothers, isn’t so much about us —and why we’ve come here —wearing our nice clothes and our fancy hats and our new shoes —” ... “Instead,” Jack added, “we gather in this place —this holy place— to worship and praise our God. So draw in the wanderings of your minds, turning from your concerns and worries, and let’s turn our attentions solely on him.” Yes! YEs! YES! Patricia Raybon has created a great piece of historical fiction that leaves the reader primed for more volumes in this series. Maybe not from the first line (as per the back cover) but certainly from the first page “readers will be hooked.” From the moment that Joe Spain finds the baby left on the frozen ground on a ranch outside the city of Denver CO, it is clear that somebody is up to no good. A year later, in 1923, Joe’s daughter arrives in Denver to discover the truth about her father’s death. The home of the second largest KKK chapter in the USA, Colorado becomes a hotbed of anti-black activity and politics. It is in this environment that Professor Annalee Spain, Joe’s daughter, finds herself looking for his story. With the help of the help of the local AME Pastor, Rev. Jack Robert Blake, an orphaned white lad, Eddie Brown Jr,, and a retired Denver DA, Colonel Sidney Castle, she would seek the answers she sought. The KKK makes its presence known, but they are not the enemy that Annalee is really fighting. Families and politics are far bigger problems - holding secrets that even the best of people do not want revealed. Intense at times, the book is one the reader will not be able to put down. I spent more than one night staying up to get it read. I give the book five-stars. ______________ This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    Talk about a wonderful discovery! Set in 1923 America, Professor Annalee Spain is a young Black woman who is a theologian at a bible college who knows God from an academic perspective but has gone her own way for awhile. She has a passion for Sherlock Holmes books and methods. She boards with Mrs. Stallworth who is also a very wise friend and a woman of faith. Annalee's estranged father died a year ago but she is very unsettled about it and believes he was murdered. When a telegram arrives askin Talk about a wonderful discovery! Set in 1923 America, Professor Annalee Spain is a young Black woman who is a theologian at a bible college who knows God from an academic perspective but has gone her own way for awhile. She has a passion for Sherlock Holmes books and methods. She boards with Mrs. Stallworth who is also a very wise friend and a woman of faith. Annalee's estranged father died a year ago but she is very unsettled about it and believes he was murdered. When a telegram arrives asking her to return home to Denver to solve the murder, she makes a quick decision. Her adventure becomes far more than she had imagined. En route she meets a young white boy, Eddie, who is seeking his father. They make an unlikely but loyal pair. Annalee tells herself she does not want or need romantic love. But God has other plans. Handsome Black pastor Jack enters her life unexpectedly and has an adventurous side, too. Together, the they and Eddie inveigle and sleuth to seek answers. Layer upon layer of mysteries are revealed and Annalee learns to rely on God and not on herself. We read about deceit, secrets, KKK, class and racial divisions, faith, hope and love. So much to rave about in this book but one of my favourite aspects is the author's unique writing style. What a storyteller she is! I would love to listen to her narrate this book. I am so glad this is the first in a new series! The Sherlock Holmes quotes at the beginning of each chapter add a nice touch. The details and atmosphere are described beautifully. Though sweet at times, the book is also tough and doesn't gloss over gritty details which are true to life. The author also makes it clear (and this is evident in her writing) that she is only using Annalee's love for Sherlock Holmes in her own way, not to create another spin on Holmes himself. As a Holmes fan I appreciate that. Historical Fiction lovers who yearn for something original, this book has your name on it It is a true gem and would be a shame to miss. I cannot wait to read more about the characters I fell in love with. My sincere thank you to Tyndale House Publishers and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this stunning book!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Ulferts

    This intriguing mystery was almost impossible to put down. I can't wait for the next in the series! This intriguing mystery was almost impossible to put down. I can't wait for the next in the series!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Ricks

    Thank you to Tyndale Publishing and Netgalley for advance access to Patricia Raybon’s debut of her historical mystery ‘All That Is Secret’. Raybon has achieved success with this novel, first in a new series. It is fast-paced, honest and raw, with characters I long to know more about. Meet Annalee Spain, a theology professor and amateur sleuth but no amateur at life. Annalee finds herself up to a monumental task of trying to solve the mystery surrounding her father’s death. When this smart protag Thank you to Tyndale Publishing and Netgalley for advance access to Patricia Raybon’s debut of her historical mystery ‘All That Is Secret’. Raybon has achieved success with this novel, first in a new series. It is fast-paced, honest and raw, with characters I long to know more about. Meet Annalee Spain, a theology professor and amateur sleuth but no amateur at life. Annalee finds herself up to a monumental task of trying to solve the mystery surrounding her father’s death. When this smart protagonist travels by rail from Chicago to Denver during the winter of 1929, she encounters twists and turns that puts her life (and lives of others) in constant danger. Raybon’s pearls of Christian wisdom and thought are sprinkled throughout the chapters as Annalee relies on her wit, gut and faith. Patricia Raybon is a talented author with skill and style of turning a phrase. Her use of descriptive and figurative language creates a magnificent story that is authentic and fresh. The character Annalee is honest and displays raw truth. We seldom can admit when our own faith waivers. But Raybon peels away the layers of Annalee’s angst like an onion. Annalee thinks about the past year and admits to herself that she is “ so blasted confounded with God.” Wow! I can certainly identify with this truly multifaceted character. Will amateur sleuth, Annalee Spain solve the murder of her cherished but alienated father? Or instead, will Annalee become another victim of yet another unsolved murder? Looking for a thrilling novel to add to your Must Read List? Allow Patricia Raybon to take you into the past to places where mystery, faith and emotions intersect. The elements in this historical mystery work very well to bring forth a lesson of spiritual awaking.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Robert Justice

