Today, I’d like to pull of the shelf and mention to you Julie Cave’s Dinah Harris Mysteries series. All together, they look like this:
I’ve linked Julie Cave’s website to the picture you see to the left. She’s also a blog writer, and has some great stuff on her website. Plus, you can purchase the series through her site and show some additional support. Her blog’s a little out of date—maybe because she’s in Australia and it’s not quite now there yet
The Dinah Harris Mysteries is a trilogy of stories that center on, you guessed it, Dinah Harris. Harris begins the series as an alcoholic FBI agent, and her work takes her through a journey both professional and personal. By the end of it all, at least one of these will change. Of course, the challenge of commending good fiction to you is that I would hate to crash the plot.
The Dinah Harris Mysteries involve investigations of crimes targeting Bible-centered Christians. At least one case digs into the darker side of church reality: there are people that use the church to harm others, and in this case, the perpetrator was a victim first.
Overall, the plotlines are the right balance of intriguing without pulling insane twists out of thin air. I might quibble with the idea that someone would kill another over Creationism, for example, but Cave has researched her work and sees it as possible. There are definitely points like this where I think it’s important to separate the fiction from reality.
The Dinah Harris Mysteries has the benefit of addressing life from a Christian perspective. The characters are realistic: Harris is no perfect person, although there is a preacher-type who seems to lack flaws. Overall, though, the primary characters go through struggles rather than fall into the “super-Christian” category.
I liked these stories, even though I would not characterize the reading as very challenging. Each novel was engaging enough to keep me locked in for an afternoon, but I was able to finish the trilogy of The Dinah Harris Mysteries in a weekend. Granted, I did nothing else all weekend, but I still finished them in a weekend.
Easily readable by high school and up, and okay for a junior high student with good reading skills and the maturity to handle the alcoholism and murders. It’s certainly both fun and spiritually challenging for adult mystery fans.
The Dinah Harris Mysteries are published by Master Books and written by Julie Cave.
If you’d like an extended look at each novel, check out Shaun’s reviews from Bible Geek Gone Wild: