Crisis at the Cathedral

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Jun 2018

Member Reviews

Dorothy Martin fans will rejoice, once again, with this new story in the long-running series.  This time the author brings in the growing problems of religious intolerance and terrorism. It is an interesting twist to the usual murder plot. Readers will appreciate the thoughtfulness and domestic touches that are a Dams' specialty.
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Even if I'm a not a fan of international intrigue I found this book entertaining and fun to read.
I really like the settings, the heroine and the cast of human and animal characters.
I would like to read one more mystery oriented but this one was good.
Many thanks to Severn House and Netgalley for this ARC
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I always enjoy a visit with Dorothy Martin and her husband, Alan Nesbitt, a retired Chief Constable. Their life in the charming cathedral town of Sherebury is perfect for retirement. Dorothy is an American who has found a wonderful life with Alan, her second husband but she has one problem...homicide seems to find her far too often. In this, the 20th entry in this delightful series, she and Alan meet an Iraqi couple and their two children who are staying at the Inn. The owners of the Inn are friends of Dorothy and Alan and they ask them to show the family around the cathedral, not wanting to have anything untoward happen that would make them feel unwelcome. Given the current world religious tensions, anything might happen. Then something does - the couple fail to appear at the party they were going to host at the Inn. Their two children are there but what has happened to their parents? Were they kidnapped or is something much more sinister going on? Because Alan is a retired police officer, he connects with the police and MI5 and the search is on for the missing couple. The theme of religious tolerance vs intolerance and the possibility of terrorism is, of course, timely, sad to say. Maybe that is the reason I couldn't give it a 5th star. I may have needed something to read that was cozier.  
I have read all 20 in the series and, as with any long running favorite series, some entries are more enjoyable than others. The pace of this story was a bit slow and the subject matter never completely engaged me. But, no matter what the mystery, I never fail to enjoy spending time with Dorothy, Alan, their two cats and sweet dog. I would love to have a house and garden like her's, especially her garden.
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Crisis In The Cathedral is the twentieth book in the Dorothy Martin Mystery series.

I always enjoy visiting with Dorothy Martin and her husband, Chief Constable Alan Nesbitt, Ret, in their quaint little town of Sherebury, England and Crisis In The Cathedral was no exception.

Dorothy and Alan are introduced to a young Muslim couple and their two children who are visiting the Sherebury Cathedral.  Dorothy invites the family to have tea at her favorite tea shop.  Mr. Ahmad shares that being devout Muslims, they believe in peace and in the teaching their children about different cultures around the world.  

Dorothy and Alan have procured tickets for a music concert at the cathedral and have arranged for friends to watch the Ahmad’s children.  After the concert, Dorothy and Alan and friends from church were to meet at the Rose and Crown where the Ahmad’s had hired a private room to host a thank-you party.  When the concert ended Dorothy and Alan waited around for the Ahmad’s but they never showed.  When they arrived, they still hadn’t arrived and the children were still there.  When Alan discovers that the Ahmad’s car is gone, everyone begins to worry about their safety, fearing that they might have been abducted.  

Alan calls his former assistant, Derek Morrison, looking for help from Scotland Yard.  Without knowing if the Ahmad’s have been kidnapped or might be involved in a terrorist threat, M15 is also called in to help look for the Ahmad’s.  In the meantime, Dorothy begins to investigate around Sherebury, particularly a church that preaches against anyone who is not white and English.

Jeanne Dams provides the reader with a well-plotted and exciting story, with believable characters.

I never tire of reading this series and am looking forward to the next book in the Dorothy Martin series.
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Enjoyed Dorothy's latest outing in the series. Her American in England stories are always appealing.
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I have read all 19 of the Dorothy Martin mysteries from Jeanne Dams and was happy to receive a digital ARC for the new book in the series--Crisis at the Cathedral.

I first met Dorothy Martin--an American living in Shrewsbury, England--in The Body in the Transept and Trouble in the Town Hall back in the 1990s, but then life intervened and didn't have much time for reading.  I re-discovered the series recently through my public library's Hoopla app and spent several hours enjoying her investigations.  As she often says, she doesn't look for trouble but often seems to end up in the thick of things anyway.

