by Colleen Coble
Published by Thomas Nelson (January 21, 2014)
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
5 Stars *****
Colleen Coble’s intriguing ‘Butterfly Palace’ darts along the shadowy paths of an invigorating mystery whodunit, comprising of killers, assassination plots, and hidden passage-ways. This gripping turn of the century novel set around 1900, encompasses the privileged and the poor with a passionate romance that pushes to take flight. Mysterious, exciting, and romantic…. What more could you want?!
Lily Donaldson tragically lost her father in an unexplained fire that also took the life of her fiancé Andy’s, father. Abandoned by Andy after the tragedy, and later fully orphaned by the recent passing of her mother, Lily Donaldson must make her own way and so takes a position at the grand Butterfly Palace in Austin, Texas, as a kitchen maid. Lily is soon shocked to discover the man who had stolen her heart, and more, at the party hosted by her employers. But why was Andy now strangely calling himself Drew and why didn't he want anyone to know that they were former acquaintances? Convinced he knows the identity of the perpetrator of the fire, Drew is consumed with finding the evidence required to bring him to justice. Before Lily knew what was happening, she was caught up in a web of secrecy, subterfuge, conspiracies, and murder!
The opulent four-story Butterfly Palace contains an extensive, exotic collection of butterflies which feature in the story, and with the ominous tone that author Colleen Coble brings to this novel, they cleverly add to the overall eerie atmosphere. Forever keeping you guessing are the twists and turns in this intriguing tale - almost as many as there were secret passageways in the labyrinth that was hidden within the walls of the mansion! The uniqueness of the various characters contributed much to the quality of this story as did the heart-pounding surprise ending. An encouraging message infused in ‘Butterfly Palace’ leaves you remembering that God is always refining us and that struggles and adversity can help you to grow into a stronger person!
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We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. ~Author Unknown
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