Review: Port Aster Secret series / Sandra Orchard
Award-winning Canadian author Sandra Orchard pens a contemporary mystery series featuring a researcher uncovering the deadly family secrets. Unlike many other series, Port Aster Secrets features the same main characters, revealing more layers of secrets in each of her books.
In Deadly Devotion, herbal researcher Kate Adams is working on a medicine for depression when her mentor Daisy dies suddenly. Even though the police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate doesn’t believe it, especially in light of Daisy’s spiritual beliefs. Determined to find out the truth, Kate puts herself in danger when she tries to solve the mystery and the killer wants the truth suppressed. Meanwhile, Detective Tom Parker thinks she might be hiding something – but at the same time, he is attracted to her. Will they unravel the mystery before the killer silences them?
In Blind Trust, the elderly neighbor of Kate Adams is caught using counterfeit cash, but where did she get it? Amateur sleuth Kate uncovers a sinister plot and a family secret. While Detective Tom Parker investigates, his feelings for Kate grow, as does his urge to protect her. Her relationship with Tom is affected when she tries to solve the mystery on her own. When it turns out to be a corporate conspiracy, Kate is in danger from the mastermind behind it. Will the counterfeiter end their investigation permanently? Will her family’s past endanger her future?
In Desperate Measures, Kate Adams has finally located the herbal plant responsible for the ultimate family secret – the real reason her father disappeared twenty years ago. Willing to risk everything to find out the truth, she discovers others are not only searching for the plant and but want to use it for nefarious purposes. They will destroy everyone and anyone in their path between them and the plant. Will she be able to uncover the last secret standing between her and safety? Will she have a future with Tom?
Sandra Orchard presents an edge-of-your-seat series for mystery fans where plot twists and mysteries abound. It is more plot-oriented than character-oriented, although the characters are done well. Unlike most romantic suspense series, Port Aster Secrets focuses more on the mysteries, less on the relationship between Tom and Kate. It is a more of a mystery series with a light romance on the side. The faith element is present but light-handed. Like any good mystery, red herrings and suspects abound.
As evidence of Orchard’s writing excellence, Blind Trust is a finalist in the 2014 Selah Awards and won the 2014 The Word Awards (Canada).
Recommended for church libraries and adult collections in public libraries.
Carol R. Gehringer