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Deadly Devotion

(Port Aster Secrets #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  1,200 ratings  ·  156 reviews
Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn’t been for Daisy’s mentorship, she wouldn’t have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.

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Paperback, 374 pages
Published June 1st 2013 by Revell Books
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Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,200 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Sarah Grace Grzy
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 14+ for mild violence and romance
This was so fun!

Somehow, Orchard's writing style always has me laughing . . . This author has a crazy fun way with words.

But what really makes her novels are her characters. Kate was so sweet, innocent, and naive. I loved how clueless she was. I'm frankly tired of the tough, I-can-do-it-all-myself, I'm-so-smart female MCs, so this was a refreshing change. Tom Parker was also a fabulous and well-rounded character, and I really liked him a lot. His backstory was great.

The mystery was fun, and ke
A typical mystery story. Tom, is an FBI, and Katie wants to prove that her friend was murdered...but too many people look suspicious.
The book doesn't quite finish as there is a sequel, but at least you get to know who killed Daisy. I thought there should have been a little more of a spiritual aspect to this book. The first half hardly even mentioned God at all, but the author brought in some good lessons at the end.
May 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Deadly Devotion is the first book in the Port Aster Secrets series and is also the first book that I have read by Sandra Orchard. I definitely enjoyed it and will be reading more of her books in the future.

The author had me, and the main characters, guessing and following different leads throughout the entire book! Kate and Tom truly had their hands full. There were so many people and potential motives that these two had to sort through.

Deadly Devotion really captured my interest. I was very sur
Cathy Daniel
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness, this book was SO good! I have to admit it was hard to get into at first. Kate seemed kind of dumb (she redeemed herself!) and the characters seemed confusing and I felt like there was a back story I was missing (there is one but it is going to unfold in the following books I'm sure) about halfway through it REALLY got good and I was so hooked! I am so glad I have book 2 ready to go!
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
About this book:

“Research scientist Kate Adams and her colleague Daisy are on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy suddenly dies. Kate knows that if it hadn’t been for Daisy’s mentorship, she wouldn’t have the job she loves or the faith she clings to. So when police rule Daisy’s death a suicide, Kate is determined to unearth the truth.
Former FBI agent Tom Parker finds it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old budd
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 15+
I don't understand why... I couldn't figure this one out! Although I had lots of suspects and suspicions. The author did a stupendous job with the spiritual, romance, and mystery aspect in this novel. Kate and Tom were so cute together! I recommend to any fellow murder mystery readers!
Victoria Lynn
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspence, mystery
It has been a while since I have read this, but I remember enjoying it a lot! It was a good mystery with lots of twists. I do know there was something content wise, but I don't remember what. . . LOL! I know, super helpful review! :)
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Kate Adams had become close friends with her mentor, Daisy Leacock, as they worked together in a research laboratory testing herbs as possible medicinal treatments. They were close to a breakthrough in a treatment for depression when Daisy was discovered dead. An investigation ensued, but with no evidence to indicate foul play aside from a cup of tea, the case was closed and Daisy's death was ruled a suicide. Kate knew her friend's strong spiritual beliefs and refused to believe that her mentor' ...more
Jul 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
Deadly Devotion is a crime mystery written by Sandra Orchard. It is the first book in the Port Aster series.

Kate Adams is a research scientist. Her mentor, boss, and friend, Daisy Leacock dies and the death has been ruled as a suicide by police. According to the coroner's report, Daisy died due to poisoning from something in her herbal tea. Kate does not accept the death as a suicide and demands the case be reopened so that Daisy's murderer is found.

Police Detective Tom Parker is ex-FBI who, t
Katy Lee
Apr 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge tea drinker, but Sandra Orchard’s latest suspense series, the Port Aster Secrets, now has me questioning every ingredient that fills my teabags. The titles of the teas on my canisters all sound delightful, but after reading the first book in Sandra’s series, Deadly Devotion, I have to question what exactly goes into my African Autumn Surprise teabags…eeeek!

Deadly Devotion is the first book in a three-book mystery series in which a romance arcs the series, along with an underlying sus
Marji Laine
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Sandra Orchard casts a delicious mystery in a picturesque town just north of the Canadian border. Port Aster is the quaint tourist village expected from travel magazines. But like the dilapidated buildings covered by the street-front facades, there's a lot more going on there than visitors can see. Things aren't always what they seem to be. A theme that echoes throughout this story.

Full of twisted sub-plots and unexpected laughs, the story baffles, as a good mystery should. Tom and Kate waffle b
Apr 12, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: murder-mystery
This should've been a terrific read. The concept is unique and fresh. But the police procedure is completely unbelievable. And the heroine comes off as a spoiled ditz.

At the very start, researcher Kate Adams rushes into the police station and castigates Detective Tom Parker for allowing the local newspaper to print an insulting story about her deceased friend having committed suicide. Apparently this college educated, professional young woman doesn't understand the police department does not man
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2017
This book went in circles. Kate suspects a person, follows or stalks that person, determines that person is innocent and then suspects that individual again. It got very tiresome after a while.

Tom is quite the bumbling detective, especially for a guy who used to be in the FBI. He's just not very good at crime fighting.

The mystery was not as thrilling as I thought it would be. I solved the crime almost immediately and it annoyed me that it took Kate and Tom so long to catch up.

I also didn't lik
Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
3.5 rounded up.

I enjoyed this book while reading it. I hadn't guessed the ending and who had done it, but I'm not very good at that usually. I liked the main characters, though the main police man was not very good at his job (or at least it felt that way for most of the book, his retired police man Dad was much more convincing).

My main complaint was it felt too long. There were parts where the pacing felt off. The ending in particular felt very unsatisfying, though I'm guessing this same case i
May 25, 2020 rated it liked it
This was ok. It very much leaves you hanging, which I didn't like. It felt like the last chapter was missing, not just "leaves you wanting more." Overall, it wasn't the best constructed mystery. There were LOTS of rabbit trails. I may or may not read the rest of the series.
Ellen Hamilton
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this modern-day murder mystery. It was well-written, facts seemed to be very well-researched, and the best part of it all were the main characters, Detective Parker and research scientist Kate Adams. I liked that they were normal people with families, not some weird, emotionally unavailable, mentally isolated people. I also liked that these people were religious, went to church, turned to God in their difficulties, and were overall nice, decent people. I just wish this w ...more
Deadly Devotion - A Review

Research scientist, Kate Adams, is shocked when her mentor dies suddenly in what the police have ruled as a suicide. Kate knows that Daisy didn't kill herself and is determined that the police re-open the case. Former FBI agent Tom Parker is reluctant to reopen the case. Yet when he discovers Kate investigating on her own, he unofficially reopens the case. As Kate and Tom investigate, someone feels that Kate has stumbled too close to the truth and wants her silenced -
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Deadly Devotion is book one in the Port Aster series. I was able to download it for free when book three came out. It is a suspenseful mystery with a sweet romance.

I loved Kate from the opening scene where she is trying to convince Tom to reopen the case. Kate is convinced that her mentor Daisy did not kill herself and or carelessly mix chemicals that killed her. Kate and Daisy have been working on a cure for treating depression with herbal medicine and they were getting close.
Tom is a former
Margaret Chind
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Margaret by: Donna Hausler
It’s always interesting going into a new series, but even more so when it’s a new-to-me author as this one was with Deadly Devotion. It was an interesting read, and while not fabulous if I stumbled across more by this author I think I’d get it. However I’m not sure at this point that I would desperately seek out the next read. Yet then if you know me, contemporary is not always my genre of choice. Kate was a bit of a quirky character, but I really liked Tom and he seemed real off the page. This ...more
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it
The book was good. It is my book club book this month and I am looking forward to the discussion. I realize that there were a number of things that were left dangling at the end of the book to entice the reader to pick up the next book.

Port Aster seems like a nice town. I wouldn't mind spending a lazy afternoon in the tea shop which seems to be the town's meeting place. While there was not a strong emphasis on Christian principles in the book, they were given a passing mention.

