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5 Stars Out Of 5
September 9, 2009
What I've always liked about the author's books is her boldness to take Christian fiction in places it's scared to go. Subjects like questioning religious practices, interracial dating and sex are brought up in this book with no sense of shame or timidity. Edgy is the word to describe most of this book and if you're looking for tame, meek Christian fiction, you won't find it here.The mystery storyline in this book mainly deals with the death of the young son of a famous TV preacher and the suspicious nature surrounding the events. I will admit, if there's any fault with the book, it's that you have a feeling you already know what happened, you're just not 100% sure about it. However even more interesting than that, is the evangelist's teachings and his so called practices that don't mirror what he preaches. The methods used by his followers are scary to say the least. I don't blame Bell and Jazz one bit for being freaked out. I'm also not quite sure why in the world Rocky, Bell's ex and still a good friend, is friends with this guy and why he wanted to bring her there. Another plot line is the turbulent relationship between Bell and Jazz as they try to patch things up but keep bumbling along the way. I really liked it because it's very real and honest, with pain and hurt feelings that come along due to actions the two have made in the past.Once again I really enjoyed this book and it's ability to push things to the edge. It's very refreshing to read about events that really happen in real life and to face and confront them without hiding them away. Plus, this book is also a really fun read. I have always loved the chemistry between Bell and Jazz and it's very evident in this book. I really hope we'll see more adventures from them in the future. If' you're looking for a really good multi-cultural series to read and like a bit of mystery in your books, this is the perfect series for you.
You all know how much I loved the first two books in the Amanda Bell Brown Series (they made it on my Most Entertaining of 2008 list) and so I was thrilled to see that a #3 was coming out! I was glad to see Bell back in action and Jazz returns as her separated husband that is going through an emotional break down without her. She needs Jazz's help when someone dies and her gut says it's murder. So the cast of supporting characters returns with a few new faces thrown in for good measure, the writing is crisp and the wit is still sharp. This is not my favorite of the three books (the first two are really hard to top) but it is a great addition to a wonderful series.
Just when you thought the Amanda Bell series couldn't get any better, Claudia Mair Burney knocks the ball out of the park. The series continues with Jazz and Bell's adventures in marriage, doing things I didn't think people could get away in Christian fiction. I loved the emotional but fun tone of the book. Of course, Rocky is back in all his dreadlock wonder. I think what I enjoyed the most about the book is the way Burney handles the more interesting side of the Pentecostal movement (I was raised Pentecostal and she hit the nail on the head, especially with the interracial adultery demon. Hilarious). It was neither irreverent or harmful, but very truthful and entertaining.Claudia Mair Burney is one of my favorite African American Christian fiction writers and her star burns bright. I'm so looking forward to reading all her other books.
Deadly Charm by Claudia Mair Burney is the third book in the Amanda Bell Brown series. It was my introduction to the series, and while I definitely wish I had read the first two, they aren't necessary to fall head over heels in love with Bell and her friends. Bell, as she is known by her friends, is not a good place. Her new husband, Jazz, caught her kissing her best friend, Rocky, and left her flat, and her family stages an intervention to try and get the couple back together. Their plan isn't working when Rocky brings Bell to a revival by Ezekiel Thunder, a fallen televangelist. When Ezekiel's charming little boy dies under mysterious circumstances, Bell has to get to the bottom of things. Throw in a possible pregnancy, projectile vomiting, and a exorcism, and Bell has more than enough on her plate! I have an enormous amount of respect for Burney's writing; it just doesn't get any better than this. Bell loves the Lord with a deep and passionate love, but she still struggles with sin and doesn't always listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit. This makes her a woman I can fully relate to. Lisa Samson coined the term "sassy mystery" to describe this series, and it is so apropos! Bell and Jazz have a spicy, sassy relationship that is also filled with pain and heartache, and Burney mixes those to create a combustible mixture. As I reached the end of the book, my husband looked at me and said, "You look like, I don't know, something awful is happening." I was so involved with the story I only stopped reading long enough to tell him what was going on and then shot him updates as I turned each page before sighing with relief at the end. I can't say enough good things about this book! I've been telling everyone I talk to about it since I finished it, and that is the sign of a top notch book.