Much to my surprise, I was unable to get into the new book.  I read the first few chapters, and it took me time to pick the book back up.  The story centers around a missing Muslim couple who disappeared suddenly from Shrewsbury, living their children asleep at the local inn.  The resulting to-and-fro from Shrewsbury to London while Dorothy and crew search was drawn-out and didn't do much to move the story forward, and the final third of the book strained credibility.

I'm hoping that this is an anomaly and that Dorothy returns to form in her next outing.
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Crisis at the Cathedral is a good book, though slightly out of kilter with the rest of the series since it features so much international intrigue. I know terrorism is a fact of modern life, but I’m a bit weary of it an entertainment. That said, Jeanne M Dams produces a great story and we have most of our beloved characters back, including the cats. I enjoyed having many scenes set in the cathedral again.
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3.5 Stars which rounds up to 4. Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC.
 I must say that while it was fun to "catch up" with Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan Nesbitt, I enjoyed several much earlier books much better. It seemed to me the characters were livelier and the plots less contrived.

However, that could be me also as my tastes vary and has been a long time. It is a well written book and the premise as well as the mystery was fine. The author had also done some fine research on the type of crime or crimes that were involved, very current type of hate crimes. 

Dorothy, Alan and their friends grew very fond of the Ahmad family, especially the children and their commitment to work peace. Alan's former police compatriots in the MI5, when called in to help with their disappearances, did not completely share their feelings but were also every helpful.

Eventually all ended well with all concerned, much to everyone's relief.
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I would like to thank Severn House and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  When the Ahmad family comes to Sherebury, it is Dorothy Martin and her husband Alan Nesbitt who take them under their wing to show them the cathedral and introduce them to the pastor.  Sherebury is generally a peaceful village where neighbors know each other and help when they can.  There is a radical element, however, that is set against any influx of foreigners.  Husain and his wife are Muslims and strong believers in peaceful co-existence.  As such, they have been in touch with the local imam to talk to his congregation and spread peace.

The local music festival ends with a concert at the cathedral and Dorothy arranged tickets for Humas and his wife.  Leaving their two children in the hands of Dorothy’s friends, they fail to return after the concert, raising fears for their safety.  Alan, a retired police inspector, makes contact with a friend who is a senior DI and an investigation begins.

In London there are massive crowds to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday.  When the Ahmad’s are traced to London, MI5 is called in.  Although Dorothy and Alan befriended the Ahmads, they do not really know them all that well.  Are they there to truly spread peace or for an act of terror?  Dorothy believes that the couple are in hiding not only from the radical group in Sherebury but also from radical Islamics who would stop them on their mission of peace.

Jeanne Dams has written a story that looks at a problem that is prevalent not only in peaceful Sherebury, but throughout society - intolerance.  It is not only the story of the Ahmad family but also the story of families in every country.  While the turmoil is evident in protesting crowds, there is also the quiet village element in Sherebury that provides a place for Dorothy to clear her head and consider how best they can help to save the Ahmad’s and re-unite the family.

Louise Penny provides the beautiful Three Pines in her novels.  Jessica Fletcher has Cabot Cove.  Jeanne Dams has provided Sherebury and once you visit you will definitely want to return to find what Dorothy and Alan are up to next.
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Terrorism is about to strike in the UK

Dorothy Martin, originally from Indiana, lived in the UK for many years. Her friends, Greta and Peter looked after her after her first husband’s death. She shared a 17th-century house with the retired chief constable, Alan Nesbitt, her second husband. She solved several previous cases as a sleuth.

One June evening, a wealthy Iraqi couple, Mr and Mrs Ahmad, were supposed to host the party in the pub. Dorothy and Alan went there from the concert in Sherebury Cathedral. The hosts did not turn up, but their children were found asleep upstairs. Dorothy realised that the couple disappeared when their Bentley was not in the car park.

The couple was worried about the young man, who could be radicalised by a rogue Imam in London. The terrorists were planning to create chaos at the Trooping the Colour. 

Dorothy and Alan contacted MI5 and asked them to track down the terrorists before it would be too late.

This story did not bring much excitement. However, I can recommend this book as it is well-written.


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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We always buy the Dorothy Martin series for our library. Jeanne M. Dams writes compelling well-plotted mysteries.
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