Genre: Christian Historical Mystery, Fairytale retelling
Release date: November 2, 2021
There’s a deadly secret in them thar hills—and gold, or so they say.
Deeply in debt to a wealthy local, Charles Sinclair, Dorothy Hodges’ father finally promises she’ll pay and in gold, no less. If only Dorothy could take to take the promises he spins out of thin air and turn them into that gold, all would be well.
With the help of a strange, rumpled man, Dorothy does manage to bring payment to one of Sinclair’s sons only to discover it won’t pay off the debt. Will the next payment be enough? The next?
When Charles Sinclair ends up dead, Dorothy is the obvious prime suspect, but Sinclair’s son isn’t so certain. Together they work to clear her name and find the real murderer of the Superstitions, but will they find the answers buried in those hills?
Find out in this next book in the Ever After Mysteries, combining beloved fairy tales and mysteries. The Lost Dutchman’s Secret offers a retelling of “Rumplestilskin” that requires more digging than a miner searching for The Lost Dutchman Mine.
I have never read a book in the Christian Historical Mystery/Fairytale Retelling category, so I figured I would give The Lost Dutchman’s Secret by Rebekah Jones a try. I enjoyed the story, but it took me a while to get into the book. Admittedly, I did not make the Rumplestiltskin connection upfront. However, once the story began to pick up some steam and the gold element was introduced, it made more sense.
The story takes place in the mountains and focuses on the legend of a gold mine. It had some interesting characters who ranged in status and wealth. Some of the characters I could connect with while others I could not. The characters kept the story alive simply because they were so diverse in personality.
In a nutshell, the main character, Dorothy, is thrust into a situation of responsibility that she is not prepared for due to a problem her father created then walked away from. Dorothy was an individual with a lot of heart. She was rich in integrity despite being dirt poor. Dorothy’s father, Joseph, was quite the opposite. He was definitely not my favorite character. His actions were so foreign to me. Thankfully, I found other individuals in the story more upstanding and intriguing to focus on.
Once fully drawn into the story, I experienced emotions from sadness and anger to excitement and wonder. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way that I did not expect but appreciated. On occasion, I wanted events to unfold quicker, and I felt there were too many accounts where retelling of the legend occurred at times, but overall, I am happy with the story and the ending.
If you are interested in reading books that fall into the Christian Historical Mystery/Fairytale Retelling category, check out The Lost Dutchman’s Secret! I give it 4 out of 5 stars.
Note: I reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for sharing my thoughts. I am disclosing this per FTC regulations.
About the Author
Rebekah Jones is first and foremost a follower of the Living God. She started writing as a little girl, seeking to glorify her King with her books and stories.
Rebekah is an old soul in a young body (she’s not 12 —honest!) While her exact age is classified, her interests are not. Among them are reading a variety of books, singing, playing, and composing music, studying all manner of subjects, nannying an adventurous group of youngsters, and, of course, writing her books, poems, articles, and short stories. She writes a wide range of books from gentle children’s adventures to family sagas to murder mysteries.
More from Rebekah
“They say that no one had ever seen gold ore like it before, neither have they ever since. Except in the possession of Jacob Waltz. His mine had ore of higher value and higher potency than any other mine found in Arizona…”
What if the Miller’s daughter from the tale of Rumpelstiltskin didn’t have to spin gold, but pay it? And because of an enormous debt – that she had no way of knowing the value? And her father wasn’t a miller, but an old miner with a penchant for carving animals while living in the Arizona desert? And what if, for her pains, she found herself mixed up in a murder?
And what if, somehow intermixed with this poor young woman and her troubles, came the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine?
If you don’t know about the legend of that lost mine, you should. Or I think that you should. It’s a real legend as old as the 1860’s. Except, it wasn’t lost when Jacob Waltz went bragging about it. That came later.
The mountains that house the legend are magnificent. When a friend of mine came to visit me, she and I went to explore the area around the Superstition Mountains, as well as a part of the mountains themselves. Standing in a forest of cacti and brush, the jagged rocks and sharp peaks towered above my head, while a critter skittered unseen. Beautiful isn’t quite a strong enough word to describe it. As we hiked up the mountain, making our way through a myriad of desert plant life, rocks of so many shapes and sizes, and tiny critters, I could picture Dorothy, the miner’s daughter.
The modern structures and buildings in sight, faded in my mind’s eye, and I could imagine the young woman partway up the mountain in 1929, wearing her old, faded dress, and staring out across the valley. We plotted out where her father’s shack would have stood, and I made note of a perfect crevice of rock where she might have sat to think or read. I rather found myself wishing I could live out there myself, even if living in a shack in the heat of the Arizona summer doesn’t wholly appeal to me.
When I finally got in front of my manuscript again, I could see Dorothy’s world so clearly, I can only hope I managed to capture it in the book itself. I doubt if I could have captured the beauty of those mountains in words, the sight of them as they changed colors in the sunset, or the glowing starry sky above them after dark.
As for the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine, I would be lying if I said I didn’t entertain fantasies about exploring the mountains to discover it, but we certainly did not go that far into the mountains. Besides, it was June in the Arizona desert. One does not blindly venture into the mountains on such an errand in such a time of year, unless one has a death wish. It’s rather fun to imagine though. Perhaps one day, I can go on a search – though I confess, I doubt it.
As for the book, I won’t say whether that lost goldmine is discovered or not. I’ll leave that for a reader to discover for themselves.
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