Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon

Posted June 23, 2024 by meezcarrie in 5 stars, Book Review, Christian, giveaway, historical, mystery/suspense, Patricia Raybon, romance / 62 Comments

Truth Be Told book review

Truth Be Told by Patricia RaybonTRUTH BE TOLD by Patricia Raybon
Annalee Spain Mysteries #3

GENRE: Historical Mystery (Christian)
PUBLISHER: Tyndale House
RELEASE DATE: June 11, 2024
PAGES: 416

Denver’s newest detective. A garden’s deadly secrets.

On a lovely June night in 1924, amateur detective Annalee Spain is mingling bravely at a high-class political fundraiser in the lush backyard garden of famed political fixer Cooper Coates, one of the wealthiest men in Denver’s Black neighborhood of Five Points. When Coates’s young daughter discovers a pretty stranger dead in her father’s garden shed, Annalee is thrust onto the baffling new case just as she’s reeling from another recent discovery―a handwritten letter, found buried in her own garden, that reveals the identity of her mother.

Not ready to face the truth about her hidden past, Annalee throws herself into solving the mystery of the young woman’s demise. With the help of her pastor boyfriend Jack Blake, her orphaned buddy Eddie, and her trustworthy church friends, Annalee follows the clues to three seemingly disconnected settings―a traveling carnival set up downtown, a Black civic club, and a prestigious white seminary on the outskirts of Denver. Intriguing advice also comes from a famous, real-life Denver visitor. But is Annalee on the right track or just running in circles, fleeing from conflicts racing in her heart?

In a taut, heart-gripping narrative driven by secrets, romance, and lies, Annalee must unravel a case with higher stakes than she imagined―one where answers about a lovely woman’s death point to truths and tensions still throbbing today.


Other Books In This Series

All That is Secret by Patricia Raybon 

“The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still… His kingdom is forever!”

Each new book in this series is better than the last and each new cover gets more gorgeous, and they’ve all – stories and covers – been excellent! Truth Be Told is no exception – in fact, it’s my favorite of the three so far. Every word is pitch perfect and, on several reasons, so poetically descriptive that I re-read the sentence or phrase a couple of times just to fully savor it. This is also, in my opinion, the most emotional of the three even though the murder case is the least personal for Annalee. (More on that in a moment)

I love Annalee, our intrepid Sherlock-savvy professor-turned-amateur-sleuth. She’s authentic and smart and a layered combination of tender-hearted and no-nonsense. She can absolutely take care of herself, but she also knows that she is better with a community of support. In this series, that community comes in the form of her swoony sweetie Pastor Jack Blake, a precocious orphan named Eddie, and her ‘little coterie of church-lady buddies’. Truth Be Told also expands her support network to include several other unexpected allies, including a borrowed dog named Bullet, a beloved figure from history, and some members of a traveling ‘colored carnival’. Each of these supporting characters – familiar and new – are so vibrantly crafted by the author, so that you feel as if you really do know them. And I know I would be hanging out with them in real life were such a thing possible with fictional characters.

But dear readers, in Truth Be Told, Patricia Raybon didn’t just entertain me… she also took me to church and took me to my knees. I honestly felt like I had joined Jack’s church in worshiping and crying out to Jesus during one particularly powerful service on Hope in the face of senseless hate, that’s how deeply she immersed me in this story. Another scene – the one that actually precipitated that worship service I just spoke of – left me grieving at the atrocious things we can do to fellow human beings in the name of fear, arrogance, ignorance, and just plain evil. I had to put the book down for a few minutes and spent some time praying the name of Jesus, through tears, over what I had just read. Oh Jesus, forgive us.

Bottom Line: Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon is a multifaceted novel that can be enjoyed on several different levels. On the one hand, it’s a fascinating mystery with complex layers and clever red herrings that roped me in, kept me guessing, and ultimately took me by surprise. On the other hand, it’s a swoony and incredibly tender romance between Annalee and Jack, one that’s been simmering since book one and continues to march toward a forever kind of relationship (one that I’m cheering loudly for). Still deeper, this is a thoughtful and sometimes raw spotlight on a painful period of history, one where ‘good people’ looked the other way as horrendous sins were committed against image bearers of God, allowing evil to look as though it would triumph. But it’s also an altar call for Hope, for repentance, for ‘boots on’ toward justice, and God’s truth. This is a story that engaged my emotions and entertained me, while also leaving me different at the end than I was at the beginning. Brava, Ms. Raybon! Onward!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. In the interest of full disclosure, the company I freelance for as a blog/review tour coordinator was hired to promote this book with a social media tour at an earlier date, with which I had limited involvement. This in no way affected my review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)

My Rating: 5 stars / in a class by itself

KissingBook Level: 3 / may forget to breathe on occasion

affiliate links used

Patricia Raybon

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. Her devotional writing appears in Our Daily Bread where she’s a regular contributor. She also authors the Annalee Spain Mysteries, an exciting “history mystery” featuring a young Black theologian—a fan of Sherlock Holmes—who solves crime and consequence during Colorado’s dangerous 1920s Klan years.

Patricia’s personal essays on faith, family and race have been published in The New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, USA Today, USA Weekend, Chicago Tribune, The Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, the Charles Stanley Ministries In Touch Magazine and featured on National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition.

