Roseanna M. White. A Name Unknown. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2017.
Reading a new series is always a risk. Even for a much-loved author, a new series offers an entirely different set of characters, settings, and situations that may be more or less appealing than their other stories. However, I also find it to be a great opportunity to see an author’s growth as a writer.
Ms. White releases the first novel of her new Shadows Over England series with A Name Unknown. In the months before World War I, Peter Holstein faces suspicion due to his German heritage. As the British monarchy considers changing their family name to something less German, Peter must also prove his loyalty to England. In an effort to justify his land holdings and citizenship, he hires Rosemary Gresham to find the family documents in his chaotic and disorderly library. Unbeknownst to Peter, Rosemary arrives on his doorstep with ulterior motives. She has been hired as a known thief to masquerade as a librarian to determine Peter’s allegiance to either England or Germany. As Peter and Rosemary work together to find the family’s history, Peter’s activities behind locked doors raise suspicion. However, the truth of his past and present activities may just be the key to his and Rosemary’s future.
A Name Unknown offers an intriguing storyline with a combination of romance, suspense, and humor that will delight fans of Christian historical fiction. Rosemary, Peter, and the story’s other characters provide a fascinating perspective of the months leading up to the start of World War I.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading A Name Unknown! While I had somewhat mixed feelings about Ms. White’s previous Ladies of the Manor series, this new release presents a significantly stronger example of her writing. The concept behind this new series appears to be much more intriguing, capturing the imagination of the reader from the very beginning of the novel. Additionally, A Name Unknown reveals a significant improvement from Ms. White’s previous series in terms of the quality of her historical research and ability to incorporate these details into the storyl. With a strong plot, cast of characters, historical basis, and an unexpected sense of humor, this book serves as the whole package, presenting a new high for Ms. White’s work. I look forward to seeing how she continues to build out this new series and her future novels, based on the level of excellence found in A Name Unknown.
Fans of Ms. White’s previous novels, including those found in her Ladies of the Manor, will definitely want to read A Name Unknown. Additionally, readers who enjoy historical Christian fiction with a touch of mystery and intrigue will also find this novel to be well worth trying.
Ms. White continues the Shadows Over England series with her release of A Song Unheard in January 2018!
Special thanks to NetGalley and Bethany House Publishers for an advanced copy of A Name Unknown!
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