Cover Image: Double the Lies

Double the Lies

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This novel was a vast improvement from the first novel in the series. Annalee has grown into a strong competent character. I also liked the mystery better. There were many twists and turns that made it into an entertaining novel. Thus, I really like how Annalee is different from other protagonists. I also liked how it discussed racial tensions in that era. I’m excited for the next installment in the series!

Was this review helpful?

Annalee Spain is such a fun heroine! She’s smart and brave and just my kind of female main character. I love her curiosity and her strong sense of justice. All the nods to Sherlock Holmes are endearing and add a special touch to the book. And of course, the setting is superb. Raybon brings the Roaring Twenties to life, while showing us a side to this era that is not often featured in fiction. It was eye opening and so enlightening to read about Annalee’s experiences and how she had to deal with the Klan. The mystery kept me guessing and was cleverly plotted. This is a solid pick for anyone who loves historical mysteries.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Double the Lies is the second novel in Patricia Raybon’s Annalee Spain Mystery series, following the Christy Award-winning All That is Secret.

I found Double the Lies as engrossing as All that is Secret.
The novels are set in 1920s Denver, a corrupt time and place, where the city police and most other people of power are members of the Klan. They overtly discriminate against Black people, Mexicans, Catholics, and Jews, which gives rise to secrets and lies as characters try to avoid the police .. or hide their ties to the discriminated groups.

Annalee finds herself at the centre of a murder investigation after comforting a distraught young woman, then accompanying her home to find her husband dead in their small house. Being found at a murder scene with an alibi wouldn’t be an issue for most people, but Annalee Spain is Denver’s colored detective, and the police are not her friends.

So Annalee is effectively on the run, trying to find who murdered Jeffrey, where her beau, Jack, has gone, and what’s the connection with the smuggling barnstormers. Annalee is also trying to find her mother, who gave her up when she was a baby in the town of Annalee … how she got her name.

Annalee is an intelligent woman, and I do enjoy reading novels about intelligent women, especially those who are stepping outside the norm for their time and location – which Annalee certainly is.

I liked the Sherlock Holmes references, even though I haven’t read any Sherlock stories and probably missed many of the subtleties. I also liked the subtle references to the biblical story of Jacob and Esau, especially given that parts of the story relate to twins and brothers and family secrets.

I thoroughly enjoyed Double the Lies. I recommend it for fans of clean or Christian mysteries, historical fiction, and fiction by BIPOC authors or featuring BIPOC characters.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tyndale House for providing a free ebook for review.

Was this review helpful?

I received a complimetary copy of Double the Lies and this review is entirely my own.
It was hard to get in and finish, it just didnt enthrall me as it should have.

Was this review helpful?

An innocent gesture of kindness leads to Annalee being framed for the murder of a young barnstorming pilot.

Annalee takes on the case, and proving her own innocence depends on it. A wonderful follow up to the first book in the series, picking up shortly after the events of the previous book, Annalee still has questions about her origins, and is exploring her new relationship with Jack.

Fast paced and full of adventure this is a quick read, I liked the continued development of the characters as well as meeting all the new faces in this twisting mystery. I especially liked Mrs. Mason and her gruff, motherly ways.

Overall, a fun adventure and great addition to the series. It will be fun to see where it goes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

Double the Lies is a quick and intriguing read! The sequel to All That is Secret continues Annalee Spain's detective work and ongoing search for her mother. In this gripping story, Raybon takes seemingly unrelated pieces of information and skillfully weaves them into a picture while slowly drawing back the curtain for you to discover it all for yourself. With myriads of cryptic warnings and chilling threats, how can Annalee see her way through the facade of lies?

One of my favorite characters in this series is Eddie Brown; he doesn't appear a lot in this book, but his personality is so fun! And, of course, I loved the progression in Annalee and Jack's relationship--to be continued in the next book, I hope! Another thing that I appreciated about Annalee's character is how she isn't afraid to ask God questions. Hers is not a blind faith, but a proven one. A refreshing reminder that God remains faithful despite our ups and downs.

Many thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book. All opinions expressed are my own; a positive review was not required.

Was this review helpful?

The mystery genre meets historical fiction in Double the Lies, and Patricia Raybon has created a protagonist who carries the plot forward with grace. The reader is transported back to 1920s-era Denver within the experience of an African American woman. Operating at risk of being framed for murder, Annalee Spain hunts for clues to solve the mystery but soon finds herself entangled in the victim’s family and their toxic secrets.

This collision of big city politics, racial injustice, and the failings of the human heart unites a very believable and compelling cast of characters and demonstrates the complexity of guilt and innocence. And incidentally, Sherlock Holmes mystery fans will be delighted by chapter epigraphs and Annalee’s references to Holmes–while the rest of us, out of curiosity, will consider adding a Sherlock Holmes to the top of our TBR list.

Many thanks to Tyndale Publishers and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book to facilitate my review, which is, of course, offered freely and with honesty.

Was this review helpful?

What a fantastic read!

