Raybon (All That Is Secret) delivers a fast-moving mystery for the second installment of her Annalee Spain series. In 1924 Denver, detective Spain is pitted against the citys KKK-infiltrated police as she attempts to solve a murder and clear her name as a possible suspect. Trouble begins at the library, where Annalee overhears a heated conversation between a husband and wife. Afterward, Annalee comforts the wife, but when the woman invites her over for tea, the two find her home vandalized and the womans husband dead. Though Annalee, who is Black, flees the scene before the police arrive, theyre tipped off to her presence and set out to frame her. Meanwhile, Annalee and her pastor boyfriend, Jack, receive threatening lettersand soon after, Jack goes missing. The case next takes her to Estes Park, where some of the murdered mans family lives; once there, she tries to get to the root of whats going on. Throughout, Annalee draws strength from her abiding faith, even when things appear more than a little dicey. Raybon uses the fascinating backdrop of 1920s Denver (and the rise of the Second Klan) to add historical depth to the plot as Annalee discovers the ways prejudice and secrets shape the case and her ability to solve it. This mix of history and intrigue will captivate readers.
In Patricia Raybons stirring mystery novel Double the Lies, a Black theologian-turned-private detective becomes embroiled in the murder of a white stunt pilot. Annalee Spain left university teaching behind to become a private detective. Its a dangerous job for a Black woman in Denver in the 1920s, given that the KKK runs the local police department, waiting for any chance to frame Annalee. When an overheard argument between a white couple leads to murder, Annalee winds up the top suspect, with the lives of everyone close to her threatened. Her past connections (including to an agent of the nascent FBI) lead Annalee to posh Estes Park, with its smuggling rings, dirty development deals, family grudges, and history of bigotry. Annalee has a few days to solve the murder and rescue her kidnapped boyfriend, a local pastor, before she lands in jail. Double the Lies is the second series title, but those unfamiliar with the first volume will have no trouble following its engrossing plot, which is driven by its first-rate heroinea feminist who calls on her intimate knowledge of Sherlock Holmes stories and the Bible to power through and make decisions. Shes surrounded by a diverse and surprising team of helpers and an array of suspects who ensure that the killers identity stays secret until the end. The novels rich setting teems with speakeasies, run-down boarding houses, pawn shops, barnstorming airfields, and elite mountain lodges, bringing the Colorado of the 1920s to life. Social issues including racism and antisemitism loop through the story, and a touch of romance blends in to make room for future installments. The fast-paced and powerful mystery novel Double the Lies follows its heroine through vivid settings and has an underlying theme of social injustice.