Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Top 10 Christian Fiction “To Reads”


Totally overwhelmed with my personal rewrites, I can only dream of the books that I’ll be reading soon. Really I will. And I can’t wait! Because I know I’ll get a break to enjoy the lovely luxury of lolling the day away in a brilliantly written narrative. Ooo!

So when the time comes, I want to be prepared! I have books purchased and poised for my reading enjoyment.

Among the waiting publications are some from noted Christian authors like Mary Connealy, Dr. Richard Mabry, Sandra Orchard, and Lena Nelson Dooley, but I admit that I’m feeling my romantic suspense and mystery roots so I’ve narrowed my rather lengthy (there’s no way I’m going to finish all of these this year) list to the 10 that I want to read the most.

Starting out at the 10th spot is:

Hostage in Havana by Noel Hynd. I actually have this as an audio book thinking it would make me walk more often. Hasn’t worked so far, but I’ll keep working on it. The back cover information on this book is:

From bestselling ABA author Noel Hynd comes this new series set against the backdrop of Havana, an explosive capital city of faded charm locked in the past and torn by political intrigue. U.S. Treasury Agent Alexandra LaDuca leaves her Manhattan home on an illegal mission to Cuba that could cost her everything. Accompanying her is the attractive but dangerous Paul Guarneri, a Cuban-born exile who lives in the gray areas of the law. Together, they plunge into subterfuge and danger. Without the support of the United States, Alex must navigate Cuban police, saboteurs, pro-Castro security forces, and an assassin who follows her from New York. Bullets fly as allies become traitors and enemies become unexpected friends. Alex, recovering from the tragic loss of her fiance a year before, reexamines faith and new love while taking readers on a fast-paced adventure. Readers of general market thrillers, such as John le Carre, David Baldacci, and Joel Rosenberg, will eagerly anticipate this first installment.

In the 9th spot is:

Dying to Read by Lorena McCortney. I actually picked this book up last year when it came out and started on it right away, but I let myself get distracted with the conference I looked forward to and then the holidays so I didn’t get back to it. The back cover for this one says:

Cate Kinkaid is just dipping her toe into the world of private investigating until one of the many résumés she has floating around lands her a real job. All she has to do is determine that a particular woman lives at a particular address. Simple, right? When the big and brooding house happens to contain a dead body, this routine PI job turns out to be anything but simple. Is Cate in over her head?

Readers will be hooked from the very first chapter of this fast-paced and witty romantic mystery from bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney.

In the 8th spot, I have:

Digging Up Death by Gina Conroy. I met Gina last summer at a workshop and again at the ACFW conference in September. In fact, I even guest blog at her Writer Interrupted page once in a while (find me in the homeschooling section). I’ve been wanting to settle in to enjoy her new mystery. Here is the info on it:

To unearth a killer, you have to get your fingernails dirty.

Archaeology Professor Mari Duggins is adjusting to life as a single mom, but she’s caught between the pull of her former flame and her ex-husband. When her colleague is murdered and her ex is accused of stealing an Egyptian artifact, Mari interferes in the FBI investigation, compelled to prove the innocence of her children’s father.

Soon she is buried deep in suspects. Her old flame, her student and tenant, the office secretary. No one is who they appear to be, and she begins to wonder where her loyalty and true affections lie.

Mari Duggins’ life caves in as she tries to excavate the truth, but realizes only God can dig her out of the hole she’s created. Will Mari sort through her muddled feelings and put her trust in someone else? Or will the truth bury her alive?

In the 7th spot, I’ve added:

Critical Condition by Sandra Orchard. I’m about halfway through this book. A perfect example of why I hate putting books down. I’ve really been enjoying it, but since I couldn’t finish it in one sitting, I’ve been distracted away from it. Here is the premise:

There’s a murderer in the hospital, and nurse Tara Peterson is determined to prove it. With mysterious deaths in the cancer ward, anyone could be next. But no one wants to believe her…except undercover agent Zach Davis. The murderer wants Tara’s suspicions silenced, permanently. To protect Tara, Zach lets her in on his secret, and unwittingly into his heart. Tara and her three-year-old daughter are like the family he lost years before. Zach will risk everything to keep them safe, no matter the cost.

For the 6th place, I have:

Gathering Storm by Barbara Warren. Barbara is an agency mate at Hartline and I have to admit that reading her tagline on the book and the blurb from the back cover has reeled me in.

Stephanie Walker lives a peaceful life until her undependable and dishonest father, Marty Walker, suddenly arrives at her home pleading with Stephanie to come with him to his Harrington Lodge in the beautiful Ozarks. Stephanie, suspicious of her father’s motives declines her father’s invitation.

After his departure, Stephanie discovers the diamond necklace she borrowed from her aunt is missing. Racing through a raging thunderstorm, Stephanie drives to the lodge to reclaim the stolen item.

But when she arrives, Stephanie finds her father dead, her aunt’s diamond necklace gone and a pair of handcuffs fitted just for her. Stephanie’s claims of innocence fail to sway the local sheriff, who produces several pieces of evidence linking her to the murder. With a shaky alibi and a vindictive stepmother, Stephanie turns to a lodge employee for help. But will Brad Wilson’s assistance lead Stephanie to the real killer or prove to be her undoing? Like a gathering storm on a warm summer evening, Stephanie’s world darkens until she’s forced to turn to the one true source of knowledge. But what she learns about her father, family and her own inner demons is more horrifying than the lies she’s come to believe. The truth can set you free. It can also kill you.

Wow this turned into a super long post that I didn’t intend. Catch me next week for my top 5 picks.

Your turn: Have you read any of these books? Would you recommend them?

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

4 thoughts on “Top 10 Christian Fiction “To Reads”

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Christian Fiction Reads – part 2 « Marji Laine: Author

  2. Pingback: Top 10 Christian Fiction “To Reads” « Marji Laine: Author |

  3. Thank you Marji for listing my book. I hope you really enjoy it. And like you, I have stacks of books I plan to read when I get the time. 🙂 Mignon Everhart and Phyllis A Whitney were favorites of mine too. Thanks again for posting my book on your blog.


    • Wow we have much in common! I don’t find too many who have even heard of Mignon Eberhart, though Whitney was more popular. I don’t suppose you’ve ever read a Trixie Belden?