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The Cana Mystery

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  630 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
Digging in the heart of the vast desert, archeologists unearth something that will change history. Legends tell of an ancient code no mortal man can read. Summoned from grad school in Boston, brilliant Ava Fischer might be the only person alive with the skills and attributes necessary to unlock a secret that's slept for centuries. Chased by ruthless criminals, terrorists, ...more
Kindle Edition, 338 pages
Published July 10th 2013 by Tuscany Press
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(showing 1-30 of 1,909)
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Ben Mcclellan
Sep 08, 2013 Ben Mcclellan rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a great summer read. The author paints a variety of specific locations thorough out Europe and Northern Africa with great detail and insight. I have spent a fair amount of time overseas and can tell the author is writing from experience, not from a Frommer's travel book. The engaging specifics and descriptors amplify the storyline and draw the reader into identify with the angst, tension and frustrations of the main characters as they try to sur ...more
Brian O'Hare
Nov 23, 2013 Brian O'Hare rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All who enjoy thrillers
Recommended to Brian by: Catholic
The Cana Mystery by David Beckett

Fast-paced and intelligent thriller. 5 Stars

Well plotted and pacy, The Cana mystery is a very enjoyable thriller, professionally written and with attractive and convincing characters. The story is great, too, and the writer’s broad general knowledge, allied to superbly rich descriptions of the book’s various locations, gives the whole a very authentic feel and pulls the reader into the very fabric of the book’s world. It is enjoyable to follow the principal prota
Apr 04, 2014 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a break from my normal reads of the paranormal. The characters were well developed in my opinion and even had me laughing in places. It may have been your typical mystery/thriller/suspense ending, but it was still a well written book. I liked the archaeological plot line, and the flip back in time segments. It was a well round book with everything you need for a good read. I would recommend this book to those who like a good mystery with a little action, ad ...more
Bridget Case
Mar 28, 2014 Bridget Case rated it it was amazing
I don’t read thrillers and I was less than ‘thrilled’ when an enthusiastic friend urged me to open The Cana Mystery.

I studied English Lit in college; I’ll admit that I’m a book snob. For example, I hated The Da Vinci Code. I can’t stand Tom Clancy or Nelson DeMille. I won’t say Beckett is the next Marcel Proust, but, to my surprise, The Cana Mystery offers moments of literary excellence.

Looking past some raw sections, attentive readers will discover, amid the book’s shootouts, secret codes, is
Aug 28, 2013 Hayden rated it it was amazing
Some reviews have compared this book to the Da Vinci Code. It reminds me more of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The jars from the wedding at Cana -- I can picture Indiana Jones pursuing them. (In fact, this story would make a better movie than any but the first.) The setting is contemporary, though, and the characters are modern, including the strong female lead. And in his depiction of Ava and the other characters, Beckett writes with class, a rare (and precious) commodity these days. This is a book ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Amy rated it it was amazing
Great fast paced mystery, strong female lead character. Hard to put down once you've started! Lots of action but not predictable. Keeps you guessing. A fun read.
May 19, 2014 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Margaret by: Peter Mongeaux
Shelves: catholic-fiction
I'm not usually a fan of "thrillers." I prefer to leave all that technology, conspiracy, espionage and impending doom to the guys. Beckett's book proved to be an exception. Because I AM a fan of linguistics, religious history in the middle east, and intrepid feminine heroines.

In contrast to DaVinci Code's flimsy heroine, Beckett's Ava actually notices the blood on her clothes, wants a shower, cries on occasion, considers the socio-cultural impact of her wardrobe, and washes the sand out of her h
John F.
Jun 25, 2014 John F. rated it it was amazing
The Cana Mystery has all the elements of a top thriller. A strong female protagonist, exotic locales, and enough hardware to satisfy the avid Clancy fan. The mystery itself is worthy of Dan Brown, with tighter plotting and no lost or forgotten characters.

David Beckett has full command of his twists and turns, and ties them up neatly when he is done. This is a book you'll be glad you have on a rainy afternoon.
Terry Moritz
Aug 27, 2014 Terry Moritz rated it it was amazing
Great read! Unfortunately it appears to be the only book David Beckett has written--Mr. Beckett, get to work!! Suspenseful, taut action, the pace never slows and I never lost interest. Well researched and full of details that make the storyline pertinent and believable.
Jonel Boyko
Jun 28, 2015 Jonel Boyko rated it really liked it
This novel is well written and edited. Beckett’s easy to follow and intellectually stimulating writing style kept me captivated throughout. The history and mythology that finds its way into this fantastic story kept me completely captivated. This is combined in an intensely action packed adventure that takes you across the world. I appreciate how the author uses traditional and local names for places and people but also gives readers the names that we’d know it by. He easily avoids confusion wit ...more
Kindle Fiction Reviews
Oct 16, 2014 Kindle Fiction Reviews rated it it was amazing
Smart, squeaky-clean, and occasionally funny, this award-winning thriller made a splash in 2013. Beckett’s Cana Mystery, the first Tuscany Press novel of consequence, impressed media critics and pleased most readers.

The writing is imperfect but, when compared to its action-adventure brethren, Beckett’s work offers a stronger-than-average plot, more compelling characters, and superior craftsmanship. We settled on 4.5 stars; a few sections need additional polish.

The author exhibits enormous pote
Anne Madison
Nov 14, 2013 Anne Madison rated it it was amazing
In the archaeology/ adventure/ historical thriller category, this novel is superior to any other book I've read in the last 4-5 years. I recommend it to sharp, educated readers who enjoy puzzles, world history, and travel. Folks too busy or too preoccupied to read carefully might (occasionally) become lost or confused by the various riddles and fascinating intricacies. Clearly, the author was shooting for a sophisticated, perceptive audience; the "downside" is that not everyone who zips through ...more
Apr 12, 2014 Booklover2020 rated it it was amazing
I have always enjoyed action-packed novels in the suspense/thriller genre. I was rather wary of reading a book from a small, quirky, independent publisher. Yet, despite a few noticeable copy-editing flaws, The Cana Mystery ranks among the best 3-4 thrillers I've read this decade. In fact, Mr. Beckett's successful debut may be the single BEST thriller I've read since 2009.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Dec 03, 2014 Jennifer (JC-S) rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
‘Something sought in a historic hat bag has been found.’

Ava Fischer, a post graduate student in Boston, receives a call from Paul, a former boyfriend. Will she fly to Yemen to help solve a puzzle in Yemen? She will be well paid, but the only clue Paul can provide her is very cryptic. While she’s considering, Pope Benedict XVI resigns, and the world focusses on the election of a new pope. Ava is curious, and accepts Paul’s offer. Are these artefacts directly linked to Jesus Christ? In the meantim
J Jackson
Dec 17, 2014 J Jackson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazing
The Midwest Book Review called The Cana Mystery, winner of the Tuscany Prize (2013) and an IPPY award, “a solid, fun read” with “the light modern feel of a cable TV miniseries plot.” I agree with Gordon’s assessment, but I’d go a step further. While imperfect and (in a few places) wanting professional edits, this smart novel sneaks into the top 15% of its genre thanks to interesting characters and a lucid, engaging style. While Beckett’s creation is a light, fun read (& clearly not “serious” ...more
Mary Smith
Nov 11, 2013 Mary Smith rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-winners
I really loved this book. It was full of exciting chase scenes, hidden riddles, exotic scenery, and delectable foods. It is especially good for people who are interested in history and the Bible. I particularly like that it doesn't spoonfeed the readers. I'm so sick of these commercial books that treat me like a child. I like to have a chance to figure some things out for myself -- this book allowed me to do that. But it ties things together in the end, which was great since there were a few thi ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
Archaeology, Israel, Bible times, prophecy, ruins, travel, fast action, good vs. evil, exciting characters, wealth beyond belief, cyber- technology, story twists, fun word puzzles for levity and for quiet thinking....

Like I have said in another review, I don't like to write 'book reports'. This is a great story and the only reason I couldn't read it straight through was the need of sleep!!

Highly recommended. This is David Becketts debut novel. I'm anxiously awaiting his next one.

For another outs
Nov 12, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
Book Source:Netgalley

Part Indiana Jones, part Da Vinci Code; the Cana mystery is a thrilling read, especially the scenes set in present day. The chapters that went back in time were important to the plot, though they weren't quite as exciting as the ones set today. The story kept me well entertained, though. The author seems to have done his homework and it shows. If you like historical thrillers I think you'd enjoy this. It also had a nice touch of romance with resourceful, intelligent characte
Sally Malkowski
Aug 25, 2014 Sally Malkowski rated it it was amazing
Incredibly well written mystery about the search for the lost jars of Cana with heaping doses of church history spoon fed throughout. As a cradle Catholic, I was intrigued from the beginning although I will admit that not knowing my religious heritage made it difficult to follow at times. Taking the time to research made the read entertaining as well as informative. If you like mysteries, which incorporate early religious history, travelogues, and likeable characters, this intricately interwoven ...more
Catherine Barranco
Jul 30, 2013 Catherine Barranco rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-winners
I particularly enjoyed the historical aspect of the book. It is captivating to see how Beckett has woven fantastic historical figures into the backstory. He really is an AMAZING writer – this story would be so incredible on the big screen!! My favorite part of Forrest Gump was seeing how famous historical figures entered into Forrest’s life. The Cana Mystery generates the same appeal – the audience is left in great anticipation to see what amazing figure will work into the backstory next. This w ...more
Mike Spears
Sep 24, 2013 Mike Spears rated it it was amazing
My wife reads lot of crap chick-lit (just kidding!) but when she insisted I read this new book I did not expect anything I would actually enjoy. Surprisingly, it turned out to be an intelligent, exciting mystery with good male characters as well as female. I spotted references to The Godfather and Star Wars mixed into the fast paced story. The romance plot was predictable but not too sappy like many. Unique villians and very accurate descriptions. Good for a family audience.
Melissa Stark
Feb 19, 2014 Melissa Stark rated it it was amazing
Purchased based on positive reviews in The Times of Malta & the San Antonio Express-News. I agree with both that book is exciting, well-written, & fun. Must echo others who said Beckett did a lot of research and I enjoyed the novel’s climactic final act. It’s funny how some want to attack this book just because it's getting popular. Good “mystery” for a chilly night. Like original raiders of the lost ark but less gory (no one’s face gets melted off!) I would read sequel"
Ren nerdychampagne
I can't believe I read this for two weeks. That's a record.

