Seer Stone

A Matt Ryan Mystery

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
239 Pages
Reviewed on 04/05/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Donna Banta authored her first full length story at age ten, a mystery/thriller about the cote of mourning doves that toddled around her backyard. To this day, she continues her fascination with specific communities. Her novels, The Girls from Fourth Ward, False Prophet, and Mormon Erotica are set within Mormonism, her former faith. Her short fiction has appeared in various literary journals and story collections including, Latter-Gay Saints: An Anthology of Gay Mormon Fiction (Lethe Press) and Recreating Our Common Chord (Wising Up Press). She is currently at work on a new mystery, this time set in Texas. She lives in Sonoma, California with her husband.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alma Boucher for Readers' Favorite

Seer Stone by Donna Banta is a murder mystery about Matt Ryan, a private detective, and his new employee, Carrie Zimmerman, an ex-Mormon. Robert McKay Christiansen, known as Bob, is killed. He was an antique collector of Mormon memorabilia that once belonged to Brigham Young. Bob posted online on a Mormon chat forum that he had a seer stone. The stone is magical and can be used to tell the future. Annie Christiansen hires Ryan to find her estranged husband's killer. Annie thinks she knows who the killer might be. He was at her home looking for the stone. The possible killer has been tracked to Utah. Ryan suspects that the killer wants to be a prophet and needs the stone. Ryan and Carrie go to rural Utah where they are thrust into the middle of some Mormon strongholds.

Seer Stone is fast-paced and full of action, an engaging read by Donna Banta. This is a complex mystery full of folklore, magic, and murder. The suspense had me guessing until the end. I could never predict what would happen next. I was drawn into the world of Mormonism by the descriptions of the events and the people. I felt part of this journey and learned much about the LDS culture. At times, the events were vivid and scary. The characters are brilliantly developed. There are a variety of characters, and they are authentic. The story is excellently written and full of humor, danger, and magic. With all the twists and turns, I did not see the end coming. It was a huge surprise.