For a deep dive into Patricia’s compelling world of faith and fiction, connect with her daring and insightful books—and receive a free download of her “Busy Person’s Guide to Hearing God”—at

Other Recently Featured Books by Patricia Raybon

God Is Our Help by Patricia Raybon

Truth Be Told giveaway

Tyndale House is offering a print copy of Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

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What about you? What makes you want to read Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon?

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62 responses to “Book Review (and a Giveaway!): Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon

  1. Kay Garrett

    Thank you for your review on TRUTH BE TOLD by Patricia Raybon. Sounds like a fabulous story. I’ve added it to my TBR list and I can’t wait for the opportunity to read it.

    • Thanks for your kind feedback, Kay. I loved writing “Truth Be Told,” and I’m excited it’s on your reading list! Warmest thanks and happy reading! Patricia Raybon

  2. Pam K.

    I want to read Truth Be Told because I read the previous books in the series. I really enjoy a good mystery and these didn’t disappoint. I also like the historical aspect of the books.

    • What wonderful feedback, Pam. I’m so honored you’re reading the Annalee Spain Mystery Series. I love writing it, and I pray you’ll also enjoy the third story, “Truth Be Told.” My warmest thanks and best regards. Happy reading, too! Patricia


    This looks like a book I will thoroughly enjoy. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Michael. I loved writing “Truth Be Told,” and I pray you’ll get an opportunity to read it. Kindest thanks, too, for sharing the giveaway opportunity on social media. I appreciate your generous support so much. Happy reading, too! Peace and joy, Patricia Raybon

    • Thank you so much, Dawn! I loved writing “Truth Be Told,” and I pray you check it out and enjoy reading it! Best regards and happy reading! Patricia Raybon

  4. Patty

    I just recently read the first book in this series, and look forward to more of Annalee’s story.

    • What wonderful feedback, Patty! I feel so honored that you’ve read Book One of the Annalee Spain Mystery Series. Thanks for enjoying Annalee’s adventures. I pray you’ll enjoy “Double the Lies” and “Truth Be Told.” Your book await! Happy reading! Peace and joy, Patricia

    • Thanks so much, Susan! I loved writing “Truth Be Told,” and I pray you have the opportunity to read it–and, in fact, the entire Annalee Spain Mystery Series. My warnest thanks and happy reading!
      Peace and joy,
      Patricia Raybon

    • Thank you so much, Regina! I loved writing “Truth Be Told,” and I pray you have the opportunity to read it! Warmest thanks and happy reading!
      Peace and joy today,

    • Thank you so much, Sandy! I really appreciate your feedback. I loved writing “Truth Be Told,” and I pray you have the opportunity to read it! Warmest thanks and happy reading!
      Peace and joy,

  5. Kasi Walas

    Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon intrigues me because it blends historical fiction with a gripping mystery. The story’s exploration of race, faith, and redemption through a compelling, character-driven narrative promises an engaging and thought-provoking read

    • What wonderful insight, Kasi! My warmest thanks for your understanding and affirmation of “Truth Be Told” and all it seeks to tell. Carrie did such a fabulous job explaining the book’s premise and plot. I pray you have opportunityh to read and enjoy it soon. My best regards and happy reading!
      Peace and joy today,
      Patricia Raybon

    • Thanks so much, Lucy. I’ve enjoyed writing the Annalee Spain series so much and I hope you have a chance to check it out! My warmest thanks and happy reading.
      Peace and joy!

  6. Jo Ruth

    Honestly this whole series looks and sounds wonderful. And I love seeing some diversity on the cover. The story for this book really has me wondering how it will all turn out!

    • Thank you so much, Jo Ruth! I love writing the mystery series through the perspective of a young woman of color. I’m grateful you appreciate the valuyue of offering a different point of view. I pray you enjoy the series and discover how things in the stories turn out! My warmest regards and happy reading!
      Peace and joy,

  7. Janice Moore

    Since I was impressed by the earlier 2 books in this series, I am eager to read this one!

    • Thank you so much, Janice. What wonderful feedback. I’m honored and delighted to hear you enjoyed the first two Annalee Spain Mysteries. I pray you find “Truth Be Told” just as compelling. I enjoyed writing it and thank you so much for planning to read it. Warmest regards and happy reading!
      Peace and joy,

    • Thank you so much, Elle. I enjoyed writing “Truth Be Told” so much, and I pray you have a chance to read it soon. It’s a compelling story, indeed. My warmest regards and happy reading!
      Peace and joy,

  8. Sarah Evankovich

    What interests me is the mystery aspect along with the church connection & the strong faith message. Not to mention the historical African American historical perspective.

    • Thank you so much, Sarah. You are so right. What makes the Annalee Spain Series so compelling to write are its interwoven elements of faith and race, history and mystery. I asked the Lord to help me find readers who would appreciate the series’ unique layers, all informed by the detective’s struggles as she journeys by faith. I pray you find your way to the Annalee Spain stories and deeply enjoy them. My kindest thanks for considering the series and happy reading!
      Peace and joy,

  9. Good day, Teresa. It’s my delight and honor to make your acquaintance. I pray you’ll find our way to one of the Annalee Spain mystery and enjoy her story. Kindest thanks for considiering!
    Peace and joy,

  10. Nancy

    I would like to read Truth Be Told by Patricia Raybon because I love discovering new to me authors and series.

  11. Teri DiVincenzo

    Annalee Spain is such a boss! I have loved the other books in this series and have no doubt this one will be a delight!

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