The Cana Mystery intrigued me right from the start.

The plot is great. Though I can't say the mystery is something that impressed me. You know that I'm a big mystery fan. Anyway, the whole thing was new, unique, and something I've never read before.

I'm not all into the Christian stuff but the history part in relation with the religion was interesting.

I love the characters. They were easy to connect to though I can't say the romance has
May 15, 2014 Joshua rated it it was amazing
Good and surprisingly funny in moments

I recommend for 2 reasons: this book won the 2014 National Medal (Best Suspense/Thriller) from the Independent Publishers Association. I try to support independent press -- not just corporate. Also, it’s a decent, engaging thriller & actually funny at times.

I expect to laugh and spray coffee when I read Tina Fey, David Seddaris, Steve Martin, BJ novak + a few others. When I read mystery, historical fiction/ thrillers, I never laugh – unless I’m laughing
L.A. Nicholas
Oct 19, 2013 L.A. Nicholas rated it it was amazing
I got hooked on this book when I read the Kindle sample download -- I could see the author was setting me up for a great tale with one of my favorite combinations of ingredients: exotic locals, arcane knowledge, archaeology, action, and romance. But, I'll be honest, based on the sample, I wondered if the book would deliver on the promise.

I just finished it and must say that I was totally hooked. Once the action got started, it just didn't stop, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Abou
R.b. O'gorman
Jul 13, 2013 R.b. O'gorman rated it it was amazing
A female Jack Ryan battles the Antichrist.

David Beckett’s debut novel is an ambitious work that never disappoints, weaving a tale that connects the jars from the wedding feast at Cana to the election of a new pope and the threat of the Antichrist. His fast-moving plot rivals Ludlum but he doesn’t sacrifice literary prose. The religious intrigue reminds one of Dan Brown but with greater veracity. Fans of Tim Lahaye will be intrigued by the novel’s premise. Beckett takes us from Boston to Rome and
Carmel Chapline
Oct 20, 2013 Carmel Chapline rated it it was amazing
Got an ad in my inbox from Tuscany Press for a free e-book. I don't usually respond to those, but I was getting ready for a plane flight and this looked like it could be a good, rather easy read. Downloaded it, and started it on my way home. Great story. Lots of action, tied both to history and current events. The main characters are pretty incredible, but in the sense of people whom you would like to know--brilliant, witty, caring, honest. Faced with challenges they understand only pieces of, t ...more
Sep 16, 2013 Shipley rated it it was amazing

I heard about this novel praised on EWTN radio. It took me a while to find one (amazon sold out) but I finally ordered one from the publisher in Boston. I enjoyed the book's characters, mystery and unpredictability. Like others said, it was sort of an Indiana Jones mixed with Da Vinci Code. I also like the hacker angle and the prophecy which referenced Nostradamus. As a criticism, some chapters seemed more like a fast-paced action movie/ techno thriller than serious lite
Jan 08, 2014 Logan rated it it was amazing
This was a good story but the male character seemed too perfect. He was an athlete and he seems too smart. Of course he is also chivalrous and protective hero like in a typical romance. Just as someone else wrote, it could be considered a steriotype. The main chacater (female) is super smart and she is the one I actually liked. Other than that, I enjoyed the book. Very cinematic. It was well written with a good plot and I look forward to the sequel. An Excellent book that men and women will both ...more
Carolyn Overstreet
Sep 01, 2013 Carolyn Overstreet rated it it was amazing
The author includes lots of details in this book -- specific hotels and restaurants, menu selections, directions, historical events, etc. So when I was bored one day, I decided to Google some of the details. Everything I searched came up as 100% true! I don't know how the author got so many things right, but it's uncanny. This is a great story any way, but it took it to a whole new level when I saw how many things in this book are true.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Puzzle for Ava 4 4 May 27, 2015 02:33PM  
Library List 1 4 Jan 25, 2015 10:59AM  
Book Signing Event 1 3 Nov 02, 2014 06:09PM  
Silver Medal Winner!! 3 9 May 03, 2014 06:56AM  
Beckett Debate Quotes 1 11 Apr 19, 2014 10:20AM  
Public Event 2 4 Apr 01, 2014 10:43AM  
Errors 3 8 Feb 16, 2014 03:58PM  
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“Daybreak. Pope Pius II watches a fiery orb crest the Tiber. His mind drifts. He recalls that Aristotle’s student Callippus once computed the seasons’ duration, measuring the sun’s movement within its ethereal sphere.” 2 likes
“In a time when error reigns— bleak days the world doth mourn, cries of anguish, great with pain, children of the light forlorn.” 2 likes
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