Hauntingly Good Christian Mysteries and Suspense Novels

In the spirit of fun, fun, fun…we’re going to look at a few hauntingly good Christian mysteries and suspense novels. This is a wonderful time of year to do it. We recommend getting to your local bookstore or ordering one of these books online…then make yourself a cup of spiced or cranberry tea or try a pumpkin latte and read-read-read.

THE WITCH TREE by Karin Kaufman

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Four days before Christmas in Elk Park, Colorado, genealogist Anna Denning discovers a client’s body. When she starts asking questions no one wants answered, she becomes the killer’s next target. Still grieving the death of her husband, Anna must draw on her wounded faith to enter a world of wicca and paganism—reminders of a past she buried long ago—and discover the secret of THE WITCH TREE. ~ Finaled in the Grace Awards 2011, Mystery/Romantic Suspense/Thriller category.

Crime Fictionista: Why is THE WITCH TREE A hauntingly good read?

Karin:   think a lot of people enjoy lightly spooky books. You get the fun of the chill, but nothing too heavy or dark. The Witch Tree has its spooky moments, but it also has humor, characters you’d like to have as friends or neighbors, and a touch of romance. It’s a curl-up in-bed read, but you’ll have no problem turning off the lights when it’s time to sleep!

Crime Fictionista:  Would you term the novel thrilling, chilling, spooky, ghoulish, and/or creepy? Or something else?

Karin: I’d say it’s cozily spooky.  Nice with a cup of hot mulled cider.

Purchase Links.

Amazon/Kindle. http://is.gd/7ahi5Z

Barnes and Noble/Nook. http://is.gd/HUkSuK

CHOSEN by Barbara Ellen Brink

Genre: Young Adult

With tongue firmly in cheek and genuine Amish-made stakes at hand, The Amish Bloodsucker Trilogy sets off like a bat in the belfry. Jael the vampire slayer is ready to kick some serious bloodsucker butt. Seriously.

Move over Buffy – there’s a new slayer in town! Raised in the desert of Nevada, and destined for the Minnesota Loon Lake Amish Community, Jael Shetler is the Chosen One.

Trained by her uncle and father in twenty-one different forms of hand-to-hand combat – she also throws a knife with the speed of a bullet, and is accurate to within two centimeters of a cold, dead heart with her crossbow – she is a bloodsucker’s worst nightmare.

Her parents, forced to leave their plain and simple upbringing to escape the clutches of the new Bishop – an ancient and powerful vampire with plans to use the Amish Community as his own personal Jamba Juice – raise and train their daughter to continue the fight begun thousands of years earlier by another Jael, and to fulfill the prophecy in the Book of the Shunned.

Soon Jael is turning sweet sixteen and then … all hell will break loose.

Crime Fictionista:  Why is CHOSEN a hauntingly good read?

Barbara:  CHOSEN has just the right amount of fun and fights in the dark of night with creepy undead creatures . It’s a stakingly good time.

Crime Fictionista:  Would you term the novel thrilling, chilling, spooky, ghoulish, and/or creepy? Or something else?

Barbara:  Chosen has lots of thrilling/chilling fight scenes and creepy vampires but is punctuated with light moments of sarcastic humor. I’d say it’s thrilling/chilling, creepy humor!

Purchase Links.

Amazon/Kindle. http://is.gd/iJukJ2


Genre: Romantic Suspense

Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens.  A perfect place to start over… or get lost. Once a sacred meeting place of aboriginal tribes, some say the land is cursed. But its history goes even farther back than indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?

 is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.

Crime Fictionista:  Why is WIND OVER MARSHDALE a hauntingly good read?

Tracy:  The book definitely has supernatural undertones. The  male protagonist, Thomas Lone Wolf, feels a strong pull toward his  heritage as a Cree medicine man and experiences strange dreams which seem  to be tied to his dead ancestors. Another character, Mirna Hyde, is heavy      into the occult. She is a practicing witch and considers it part of her  mission to enlighten those who don’t believe in the ‘ancient ways’. She      can be found conducting various rituals in her backyard, gathering herbs on the prairie at strange hours, or sharing her knowledge with curious    teens. This undercurrent of spiritual forces at work flows throughout the book.

Crime Fictionista:  Would you term the novel thrilling, chilling, spooky, ghoulish, and/or creepy? Or something else?

Tracy:  The crazy witch lady is definitely creepy, right down to her wild eyes and even wilder clothing. The possibility of latent supernatural forces resurfacing in a modern era could be spooky, I suppose, and there are definitely some thrills, which of course I can’t reveal without spoiling it for readers.

Purchase Links.

Amazon/Kindle. http://is.gd/uGRu9z

Barnes and Noble/Nook. http://is.gd/sfZd94



I’m thrilled to be showcasing THE RADICAL RIDE, a novel that takes the reader from suspense, to terror, to the demonic. Now let’s find out a bit about this novel…



Seven strangers become the center of a series of assumed terrorist attacks on Los Angeles, California, that change their lives forever. News anchor Andi Stokes is on her way up in the world of television broadcasting when something she’s reporting gives her more publicity than she could hope for – because she’s the target victim. When she meets Randy White, a California surfer, she knows she’s met the one, but these violent events taunt their relationship. On the other side of town, Andi’s old high school teacher, Jeff, is the target of demonically possessed men out to kill him. Through a series of horrific, violent events, they find themselves deeply embroiled within a demonic terrorist’s plot. ~ With the poser of faith, can they stop this evil in time?



A few moments later, five men entered the room. Andi gasped underneath that tape covering her mouth at two of them with the bright red eyes. These were the figures on the recording. She did so again when the last man entered, with not only a brighter set of glowing red eyes but also with a reddish luminescence surrounding his head…. He seemed to be embracing the moment, as if in a drug-induced euphoria. He also appeared to be accompanied by the outlines of two, dark shadows behind him, filling the room with a heavy, demonic presence.


So, Lanny, tell us what’s so “radical” about THE RADICAL RIDE? 

I think the reader will experience a literal and figurative “ride” of sorts from this story.  In the world of surfing, becoming one with the wave is an example of achieving THE RADICAL RIDE. A skydiver will certainly take a thrill-trip every time he or she jumps from either a plane or a mountain top. A near death experience is the best example of THE RADICAL RIDE

I’m speculating that when someone crosses the line of religion to religious fanaticism, then this person is on his or her way to taking a spiritual ride of their own.  When a person loses a loved one and is on the verge of losing hope, I believe that an encounter with Jesus Christ will certainly prepare that person to get up and get back on the road to healing, hope and purpose – which can be considered a radical ride in itself, created by the most radical person who ever walked the earth!



Lanny Smith is a Christian high school teacher, a former “Class B+” surfer and veteran of the U.S. Air Force.  He currently lives in Florida with his wife and two of his three children.



Purchase Links:

Amazon. http://is.gd/Rv1QGF

Barnes and Noble. http://is.gd/9mHfF9

CBN. http://is.gd/KKrSJ3

The Web Store. http://is.gd/UaUdGJ

Tate Publishing. http://is.gd/Laeirl