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Lightning on a Quiet Night

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  68 reviews
Selah Awards Finalist - Historical Romance

Following a horrific murder, the town of Beneficent, Mississippi, population 479, tries desperately to hold onto its vain self-image. The young veteran Jack Davis holds that idyllic vision of the town and tries to share it with Lisa Kemper, newly arrived from Indiana. But she is repelled by everything in it. While the sheriff tri
Paperback, 314 pages
Published November 3rd 2014 by Lighthouse Publishing ()
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Average rating 4.44  · 
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Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has a bit of everything: history, mystery, suspense, and romance. I liked the way the author chose to show us the subtle, and not so subtle ways we tend to worship ourselves and/or our good works. Or if not ourselves or our good works, then those of a loved one, or even our community. It really makes you examine your own heart, at least it does for me. It was interesting to hear about some of the problems returning vets had, and also some about what enabled the ...more
Lisa Johnson
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Title: Lightning on a Quiet Night
Author: Donn Taylor
Pages: 330
Year: 2014
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
Donn Taylor brings to his audience a captivating mystery set in a small town named Beneficent in the mid-1940s and early 50s. A widower working for a chemical company moves into town with his grown daughter to oversee the building of plant. Stephen and Lisa Kemper feel like outsiders who work hard to be accepted by the small town. Lisa is sti
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Lightning On A Quiet Night by Donn Taylor is one of those books that really gets you thinking about just where you are with your faith. And also how you live out your faith and your attitude to others.
The novel is set in the town of Beneficent in the post World War II years. All the inhabitants are good people, believing that nothing bad has ever, nor will ever happen in their town. The sign on entering the town, even boasts that it is 'as good as it's name'. Newcomer Lisa Kempar arrives with he
Lisa Godfrees
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I spent all day in the town of Beneficent, MS, a small town but one with lots of local flavor. The book sucked me into the 1940's, a time of basketball games, hometown heroes, and flavored drug store soda.

New to town, city-bred Lisa Kemper tries to fit in for her dad's sake. She doesn't buy that the town is "as good as its name," especially when a teenage girl winds up dead. She can't help but suspect one of the town's most eligible bachelors is the killer.

There's enough mystery in the book to k
Sharon Paavola
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another great book that was so hard to put down! The characters are rich, real, and memorable. As a newcomer to Beneficent, Mississippi, Lisa Kemper seeks to find the good in the citizens who claim to be according to their town's name. The story unfolds and Lisa isn't the only one wondering. The sheriff is questioning the same thing. This quiet, small community is challenged as never before when tragedy hits one of their own. Unusual happenings lead Lisa and her new friend Jack Davis to fear for ...more
Donna Crow
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Lightning on a Quiet Night is an engaging story told in Donn Taylor's poetic, clever prose. Set in a small southern town shortly after World War II. Beneficent is a perfect town, yet rocked by murder and riddled with gossip. This is a story of despair and complacency, of violence and peace, of resentment and forgiveness. A story of people. Thoroughly enjoyable read with a theme as enduring as Mark Twain's "The Man Who Corrupted Hadleyburg."
Donna Fletcher Crow, A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary, The M
Ane Mulligan
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
1948 and the boys were home from the war. It was an era of innocence, where people only saw the good. A good, nostalgic time for this book to be set. It is somewhat different from Taylor's other books. Those who know me know I shy away from thrillers and suspense, but this story is so compelling, I had to keep reading. With characters you'll care about and snippets of Taylor's tongue-in-cheek humor, it's a book I highly recommend. ...more
Jan 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: celebrate-lit
In Lightning on a Quiet Night, we travel to a tiny Mississippi town. Here we find people who think they are the best of the best, the cream on top. But what they really are is maybe a little too proud of themselves and how they appear.

This book is set in the mid to late ’40s and early ’50s as we follow the main characters through discovering their blindspots and love. Oh and the solving of murder but that’s not significant or is it?!

