Mysterious Ways

Published By: David C. Cook

Book Category: Fiction, Westerns

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Reviewed by Lacy Williams

In this inspirational western, Burns introduces us to Amos Taylor, an outlaw whose only concern is taking care of himself

Amos comes up with a great idea: he's going to pretend to be a preacher to throw suspicion off of him. And it works! Now his only problem is that people expect him to preach on Sunday

With help from Joseph, a blind man who happens to be a devout Christian, Amos successfully preaches his first sermon. He quickly figures out that the contribution plate passes every Sunday. He doesn't even have to believe what he's preaching, and the people just eat it up. He also begins courting Miss Judy Valentine, a sweet young lady who wouldn't have given an outlaw the time of day

To come up with some extra money, Amos pulls a "dodge" on the Prescott brothers in a nearby town. Outraged, they go on the hunt for Amos

Meanwhile, instead of using the sermon that Joseph helped him prepare, Amos decides to preach what he wants to preach. Quickly, the townspeople figure out that they have been duped, and put Amos in jail

Joseph intercedes on Amos' behalf to the county judge, and Amos gets community service--preaching-- instead of jail time. But will the townspeople trust him after what he's done? Will the Prescotts catch up with Amos? Will he finally believe what he has been preaching all this time

Burns has masterfully painted an accurate picture of the old West. Dialogue, characteristics, setting, all are weaved together to create a wonderful western read. The novel does include a lot of Scripture and a strong inspirational message, which is expected, as the main character of the book is a preacher. Burns handles the message carefully, without coloring it with his own views. Burns also shows Amos' struggle with his past versus what he is learning in a realistic way that many readers will relate to

Armchair Interviews says: Terry Burns is a very prolific writer in this Western genre. If you like westerns and inspirationals, this is a must-read.

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