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On My Nightstand…

On My Nightstand…

Laura Barker, editorial director


The Silent Order by Melanie Dobson


The recipient of ACFW’s 2011 Award for Romantic Suspense, this novel is set in and around 1920s Cleveland, Ohio, at the height of Prohibition. In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention the author is a long-time friend, but the plot of her novel drew me in so quickly that I would enjoy the read even without that added connection. A unique combination of “bonnet book” and mafia mayhem, The Silent Order offers plenty of suspense wrapped up in a historical read that differs from the usual contemporary Amish novel.


Along with mystery, romantic tension, and the ever-present threat of a mafia hit, Dobson weaves in a subtle thread of humor. I’m only about halfway through, but one of my favorite scenes so far features a street-smart police detective’s first encounter in driving a horse and buggy as part of his just-another-Amish guy masquerade to escape from mafia assassins. Fortunately for him, the horse does all the hard work.


Laura Barker is the editorial director for WaterBrook Multnomah, where she has worked a total of nine years. She’s thankful to have landed in a book publishing career, since her idea of the perfect day involves copious amounts of coffee and chocolate to be consumed in the company of a good book. Plus, access to large quantities of books is the only way she can afford to feed the reading addictions of her husband and their two boys.

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