Mystery and the Ministers Wife
By Diane Noble
Escape to the charming town of Copper Mill, Tennessee. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, Copper Mill is a place of tradition and tranquility. But when Kate Hanlon and her husband Paul move in, they discover that small town life is anything but boring. The mysteries Kate uncovers are puzzling, but she always uses her quick mind, and the help of her friends to figure out the answer. See how faith can solve life’s mysteries in the Mystery and the Minister’s Wife series.
Episode One: Through the Fire
Mystery and the Minister’s Wife Series by Best-Selling Author Diane Noble
Sometimes God Calls us to Unexpected places…
In a huge step of faith, Kate Hanlon and Paul Hanlon leave their comfortable life in San Antonio to take over the pastorate of Faith Briar Church in the foothills of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. They are excited about embracing the peace and quiet of small town life, but when they arrive in their new hometown, their new church is in flames. It quickly becomes clear that nothing is what they thought it would be.
When evidence shows that the fire is not an accident–and that the wrong man has been arrested–Kate jumps into the fray. As she pursues her own investigation, she makes both friends and enemies in her new town. It isn’t until she receives threatening phone calls and a mysterious package that she suspects she’s on the right path. But when she’s caught in a harrowing life and death chase on a lonely mountain road, she certain of it.
Throughout, Paul struggles to keep the wounded church together. How will they rebuild? Was moving here a big mistake? Doubts multiply, but even as Kate races against time to confront the arsonist, she makes a discovery: hope and beauty can rise out of ashes. She’s also knows that healing can’t happen until justice is done.
Acceptance, Forgiveness, Friendship, Hope, Starting Over
Small town in Smoky Mountains, Church in stages of rebuilding, Home, Pumpkin Festival, Harrowing mountain road, cafe where locals meet
Kate Hanlon is in her early fifties. She’s adventurous, outgoing, artistic, bright, and has a whimsical sense of humor. She’s an empty-nester, used to city life and the large, comfortable church her husband pastored for many years. Even as everything in her new life turns upside down, she is surprised by her inner strength, stubborn tenacity, and a surprising new love for solving mysteries.
Paul Hanlon, also in his early fifties, has just resigned his pastorate at a large church in San Antonio to take over the tiny parish in the Smoky Mountains at the request of a friend, the elderly former pastor. But he wonders, was it midlife crisis or God’s leading that caused him to say yes. He loves his wife, but worries about this new side of her personality that’s emerging. She’s no longer just the parish helpmeet perfectly suited to her role as a pastor’s wife. She’s turned into Miss Marple right before his eyes, and it seems her curiosity and courage know no bounds.
Renee Lambert is a bossy and demanding parishioner who tries Kate’s patience throughout the series. Her sense of timing is terrible, and she often blunders into Kates investigations at the worst possible time. As the series progresses, she becomes increasingly interested in “helping” Kate, often with humorous results.
A Recipe for Disaster…
When a popular TV cooking network rolls into town to film their show at the historic Hamilton Springs Hotel, Copper Mill is in for big excitement, big personalities, and one big mystery. Kate loves to cook, but she’s mostly excited about the chance to reunite with her childhood friend Susannah Applebaum, now the host of her own cooking show. The two catch up and reminisce, but when the network’s unpopular producer disappears, all the clues point to the star. Susannah pleads innocence, but how well does Kate really know her friend after all this time? And what is so special about the secret recipes Susannah has been hiding?
Meanwhile, suspicious sightings in the unused wing of the hotel lead to speculation of otherworldly occurrences, and Paul must offer his congregation frank words of wisdom and a healthy dose of faith. With so much on the line, can Kate find the missing ingredient before its too late?
Some Secrets are Meant to Remain Hidden…
History comes alive in Copper Mill when a group of Civil War reenactors come to town. But when valuable memorabilia on loan to the library disappears, Kate vows to help the brokenhearted victim who loaned it find answers. A series of burglaries around town raises fears, but not all are as sinister as they appear. A mysterious note, a suspicious request, and a long buried secret lead Kate on a roundabout search for the truth. Meanwhile, a debate about the worship music just might tear apart Faith Briar Church. With some members ready to split, can Paul hold his fractured church together? Kate and Paul realize that sometimes God sends angels where you least expect them.
Understanding is the Reward of Faith…
When a group from Copper Mill returns from a tour in Italy, they bring with them a dose of international intrigue and excitement. Renee Lambert has a special souvenir – an ornate vase – as well as a new suitor. But just what is the ancient-looking artifact? Is it a clever copy of an antique, or is it the real deal? And why was Renee’s beau so insistent that she buy and carry it home? Can Kate solve the mystery of the vase without ruining her friend’s blossoming relationship? As Kate starts to uncover the truth about the souvenir, she quickly realizes she isn’t alone in her search. A cast of foreign men is also hot on the trail of this apparent treasure. Meanwhile, Kate’s daughter Melissa has a medical mystery, and Paul seems to be keeping secrets of his own. He asks Kate to simply trust him, but Kate isn’t sure who to trust anymore. Will she be able to help her daughter in her time of need? Will Kate’s faith in her husband be shaken, or will she patiently wait for answers? As Kate searches for the truth, she discovers that her faith in family and friends is immovable…and that her faith in God is stronger than ever.
An Eye for Art…
Copper Mill is buzzing with excitement over the opening of a new museum that features art donated by one of the town’s great success stories: a man named Davis Carr who spent a meaningful part of his childhood there. Carr has even made sure that the museum is equipped with a high-tech surveillance system run by security guru Clive Garfield. But when Paul’s mentor and friend Nehemiah Jacobs comes across the security feed of the museum, he sees more than just a few priceless paintings. Add to that Kate’s concern over her best friend’s teenage son, James, who part time for the security team. When his fearful behavior worsens, Kate flies into action. Desperate for information, tries to enlist the help of Renee Lambert, who usually is up to date on the goings on in Copper Mill, but Renee has sworn off gossip, and has no information to divulge. With or without Renee, Kate knows that something shady is going on in the museum, and worse, she worries that young James is in danger. Can she get to the bottom of it before it’s too late?
What Once was Lost…
As a violent storm sweeps through Copper Mill, Kate receives a startling phone call from church member Joe Tucker. Through the static, Joe shouts that he has found something of great value and that he needs help, and then the line goes dead. Kate knows that Joe and Russ Keenan, his carpenter, have been restoring old buildings on Joe’s land, and she worries that they may have been harmed during the storm. But when she arrives at his log cabin she is shocked by what she finds. The men are missing. Her search begins, not just for the missing men, but also for a treasure that may unveil Faith Briar’s long-lost past.
Award-winning novelist Diane Noble is known for writing strong female characters who face seemingly insurmountable odds with courage, spunk, and tenacity. A career novelist, Diane has written more than thirty books, five under a pseudonym, including romantic suspense, mysteries, historical and contemporary fiction. Two of her novellas have been adapted to stage and performed in Oklahoma and Texas.
Diane is a three time recipient of the Silver Angel for Media Excellence and a double finalist for Romance Writers of America’s RITA award for best inspirational fiction.
Diane loves wordplay, loves storytelling, but she is equally passionate about the world outside the realm of her writer’s heart. She is an advocate for those in need, especially children, and those who cannot help themselves, whether due to poverty, physical or mental illness, or disabilities. Diane lives in California’s low desert with her husband and three spoiled cats.