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Culture Books

Dramas and mysteries


Dramas and mysteries

New or recent novels from Christian publishers

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill: A busload of schoolchildren collides with a freight train, leaving no survivors. Three years later—long after the investigation is closed—the mother of one of those children receives a text that reads, “Help me, Mom.” Is her son still alive? Where has he been? Most everyone discounts the message as a prank except for spunky San Antonio detective Amara Alvarez. She’s compelled to unravel the mystery no matter how far she has to go to find the truth. The plot flows at breathtaking speed as the clues become more bizarre. 

A Long Time Comin’ by Robin W. Pearson: Beatrice Agnew, aka Granny B, raised seven children on her own. Although she’s endured plenty of hardships, including a recent leukemia diagnosis, she allows no time for complaining or regrets. But when granddaughter Evelyn—who inherited Granny B’s stubborn tendencies—shows up on her doorstep with her own issues, they challenge each other to face the past and future head-on. This debut novel features the complex dynamics of a large, Southern, God-fearing family. Each character—from ex-con Little Ed to pious Ruthena—strives for joy in this life while anticipating eternal reward in the next.

An Uncommon Woman by Laura Frantz: In 18th-century western Virginia, Tessa Swan’s fear of Indians is justified. Her father had been killed by Indians and her best friend, Keturah, taken captive by them when they were children. Many years later, Commander Clay Tygart returns Tessa’s best friend after a prisoner swap. Clay’s duties leave no time for romantic entanglements, despite his attraction to the lovely Tessa. He’s determined to ignore her charm until she’s taken by a band of Lenape Indians. Then he’s forced to admit his feelings and vows to rescue her. 

Collateral Damage by Lynette Eason: Military psychologist Brooke Adams survives a bomb blast in an Afghanistan café. When a dying soldier in the café gives her a bracelet, she becomes the unwitting target of an unseen foe. Back in the United States and working in private practice, Brooke’s newest client is former Special Ops Sgt. Asher James. When he arrives at her office, he finds a dead body—but not Brooke. From there, it’s a race to find out who’s out to get Brooke and why. Book 1 in the Danger Never Sleeps series, this romantic suspense novel largely focuses on PTSD.


Tessa Afshar once again brings the New Testament to life. In Daughter of Rome (Tyndale, 2020) she features Priscilla and Aquila, first-century Christians mentioned several times in the Bible—mostly in Acts. Afshar creates a fascinating backstory to their courtship and includes their friendship with the Apostle Paul, incorporating a spirited scene when they risk their lives for him (see Romans 16:3-4). Priscilla and Aquila grapple with feelings to which modern Christians can relate: guilt, shame, insecurity, doubt, and unforgiveness.