When Annalee loans her new handkerchief to a distraught woman, she has no idea that her kind act would put her in the sight of the police…as a murderer. Double the Lies, by Patricia Raybon, is the story of Annalee’s attempt to seek the truth—and save herself from the gallows.
Annalee was a young, energetic woman who’d become a detective because she wanted to right the wrongs in her city. So much had gone wrong since the Klan had taken over and was pushing its agenda.
As a young black woman, she was often the target of racism and anger. Yet, she continued to persevere because she felt called to help others fight injustice.
There were some elements of this novel that dimmed my enjoyment. Like the number of persons who knew exactly where Annalee was while she was supposedly hiding out. This could be because I can’t relate to sticking out in a crowd as much as Annalee could.
Also, the unexpected romantic entanglement between Buddy and Annalee felt forced. I understand the author wanted to highlight the illegality of a mixed-race relationship at the time, but it would have felt more believable if it hadn’t been so sudden, or so out of character.
In a lot of ways, Double the Lies was a hard read for me as it highlighted some of the most negative traits in humanity. Thankfully, Ms. Raybon also pointed out what was good about humanity—how people still cared about each other despite their apparent differences.
The author did a great job of expressing what life would have been like for people living in a town that had been taken over by the Klan. Still, despite their influence, people flourished and built relationships.
Double the Lies will be reminded that God is always willing to listen to our prayers. Even if it seems like He doesn’t answer.
I received an advanced reader’s copy from the publisher through NetGalley; a positive review was not required.
About Double the Lies (An Annalee Spain Mystery)
An Amateur Sleuth Historical Fiction Mystery Set in 1920s Denver
In the second installment of Patricia Raybon’s critically acclaimed mystery series, amateur detective Annalee Spain races the clock to solve the murder of a handsome young pilot before she is framed for the crime—and before his dashing twin falls head over heels for her, tempting her promised heart.
On a cold spring night in 1924, Annalee Spain offers her new fancy lace handkerchief—a gift from her pastor boyfriend Jack Blake—to a young woman crying in a Denver public library. But later that night, when police find the handkerchief next to the body of the young woman’s murdered husband, Annalee becomes the number one suspect, and her panic doubles when she learns that Jack has gone missing.
With just days to solve the murder before the city’s Klan-run police frame her for the crime, Annalee finds herself hunting for clues in the Colorado mountain town of Estes Park. She questions the victim’s wife and her uncle, a wealthy Denver banker, at their mountain lodge, desperate for leads. Instead, she finds a household full of suspects and even more burning questions.
Who keeps threatening her, why can’t she find Jack, and will a dangerous flirtation be her undoing? Her answers plumb the depths of the human heart, including her own, exploring long-buried secrets, family lies, even city politics—all of which could cost the young detective her fledgling love . . . and perhaps even her life.
About Patricia Raybon
A writer of faith by day and mystery by night, Patricia Raybon is a Christy Award-winning Colorado author, essayist, and novelist who writes daring and exciting novels and books at the intersection of faith and race.
After a notable career in newspaper journalism and journalism education, Patricia turned to fiction with the release of a 1920s mystery series about a prim, poor but clever Black theologian—a fan of Sherlock Holmes–who solves murder and crime in Colorado’s dangerous Klan era.
The series’ acclaimed debut, “All That Is Secret: An Annalee Spain Mystery,” won the 2022 Christy Award for First Novel and was a Parade Magazine Fall 2021 “Mysteries We Love” selection, a Masterpiece on PBS “Best Mystery Books of 2021” pick “As Recommended by Bestselling Authors,” and Stephen Curry’s March 2022 personal choice for his Literati Book Club.
You may also like: