A Callie Anson Mystery by Kate Charles
Review: Kate Charles' second entry in the Reverend Callie Anson series, Secret Sins, is a series of interrelated vignettes that when viewed as a whole make for an intriguing novel but which barely qualify to be characterized as a mystery.
The primary plot thread and the only one that has a logical beginning and ending is also the most interesting. Alex Hamilton is the young daughter of a successful businessman who attends an exclusive school where she doesn't fit in. She has an antagonistic relationship with her stepmother and though her treasured grandmother lives only a short distance away, Alex isn't allowed to visit with her. She has only a locket by which to remember her mother who is locked away in a hospital in Scotland. When her situation at home becomes intolerable, she leaves on a treacherous trek to find her mother. Callie Anson, the local parish curate who has befriended Alex's grandmother Morag, unwittingly participates in the investigation of Alex's disappearance when she accompanies Morag on a trip to Scotland.
The mystery of Secret Sins is in one of the secondary subplots. A father-to-be is killed one morning while jogging by person or persons unknown. The only item missing is his iPod which the police rapidly conclude the theft of which was the reason he was killed. Astute readers will just as rapidly come to a different, more probable, and in the end correct, conclusion. Callie isn't involved in this subplot which itself seems to have been added for the sole purpose of including a dead body into the book.
The various other plot threads (Callie's relationship with her family, her potential romantic relationship with policeman Marco Lombardi, her relationship with the members of her church and their families, and two or three more) all serve to round out the principal character, but do little else in and of themselves.
Secret Sins is an interesting, well written book populated by appealing, complex characters, but don't expect a whodunit, howdunit, or whydunit—it's none of these.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Secret Sins.
Acknowledgment: Poisoned Pen Press provided an ARC of Secret Sins for this review.
Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), March 2009
ISBN-13: 9781590586020; ISBN-10: 1590586026
Location(s) referenced in Secret Sins: England
— ♦ —
Secret Sins by Kate Charles — A Callie Anson Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: March 2007
List Price: $24.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites