Item description for Who's Grace? (John Smyth Mystery Series #1) by James R. Coggins...
Overview An airplane passenger witnesses a murder happening on the ground and, shortly after reporting it to the authorities, moves from religious fanatic to prime suspect.
Publishers Description When John Smyth witnesses an apparent murder from the window of a descending airplane, even he is not certain he can believe his own eyes. So when investigators hear his statement, they dismiss his story as the hallucination of a religious fanatic. Then a woman's body is discovered, identified only by a pendant bearing the name, "Grace." Suddenly Smyth, an unassuming family man and magazine editor, finds himself the chief suspect in a baffling crime. A John Smyth Mystery by James R. Coggins.
Citations And Professional Reviews Who's Grace? (John Smyth Mystery Series #1) by James R. Coggins has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Romantic Times - 06/01/2004 page 127
CBA Retailers - 10/01/2003 page 49
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Studio: Moody Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.14" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.59" Weight: 0.52 lbs.
Release Date Jan 31, 2004
Publisher Moody Publishers
Series John Smyth Mystery
ISBN 0802417647 ISBN13 9780802417640
Availability 0 units.
More About James R. Coggins
DR. JAMES R. COGGINS (B.A., M.A. McMaster University; Ph.D. University of Waterloo) is an award-winning author of Mountaintop Drive, Desolation Highway, and Who's Grace? in his John Smyth Mysteries series. He previously served as an editor with the Mennonite Brethren Herald for 19 years. Dr. Coggins currently lives in British Columbia, Canada with his wife, Jackie, and their two daughters.
Reviews - What do customers think about Who's Grace? (John Smyth Mystery Series #1)?
Poor characters make this book flat Jul 30, 2006
This book really frustrated me. The idea was good, the writing was pretty good, but I still didn't enjoy it. First of all, Coggins spends too much time cutting back and forth from one scene to another. There is a difference between being surprised and being confused. You would be reading one situation with some characters and then, without warning, you're in a completely different situation. If the characters had been well-defined, that would not have been a problem, but they were not. So I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who was doing what.
The characters were one-dimensional. There was no depth to them, and that made it difficult to sympathize with them. All the non-Christians use stereotypes to refer to the main character, John Smyth. But by not developing the characters, Coggins is the one who trivializes Christians. There is a femi-nazi in the book who actually makes libelous statements at a public rally. One would think that a person in her position (the leader of an anti-domestic violence group) would have more sense. In fact, if she had been written with some depth, rather than relying on cookie-cutter stereotypes, the book would have been more interesting.
She was not the only poorly written character. The two main police officers cannot be civil to each other to save their lives. Again, their animosity was oversimplified. And the list of bad characters goes on and on. There's the head of the mission who shares a prayer request with a creepy reporter and a Pastor and his wife who evangelize every person the meet, and so on.
I won't get into how the murder is solved, because I don't want to ruin it for anyone who still wants to read this book. But suffice it to say, I was disappointed. If I was not the type of person who pretty much always finishes a novel that I start, I would not have read this book to the end.
The Mystery Of Grace Oct 19, 2004
Here's a new one, a Christian Murder Mystery set in Vancouver, written by a Canadian author named James R. Coggins.
John Smyth a magazine editor coming back from a conference looks down while the plane starts it's descent and believes he sees a murder occurring.
Once on the ground, he reports the sighting to the RCMP. Not taking him seriously they push it off as jet lag or him just seeing things. Until two weeks later when the body of a girl with the only identifying thing on her body is a necklace with a pendent on it. The pendent has the word Grace etched in to it. The connection to John Smyth?
The magazine he edits is called Grace magazine.
While trying to clear his name, John begins to talk to his pastor friends, they in turn talk to others and a list is formed of possible missing persons. Eventually the truth is found out.... But the outcome? I cannot tell. You'll have to read the book.