    If you enjoyed All THAT IS SECRET, then you'll love my interview with Patricia Raybon on the Crime Writers of Color Podcast! https://www.crimewritersofcolor.com/c... If you enjoyed All THAT IS SECRET, then you'll love my interview with Patricia Raybon on the Crime Writers of Color Podcast! https://www.crimewritersofcolor.com/c...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Drillien

    I’m a fan of mysteries and really liked the idea of a Christian mystery story set in the 1920s. And the prologue was great, ending with such a bang, I was excited to keep going! Sadly, the rest of the book didn’t really hold up to the thrilling start. One of the biggest issues I had was with the protagonist herself. A young, black woman in a nation dominated by white men, Annalee had all the makings of a smart, compassionate, innovative sleuth. Except she told herself, while trying to solve the I’m a fan of mysteries and really liked the idea of a Christian mystery story set in the 1920s. And the prologue was great, ending with such a bang, I was excited to keep going! Sadly, the rest of the book didn’t really hold up to the thrilling start. One of the biggest issues I had was with the protagonist herself. A young, black woman in a nation dominated by white men, Annalee had all the makings of a smart, compassionate, innovative sleuth. Except she told herself, while trying to solve the crime, to stop trying to solve it and let it solve itself…which is exactly what you want from the main character in a murder mystery. There’s a romance sub-plot in this book, too, which fell pretty flat for me. For one thing, there was mention about falling in love after Annalee and Jack only knew each other for a day or two. There was also a cliched contrivance to push the romance forward, which seemed unnecessary. And I think they weren’t nearly as concerned about perceived propriety as they should have been for multiple reasons, not the least of which is the fact that he’s a pastor, living in the church’s parsonage. What tipped the scale to the rating I gave is that some things happened in the story that didn’t really make a lot of sense and weren’t explained. One character shows up somewhere in a fairly bizarre scene, and for a while, I suspected she might simply be a figment of Annalee’s imagination. It’s partially explained, but not nearly enough, in my opinion. This looks to be the beginning of a series of books with this MC, and I really wanted to be right there at the start of it. However, while I’m sure many who enjoy mysteries and Christian fiction will like this book, it definitely isn’t for me. Thank you to Netgalley and Tyndale House Publishers for providing me a copy of this book to review.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Annette

    It seems that I'm rediscovering my old favorites. My love for well written Christian fiction. My love for detectives. My love for historical fiction. When I saw this book on Netgalley I was intrigued right away and knew I had to request it. Not only because it's a Christian Historical Detective, more because the book seemed to have a unique setting. As a white European girl it felt like a piece of history I had to learn more about. This book gives a great impression of the time period. It's not p It seems that I'm rediscovering my old favorites. My love for well written Christian fiction. My love for detectives. My love for historical fiction. When I saw this book on Netgalley I was intrigued right away and knew I had to request it. Not only because it's a Christian Historical Detective, more because the book seemed to have a unique setting. As a white European girl it felt like a piece of history I had to learn more about. This book gives a great impression of the time period. It's not pretty, it's downright scary and really sickening, but Raybon really manages to make me feel that fear, to make me feel how messed up this view on the world is, to make me wonder how people can be like this, even though I know very well that there are still people like this. The book also showed how far spread these ideas were and how much influence these people managed to get. The atmosphere works so well, because our leading lady, Annalee, is an amazing character. She is determined, she's willing to fight for things, she dares to take risks, but she's also vulnerable at times. She doesn't always know exactly what she's doing, she's doubting herself and wondering why she's doing all this, sometimes she pulls people into situations far from safe. Her anger, her fear, her sadness are however so relatable, that it's not hard to understand why she does all this. And while we're learning a lot about the dangers of that time (and this time) and while we're experiencing the world through the eyes of a bright black woman, we're also discovering everything that's going on beyond the surface. Not everything is linked to the case, the murder of her father, but it's quite clear that this is a town filled with secrets, dirty laundry and things people wanna keep buried. I will certainly check out the next books in the series when they release!

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