You Won’t Know How … Or When: What Readers Are Saying


Amazon Review: A surprise ending that is filled with the kind of heart and warmth and understanding that only Callan can bring to a cozy mystery.”

On day one of Father Frank’s first vacation in four years, a man says to him, “I’m gonna kill you.”

Then suddenly, the threat of violence includes another person. Now, Father Frank knows something must be done. But since the threat came via the confessional, he can’t tell the police. He can’t even tell the other person who is in danger. Father Frank is pretty much on his own.

And to make matters worse, all this happens in Magnolia Bluff, a beautiful Texas Hill Country town, but a place Father Frank has just come to visit. He doesn’t know the people; he doesn’t know the town, and he certainly doesn’t have a clue who is issuing the threat.

His vacation hasn’t started well, and if he can’t stop this man from killing, it will end suddenly – and much worse.

“Cozy Mysteries these days tend to follow common and predictable plots. You Won’t Know How… or When is truly the exception.” E. Faber Amazon Review

James R. Callan

Review by Mystery Girl:

was intrigued to see how Father Frank would fit into the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles: a group of different authors, each writing an installment using the same setting with some overlapping characters. Author, James Callan did not disappoint, seamlessly continuing his Father Frank series, but with a change of scenery.

The twist here is that the murder has not been committed yet and Callan’s nuanced writing artfully creates a stressful and unpredictable read while remaining within the cozy format. Father Frank’s signature warmth and compassion are on display here as he seeks to save his friend and the would-be killer by preventing the murder.

This book is engaging from the first sentence as Father Frank works to honor his beliefs while facing the ultimate moral dilemma: should he break the seal of confession to save a life, or maybe two?

Review by Joseph A. Congel:

What’s most intriguing about the Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles series is that a different author writes each book, giving each story a different vibe. After reading the first three books in the series, all vastly different, but all equally well written, I was looking forward to seeing how the upcoming authors would attract me back to this cozy, yet crime ridden small town. Book four, You Won’t Know How …Or When, written by James Callan, is a perfect blending of his Father Frank series and the Magnolia Bluff series.

The Father Frank Mysteries are already centered around a town in northeast Texas, so it wasn’t hard to have the good Father take a drive to the Texas Hill Country to visit an old friend from his days at the seminary. When he arrives, however, he is asked by his friend, Father Lee, if he would take his place in the confessional that evening. His sister was being released from the hospital and he needed to be there for her. Of course, Father Frank agrees, and ends up hearing a man confessing to a murder yet to be committed. The twist? The man plans on killing the priest he thought he was confessing to… Father Lee.

Father Frank knows he must act, but as a priest, he is bound by the seal of the confessional and cannot tell anyone, not the police… not even the person the threat was meant for… his friend. He’s not even sure who the man in his confessional was. He is in a new town surrounded by new people, and he doesn’t know who he can trust. With a limited amount of time, Frank is on his own to find the man before he follows through on his threat.

This was the first book I’ve read by Mr. Callan. He has a style of writing that makes it easy to become absorbed into the story. What I loved about this book was the measured reveal of the clues, brought on by the unique issue of Father Frank’s dilemma. Not knowing how or when the murder attempt would happen and trying to collect information without breaking the sacramental seal, gave this story an enjoyable slow burn that kept me turning the pages.

You Won’t Know How …Or When lives up to the quality of writing and storytelling I’ve come to expect in this wonderful series. This book can be read as a stand-alone, but I suggest you read all the books in the Magnolia Bluff series. You certainly won’t be disappointed.

Please click HERE to find You Won’t Know How … Or When on Amazon.

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