Review of Sibella Giorello “Raleigh Harmon Mysteries”

The Mountains Bow Down (Raleigh Harmon Mystery #4)The Mountains Bow Down by Sibella Giorello
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This whole series is quite enjoyable. After writing five novels about Raleigh Harmon as a geology-loving FBI agent, Giorello wrote three prequels featuring Raleigh as a precocious, geology-loving high school student who finds herself in troublesome situations requiring her analysis and detection skills.

I would recommend reading the novels in sequence–at least the “adult” ones. I jumped from The Stones Cry Out to The Mountains Bow Down. Since the novels trace Raleigh through her career and her relationships, reading the fourth in the series without reading 2 and 3 will have somewhat spoiled those for me. Whatever. Caveat lector.

Raleigh is spirited and creative, and she always seems to find a way to use her knowledge of geology to solve the crimes, often by going beyond the rules.

It’s curious to me that these books are characterized as “Christian fiction.” Raleigh seems a rather casual Christian. There isn’t any real Christian drama in the stories. There’s a significant amount of making fun of woo-woo New Age characters–quite appropriate, to my mind. Maybe the fact that there’s no “bad language” and no explicit sex (or even very much implicit sex) makes them “Christian fiction”? I’ll have to ask Marilynne Robinson if I ever meet her.

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