Monday, September 9, 2019

Review: Summer of Suspense: Sixteen Tales By Some of Christian Fiction’s Most Popular Mystery and Suspense Authors

About the Book
Long Days. Hot Nights. Deadly Secrets.

Christian Suspense Anthology!

Start your summer off right with 16 gripping and never-before published tales of Christian suspense from today's most popular mystery and suspense authors.

Join Mary Alford, Christy Barritt, Patricia Bradley, Vannetta Chapman, Mary Ellis, Debby Giusti, Ruth Hartzler, Shaen Layle, Amy Lillard, Ruth Logan Herne, Loree Lough, Elizabeth Ludwig, Nancy Mehl, Serena B. Miller, Samantha Price, Alana Terry on a dangerous journey filled with mystery, suspense, and faith that that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end. 

My Thoughts

Summer of Suspense is a fantastic collection of short stories from sixteen different authors. It featured some old favorites and many who were new to me, quite a few of which are now going on my wishlist. A few of my absolute favorites were Afterglow by Christy Barritt, Fading into the Night by Vannetta Chapman, On the Run by Debby Guisti, and Murder in Sugarcreek by Serena B. Miller. But, really, I enjoyed the vast majority of the stories. There were a few that weren't really my cup of tea, but I'm sure others will enjoy them.

Storm Warnings by Mary Alford
4 Stars

Framed for the deaths of her teammates and sought out as one of the most wanted terrorists, Casey Montgomery has hidden herself away in the remote mountains of Alaska. Trying to find a way to clear her name, she finally feels safe for the first time in awhile. Until she finds a set of footprints that aren't hers close to her cabin. Have the people who framed her finally found her? Will she make it out alive?

There's a lot of action and excitement packed into this short story. It was great! It was my first time reading anything by Mary Alford and I'm excited to read more from her.

Afterglow (Lantern Beach Escape, Book One) by Christy Barritt
5 Stars

In Lantern Beach for their honeymoon, Grayson finds out that his new wife just might be a murderer. The Rachel he knows would never be capable of murder, but apparently there's secrets she doesn't want shared. As an investigative reporter, he vows to get to the bottom of it all and find out the truth about his wife.

Afterglow is another compelling and impossible to put down story from Christy Barritt. It completely held my attention and even after finishing it, I'm still thinking about it. I can't forget to mention the cameos from a couple of original Lantern Beach characters. Loved seeing them pop up.

Code Pink – Stolen Baby by Patricia Bradley
3.5 Stars

Holly Jordan's newborn son was kidnapped right after the devastating car wreck that killed her husband. Five years later, she thinks she's found a way to locate her son. Will she finally be reunited with him? Or is this just another fruitless search that'll end in more heartbreak?

The truly compelling prologue had me completely invested and the suspense kept me glued to the pages. Everything happened a bit too fast, but I guess that's to be expected in a story this short. Though I wish it had been a little bit longer, I did have a good time reading it and am interested in reading other books from this author.

Fading into the Night by Vannetta Chapman
5 Stars

A cyber terrorist is planning a devastating attack and Nora Brooks is sent to stop him. She thinks she's found him at an Amish farm in Shipshewana. But who she actually finds is the farm owner Benjamin Lapp. He agrees to help her find the madman before the terrorist's plan can go into effect.

I don't read much Amish fiction, but maybe I should. This was so good! One of my favorites in the collection. There was a great sense of urgency from beginning to end that had me speeding through the pages.

Missing by Mary Ellis
3 Stars

Lily Sellers is back home in Plum Creek, Ohio after graduating from college. She's hoping to reconnect with some of her Amish friends, but finds out a few of the women have abruptly left town. They left notes saying they'd be back someday, but Lily's sure something sinister is going on. And she intends to find out with the help of FBI Agent Marc Harris.

The mystery was solid and held my interest, but wrapped up way too quickly. It felt very abrupt.

On the Run by Debby Giusti
5 Stars

Annalise Bonner is staying at her sister's house when her niece's baby monitor picks up a signal from the next door neighbor's system. What she hears, and then sees when she looks out the window, chills her, sending her on a mad dash run for her life.

This story grabbed me and didn't let go until the exciting conclusion. Loved the characters, the chase, pretty much everything about it. What a stellar suspense. I want more!