It did bother me
Cara Putman
Jun 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Deadly Devotion by Sandra Orchard is a book about the lengths one will go to in an effort to prove their friend did not commit suicide. Kate Adams is determined that her friend Daisy was murdered, but the police have labeled it accidental. She knows they're wrong and embarks on a search to prove it. In the process she needs help from Tom Parker, a former FBI agent who is trying to settle back into life in Port Aster. The book is filled with suspects, clue, and bits of romance. I had suspicious a ...more
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Suspense and romance is usually a combination that works for me. Add in herbal and homeopathic subjects and it's good. I just couldn't get into this one. The characters were annoying rather than engaging. The whole thing was just too much of a stretch. I finally just skimmed it and really didn't miss anything, which is a bummer because I was looking forward to this one. It's the first in a series and often subsequent books outshine the initial ones, so I am hopeful for the next one.
Carmen Lang
Pretty Good

I enjoyed the plot and mystery aspect. There were a few red herrings, but some good clues. Would have given a higher rating, but I found the main character Kate irritating. She was constantly jumping to conclusions and I couldn't believe people were actually answering her nosy, personal questions. She also seemed quite immature for her age. Not sure if I will read more of the series. Not a bad book, but there are too many other series I like better.
Aug 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
Zero stars if I could have. Characters are unlikeable, jumping to stupid conclusions without trying to get any real information. There are good romantic suspense novels out there, but this isn't one of them.
Melissa Sena
Feb 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fun read

This book was a fun read. I loved learning about herbs as they delved into what killed Daisy. The story line reminded me of the old time damsel in distress but this time her distress is by her own making.
Becky B
Kate is 100% sure her friend and mentor Daisy would never kill herself. So when Daisy's death is ruled a suicide, she tromps down to the police office of Port Aster and demands they reopen the case. The chief is stubborn and says it was a suicide and nothing points to foul play. But Kate knows Daisy. And Kate and Daisy, as women who work in the serious herbal remedy research field, know their herbs. The the one they say Daisy drank wouldn't have killed her the way the coroner says she died and i ...more
Faith Posten
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who Killed Daisy?

Kate was one of the best friends a person could possibly ever have because she was determined to be there even after death. She was confident that someone killed Daisy because she would never kill herself. No, Daisy loved life too much besides her Lord and also her friends too! She was even one of the people who loved her job in the research of plants and herbs. Therefore before Kate lost her nerve, she went to the Police Station to tell them so. But Hank, the Port Aster Polic
Sep 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The way this book started off, it almost seemed like maybe this series is a spinoff of another one, but I didn't stay confused for long.

Kate Adams is furious that the death of her mentor, Daisy Leacock, is being closed and "solved" as a suicide. She is positive that Daisy would never take her own life; if only Kate can get someone to believe her.

Kate has no great love for the police, (after losing her father while he was in police custody), but they are the only ones who can do anything. When
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Kate Adams is an herbalist trying to prove that her friend/mentor Daisy's death was not a suicide, as the Port Aster police have concluded. The problem is, she has too many suspects, and not enough proof. Was it the so-called nephew who was conning Daisy for her money? Was it the police chief's father, whom Kate suspects of growing marijuana in the woods? Was it the police chief himself, covering up for his dad? Was it Daisy's boss, doing herbal research for a big pharmaceutical company? Was it ...more
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This book would have been 4 stars, except for the ending. I liked the story and felt the action moved very well. There were so many suspects that it was pretty much impossible to guess who was actually guilty; exactly what I like in a mystery! The characters are distinct and interesting. I would have made it 4 stars instead of 5 because the supposedly Christian characters didn't spend a whole lot of time considering how God would have them act. What made me drop this down to 3 stars was the endi ...more
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Sandra leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet.

When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby along the escarpment, near their home in Niagara, Canada.

Her novels have garnered numerous a

Other books in the series

Port Aster Secrets (3 books)
  • Blind Trust (Port Aster Secrets, #2)
  • Desperate Measures (Port Aster Secrets, #3)

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