Double the Lies has SO much going on, all at once, that you can't help but be stumped all the way through! Murder, romance, airplanes, and the Klan - this book is jam packed with action, adventure, and characters learning hard life lessons... All while mixing in a delightful Sherlock Holmes flavor that's set in 1920s Colorado.
I can't wait to read about Annalee Spain's next case!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

What to say about this second installment of this mystery series. Annalee finds herself in the middle of another murder and has to take on the detective role to keep herself out of jail. She must be Sherlock himself to untangle the web in this one. I really enjoy the authors writing. This second book was fast paced and I didn’t realize who did it until it was introduced. I loved the mystery of it all and Annalee still unraveling things about her own pass . And the romance, these men love them a independent black Queen.

It was frustrating as it always is to be faced with the realities of what it was like to be a black person in this time period while the KKK was openly meeting. Annalee’s experiences are no less trouble some in this installment as it was in the first. I just want Annalee to settle down with her love and stop being harassed by those racist people.

Looking forward to the second installment & hope we get to finally uncover all of Annalee’s past.

Was this review helpful?

Professor Annalee Spain is back and finds herself in the middle of a murder for which she has been framed. Raybon takes the reader on the hunt to solve the mystery. But just as one secret is uncovered, more questions arise. I found the historical context of Double the Lies very interesting and learned a lot from the background Raybon included in the story.

Was this review helpful?

This novel, like the first, is set in the 1920’s, amidst the resurgence of the KKK. In Double the Lies, the characters are becoming more aware of their presence. They are gaining ground in the community: The KKK is an imminent threat, and the reason Annalee must solve the mystery, throughout the story. Annalee is an inspiration as she continues to demonstrate grace, and dignity, even when confronting those who have made themselves her enemies.

I liked that the author has a natural spiritual thread throughout the book. Readers see Annalee struggle with trusting God. In the scary moments, readers see her genuine faith in action, when she simply prays for His help.

I enjoyed the quotes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books. They begin each chapter. Loved the mystery aspect to the story, filled with suspense and drama. I also liked how this author takes readers into the depths of the time period, racial tensions, and shows what a young black woman faces daily, and the things she has to be aware of while doing her super sleuthing. Annalee is an intelligent woman, who faces danger with her eyes open and ready to fight.

This is a fascinating read I couldn’t put down. It’s also a great book for your book club pick.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I requested and received a copy of this book by the publisher. 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

Was this review helpful?

Didn't love this one. The plot felt overpacked at times and the relationship between Annalee and Buddy felt forced and out of character.

Was this review helpful?

Double the Lies is the second book in the An Annalee Spain Mystery Series. I personally did not realize this before I started reading, and had not read the previous book. I do think it read just fine as a standalone, although I do think I'd have had a better understanding of the character and her backstory had I read the previous book first.

From the moment I saw the cover, this book drew me in. Sure it had the 1920s glamour that I adore, but beyond that, it had an air of mystery about it too... and let me tell you, I love a good mystery. The 1920s seems like a perfect backdrop for just that, so I really enjoyed this trip back in time. While the history and the mystery certainly kept me captivated (and oh yes, some romance too), I also really enjoyed seeing Annalee's faith and prayer life as well. All of these elements worked together to create a story as beautiful and unique as its cover.

If you enjoy historical mysteries, this is one worth checking out.

**I received a complimentary copy for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Was this review helpful?

There is lots to like about this book. I learned some things about Colorado history. I enjoy 1920s era private eye stories, and this book has a lovable, quirky one. It was unique that the detective was a young, African-American female. It is set a bit later than one of my favorite shows, PBS's Miss Scarlet and the Duke, but I think these two female detectives would relate to one another. Not only are both in the same male-dominated career, but they are both great risk-takers and a bit fickle about the men they love. There were a few scenes in Double the Lies that did not feel authentic, in which characters behaved illogically or out of character, but overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to cozy mystery fans.

I am grateful to have received a complimentary copy of Double the Lies from Tyndale House Publishers via NetGalley without obligation. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Another great Annalee Spain mystery! I enjoyed this story of Annalee as she continues to discover who she really is while helping other people solve their mysteries. This book is filled with so many different things: a barnstormer, the KKK, a missing boyfriend, unexpected friendships, and possibly some clues to where Annalee comes from. This book doesn't shy away from some of the hard things that were happening in the 1920s in America, but still includes a redemptive story. A great read, especially for lovers of historical fiction and mysteries.

I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Double the Lies by Patricia Raybon is a thrilling Christian fiction mystery novel set in the 1920’s that explores themes of family, trust, love and identity. This is the second Annalee Spain Mystery in the series but it can be read as a standalone. The plot is very intriguing and starts off slow but gets better. The characters are well-developed and multi-dimensional. I enjoyed how brave Annalee was especially with her being framed for a murder and looking out for the Klan. I enjoyed some of the scriptural themes and the chapter Sherlock quotes. I recommend Double the Lies to anyone who enjoys a well-written and engaging mystery novel.

I received a complimentary eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley.

Was this review helpful?