Wedding Day Revenge by Rachel J. Good
4 Stars

It's almost Benuel's wedding day and someone is threatening his bride-to-be, Mari. But the person they suspect is in jail, safely locked up behind bars. Or is she?

I really enjoyed this Amish story. The suspense and danger kept building and I became more and more absorbed as the minutes ticked ever closer to the wedding.

Inscription (Relic Hunters Taskforce Prequel) by Ruth Hartzler
4 Stars

College professor, and Latin and Greek scholar, Dr. Abigail Spencer finds herself in a precarious situation when dangerous men force her to translate an ancient Greek tablet and help them find some priceless Biblical artifacts.

What an intriguing premise! It was such an exciting adventure. I didn't want it to end! I can't wait to check out the rest of the series!

Death in Earthen Vessels by Shaen Layle
4 Stars

John Hollingsworth had to retire from the police force after his stroke and is now staying with his sister at her lakeside retreat. He has suspicions that something nefarious is going on and intends to investigate.

The mystery was a little slow to get started, but I didn't mind it. There was a sense of impending danger that kept building to the shocking conclusion. John was easy to like and I wouldn't mind reading more about him. I'll be adding this author to my watchlist.

The Secret Life of Emma Evans by Loree Lough
2.5 Stars

Emma Evans was found dead in her bathtub. She made many enemies, so the suspect list was long. But her death was ruled a suicide. Her ex-fiance Brady Muir is positive that's not true and he intends to prove it.

This story was okay. Not my favorite, but not my least favorite either. Spoilers are preventing me from explaining the issues I had with it.

Cold Creek Manor by Elizabeth Ludwig
4 Stars

Peyton thought she'd run far enough away that her past wouldn't catch up to her. But it's finally found her and danger is closing in quick.

I sped through this story. I wish it had been slightly longer, but overall, it was really good.

Chasing Shadows by Nancy Mehl
4.5 Stars

Forced into a vacation, FBI Special Agent Kaely Quinn is relaxing at a remote cabin when she's awakened in the middle of the night by a bloodcurdling scream. Now her time off has just turned into a working vacation as she tries to figure out what's going on.

I've enjoyed the Kaely Quinn series, so far, and was excited to read this short story. It was great! I thought I had it figured out, but then there was a curveball that completely shot my theory down. What a great twist.

Murder in Sugarcreek (An Accidental Adventure of Doreen Sizemore) by Serena B. Miller
5 Stars

This was the shortest story in the collection and the funniest. It had a cozy mystery-vibe to it which was a nice change of pace. I adored Doreen. She's a spunky 70-something year old lady who gets roped into accompanying her cousin Nola Belle into meeting her new out-of-state boyfriend. Along the way she stumbles upon a mystery.

This had me literally laughing out loud. Doreen is something else! What a hoot! I haven't laughed that hard or that much in a long time. It was just what I needed. I'm definitely gonna be checking out the other books featuring Doreen.

Breakout (Gretel Koch Jewel Thief: Prequel) by Samantha Price
4.5 Stars

Infamous jewel thief Gretel Koch has landed herself in prison. All she can think about is escaping, retrieving the jewels, and getting revenge on her ex-boyfriend who turned on her and is testifying against her.

This story was one of my most highly anticipated in this collection and it did not disappoint. It's fast paced and kept me guessing. It's a great prequel and now I'm even more excited for the series!

Terror in the Cabin by Alana Terry
2 Stars

So I was expecting a story at a remote cabin in the woods, but it actually takes place in a completely different kind of cabin. It was a unique setting that added a lot of tension and anxiety. Willow's the main character and she tells the story as if she's having a conversation with the reader. That was a cool idea, though she was a bit off-putting, at times. There were a couple of times I thought about not finishing it, but I'm glad I did. The second half of the story definitely picked up the pace and I enjoyed it much more than the first part.

4 Stars


  1. I hardly ever read short story collections. They're just not my favorite thing to read. But I'm glad you liked so many of the stories in this one! :)

    1. These sort of collections are usually hit or miss for me, but I'm so glad this one turned out to be one of the good ones! Lots of favorite authors and new ones to add to my list. :)