About the Book
Author: Kay DiBianca
Genre: Cozy mystery
Release date: November 29, 2021
Time After Tyme is a fun and thought-provoking mystery about secret codes, university intrigue, and two young girls who fancy themselves 21st-century Nancy Drews.
When strange, coded messages turn up in the chapel prayer box at Bellevue University, the minister suspects a recent campus death may have been murder, so he enlists the help of amateur sleuths Kathryn Frasier and Cece Goldman to decipher the codes and solve the mystery. But when a couple of young girls get wind of it, they decide to find the killer on their own. Almost everyone on campus has something to hide, and the story fluctuates between the rational search for the truth by the adults, and the occasionally misguided, but surprisingly perceptive, insight of the children.
Set on the campus of a modern university, Time After Tyme is both a joyful romp through a cozy mystery and a serious look at the search for truth. The book reminds us of the seasons of our lives, from the irrepressible curiosity of youth to the treasured experience of maturity.
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I enjoyed this well written mystery with delightful characters. The ten year old Reen (Irene), determined to solve a mystery, was my favorite. Her character added some light hearted aspects to the amateur murder investigation.
I like to learn something when I read a novel and DiBianca has included cryptic messages and code breaking in the plot. There is also a little bit about how pendulum clocks work. There are also some good theological discussions and spiritual lessons. There is even a discussion about science and faith in understanding truth.
The narrative follows many viewpoints but only Reen's is in first person, if I recall correctly, so it was not a problem to follow the developing plot. I liked how DiBianca implied that many people worried about secrets with respect to Mr. Tyme and might be suspects in his murder. She kept me guessing to the end.
I like DiBianca's engaging writing style. I like her characters and their relationships and interesting discussions. It's a good cozy mystery with some intellectual and spiritual depth.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Kay is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Sisters in Crime, and the Collierville Christian Writers Group. An avid runner, she can often be found at a nearby track, on the treadmill, or at a large park near her home. Her background in software development fuels her fascination with puzzles and mysteries, and her dedication to running helps supply the endurance and energy she needs to write about them.
Kay and her husband, Frank, live, run, and write in Memphis, Tennessee. You can connect with Kay through her website at https://kaydibianca.com.
More from Kay
When ten-year-old Reen Penterson overhears the words “foul play” in a conversation not meant for her, she jumps to the conclusion that a murder has been committed and says, “Foul play? Murder! My heart pounded and my future life unfolded in front of me like a YouTube video. I could solve the mystery and expose the killer! I’d be famous. I’d be rich. I’d be one of those people who gets a college degree without having to go to school.”
To aid in her “investigation,” Reen enlists the help of her nine-year-old cousin, Joanie Finelson. And the chaos begins.
Writing Time After Tyme was great fun for me. This is the third book in the Watch series of cozy mysteries, and I wanted to add another dimension to the stories. Since I intended to dedicate the book to my best friend from childhood, my cousin Joan, I thought the misadventures of two young girls would be the perfect addition. Although Reen and Joanie are secondary characters in the book, they steal the show from the adults with their misguided attempts to find a killer.
Set on the campus of fictional Bellevue University, the story revolves around the recent death of the university librarian, Mr. Tyme. When strange, coded messages are found in the university chapel prayer box, main characters Kathryn Frasier and Cece Goldman are asked to decipher them. While Kathryn and Cece work to solve the mystery behind the codes, Reen and Joanie are turning things upside down in the search for a killer.
There were several things I particularly enjoyed about writing this book. I loved creating the coded messages, each of which relates to a Biblical proverb. I also liked exploring the secrets many of the adults in the book harbored to avoid being associated with Mr. Tyme’s death.
But more than anything else, I enjoyed the all-out approach to solving the mystery by the two young girls. At times, their unfiltered approach to their quest made me laugh out loud and reminded me of the wonder of that special time of life.
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)