A great sequel for the Annalee Spain Mystery series! Like the first it was a cozy mystery but with just enough secrets and high stakes to keep you interested. Some of the plot needs a little suspension of belief but most mystery series do (I am looking at you Nancy Drew). Still very wholesome and unique to the Christian fiction genre that also has a BIPOC main character and author. Perfect reading for winter as you join Annalee on the mountains that also are home to the famous Stanley Hotel (hotel that inspired The Shining).

Was this review helpful?

Annalee Spain, found herself in hot soup once again for all her sleuthing efforts, but she was not one to give up, even if she and her friends were threatened. This time she rather fell into a mystery murder to solve, or rather, it found her. Readers will be in for quite a race against time right there along with her.

This book has been tagged, "mystery thriller" but I'd append, "historical fiction" and "race conflict". This is because of references to prejudicial acts of ostracism and worse against Jews, Blacks and Catholics in Colorado and elsewhere, giving the reader a small glimpse of what these people groups have had to endure in years gone by at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan and other such people bent upon hate against fellow human beings.

The most curious aspect of this most narrative is that Annalee is a praying detective. I've never come across such before in books, that I can recall, so it's an added positive feature of her character for me. Readers will also be amused that this is a kind of take-off on the famous and beloved Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, private investigator series. Just beware of the lies!

I was not disappointed in any part of this story. Good for you, Patricia Raybon! Hope there will be as many more to come as you have already written.

~Eunice C., Reviewer/Blogger~

September 2022

Disclaimer: This is my honest opinion based on the complimentary review copy sent by NetGalley and the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

Annalee Spain has a limited time to solve a murder before she gets attested for the crime.

Double the Lies was an interesting look at what life may have been like for a young black woman living in a town that had been integrated by the Klan.

There were some elements of this novel that dimmed my enjoyment of it. Too many coincidences and people showing up in unexpected places at exactly the right time.

Also, the romantic entanglement between Buddy and Annalee felt forced. I understand that the author wanted to highlight the illegality of a mixed race relationship at that time, but it would have felt more believable if it hadn't been so sudden and didn't feel out of character.

There are some interesting side characters like Mrs. Mason and Eddie that added a spot of entertainment and fun. I admired Annalee's determination to find answers especially when so many people wanted to silence her.

Readers will be reminded that God is always willing to listen to our prayers. Even when it seems like He can't hear us.

I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.

Was this review helpful?

Thanks to NetGalley & Tyndale House Publishers for a digital advance reader copy. All comments and opinions are my own.

This is the second Annalee Spain Mystery in the series, and it’s as good as the first. You can easily read this as a stand-alone because author Patricia Raybon neatly fills in all the gaps for those who are picking this one up first. And once you finish, you’ll definitely want to read “All That Is Secret.”

Annalee Spain, a 24-year-old African American orphan who never knew her mother, is the newest detective in her corrupt “Mile High City” of Denver CO in 1924. With Sherlock Holmes as her role model, she looks to God for courage and strength. “She had prayed to God she could help confused people unravel their dramas and hurts – giving them her brave help. Even if she doesn’t always feel brave – or helpful. But as she had learned, help isn’t about feelings. Nor about being brave. Help is offering people what they need, when they need it.”

The action begins early in the first chapter, with Annalee coming across a murdered man in a new friend’s kitchen. The corrupt police think Annalee is the murderer because her handkerchief is found nearby, and because she’s Black. She explains her situation to the murdered man’s wife: “I’m a colored girl trying to solve a crime so that I don’t end up in the slammer for a murder I didn’t commit. If I can’t find the killer, I go to jail. Or the gallows.”

Raybon accurately recreates the racism and sexism of the time, describing the pervasive evilness of the Klan, the cultural mores of 1920s society, judgmental attitudes regarding race, the class differences between the wealthy and those just getting by. Additionally, Raybon paints a descriptive portrait of the period – where barnstorming pilots and airplanes are new and entertaining; negative attitudes towards Catholics and Jews, as well as Blacks; both legal and illegal investments; and businesses unaware of the upcoming crash of 1929.

While Annalee works to uncover the murderer, she discovers secrets and lies of the victim’s family. Using clues plus her intuition and the advice she recalls from Sherlock Holmes’ various cases, she puts herself in danger in order to find the truth.

There are several elements that take this novel a step above your typical amateur detective story. Annalee is determined and dogged, yet talented in making sense of seemingly random facts and clues. We are privy to Annalee’s honest thoughts and therefore I felt like I knew her. “I’m just starting to be a detective. Because it’s demanding and scary. Somedays I feel plumb crazy to even try.” Through these thoughts we learn of her sometimes tenuous relationship with God. It was encouraging as she leaned on Him during the most dangerous situations, and her uncertainty about what to do regarding moral decisions.

One fun aspect of the novel was how each chapter begins with a quote from one of Sherlock Holmes’ books. I enjoyed how each quote is a clue for the reader of the advice Annalee will need in that chapter.

Themes of family, lies, secrets, as well as dedication and loyalty are woven together in a tapestry where the truth is finally explained in an exciting and revealing edge-of-your-seat scene. This was an enjoyable historical mystery with a likeable heroine who demonstrates bravery as she tries to help people and discover her own dreams, friendships, and romantic love.

Was this review helpful?