Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage

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Shadows of Lancaster County
by Mindy Starns Clark

Reviewed by Carol Kurtz Darlington

"Heart warming and full of surprises, this intriguing book would make the perfect Hallmark movie."

Anna has a new identity, a new life in California. She's done her best to leave the painful events of her past in Lancaster, PA behind her. But when those events manage to follow her and put her in danger, she is forced to return and try to find her brother, who she hopes isn't already dead.

She is surprised to find all the same strong feelings in her heart when she comes face to face with Reed Thornton again, as well as the same concerns about his character. Can he help her figure out her brother's cryptic message, or is he the one trying to kill him? With the nosy paparazzi constantly on her heels, she finds refuge in the home of the Amish family she hurt so many years ago.

Add to this story a geneological mystery and a treasure hunt, and you've got a suspense-meets-medical-thriller-meets-love-story to keep you guessing. Although it's a stand alone mystery, there is enough background given to read like a sequel. Clark has succeeded at the tricky task of telling a story in first person point of view without the reader even noticing, with accurate descriptions of Philadelphia and Lancaster that lend credibility to her tale.

The Amish community is enigmatic to many, but Mindy Starns Clark affectionately portrays them, without sugar coating their innocence. We marvel at their ability to forgive, while we puzzle at the inconsistencies we might see in their doctrine. Both their charm and legalism are dealt with in a non-judgmental way without weighing down the plot.

There is enough spiritual take away to inspire us without overwhelming the plot, and enough romance to go around, even if the loose ends tie up a little too neatly in the conclusion. Heart warming and full of surprises, this intriguing book would make the perfect Hallmark movie.

Carol Kurtz Darlington is a certified personal trainer and a certified group fitness instructor who works with people who want to lose weight as well as those who just want to enjoy better health. She enjoys empowering and encouraging others to reach their health and fitness goals, feel better about themselves in the process, and enjoy more energy to stay active in all areas of their lives. She is the founder of Totally Fit With Carol, a Christian weight loss website featuring workout videos, health tips, exercise advice, and more. She loves her morning cappuccino and her beloved grand-dog. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and haunting Starbucks.