The little Mississippi town is so perfect that there has never
Connie Carpenter
Jan 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Lightning on a Quiet Night by Donn Taylor is a Historical romance. This is the first book that I have read by this author and I enjoyed it very much. I loved the small town of Beneficent, Mississippi where the population is 479. This book is set following World War II. Which is a time period I don't get to read about much. In this story we meet Jack Davis and Lisa Kemper. Jack loves Benedict and thinks its the perfect serene town. He was so happy to come back after the war and all the horrors th ...more
Kendra Neal
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of Christian Historical Fiction. Lightning on a Quiet Night by
Donn Taylor also has Mystery and Romance, which really makes this
book an interesting read.

The book takes the reader back to the 1940's in a small town
of Beneficent, MS. Lisa Kemper is new to town and is trying
to "fit in". Lisa meets one of the towns people, Jack Davis.
He is showing her the town and befriends her. The quiet
community is rattled when a young girl is murdered. The
town sheriff is trying to solve the Murd
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it
The town of Beneficent is full of good people. Especially when all but one of their boys return from World War 2. They are also a town filled with heroes. But something isn't right and it manifests itself in the murder of one of their own.

Lisa Kemper is new in town and has put her life on hold to help her father. She is bitter about this and sees no good in this town at all. She even has pre-judged and thinks she may know who the killer is.

Jack Davis has come back to the town he loves so much a
Jan 13, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Taylor has created an interesting setting of a town where the inhabitants think they are all nice Christian people. The town is rocked when a murder occurs. Taylor explores what it means to be a nice Christian, to be good. Does it mean doing good actions, like attending church? Yet can one be doing all those good things and be a murderer? Does being good have more to do with loving God or looking good on the outside?

Balancing the shocking murder aspect of the plot are relationship issues includi
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Being from Mississippi, I was immediately attracted to this book. The writing is very descriptive and almost poetical, and I felt drawn into the setting quickly. I also appreciated that the vernacular of the characters was straight-up Mississippi. Nowhere else have I heard people use what would normally be a question as an emphatic statement. Ex: "Hasn't nobody said....." There's a lot of bad grammar, but that's pretty typical of Southern folk, both educated and non-educated. I also like how the ...more
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
This intriguing historical novel portrays a slice of everyday life that turns out to be not so ordinary after all. Set shortly after World War II in a little Mississippi town, we get to know the variety of Beneficent’s local residents and their interactions, including trying to solve the murder of one teen girl. The well-developed characters and plot slowly unfold on the page as the depth of the story becomes more apparent. The tale includes a developing relationship between hometown hero Jack D ...more
Ashley Dawn
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Yeah, this was a good one. Beneficent is a small town that is 'perfect', or at least that's what most of the residents believe. Lisa and her father come to town and are obviously outsiders. Lisa is a character I connected with immediately. She is suspicious and curious and I just love how her mind works.

The author did a great job with mixing in plenty to keep you interested. There are secrets, lies, murder, romance, and more. It seems all tiny towns have secrets, even if their residents don't wa
Jan 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
Lightning on a Quiet Night by Donn Taylor is a really good book set in a small town in Mississippi. The book’s plot is original and interesting. I really liked the characters and their depth. The mystery element is well done. The romance added a great element in this book. Faith takes a prominent role in this story. The Bible verses, sermons and prayers all add detail and depth. From the book: “How foolish we are. His peace is always there for us if only we’re willing to accept it”. The author c ...more
Patti Pierce
Jan 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
As I began reading this book, I was not sure what I was going to think about it. However, the more I read, the more I wanted to continue reading. Told from the view of various characters, I wanted to read the book from only one perspective. However, I understand the need in this work of historical fiction to read from several perspectives.

Lisa Kemper, the female protagonist, was a character I found myself slow to warm up to, while Jack Daniels seemed more likable. This suspense novel eventually
Jan 26, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"Lightning on a Quiet Night" by Donn Taylor has mystery, history, suspense, danger, action and adventure. It is the first book that I have read by him and I will be looking for others by him. This book is a town that thinks they are all good people but just going to church doesn't make someone a Christian. I really liked the pastor's sermon on prayer. I liked some of the conversations between the characters such as the joke about the steel guitar.

I recommend this book to readers who like a litt
Sara Jane Jacobs
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
This small-town murder mystery has a large cast of interesting characters. It wasn't a page-turner for me, but I enjoyed getting to know the people of Beneficent and trying to figure out who was behind all that went on. I also enjoyed the post-World War II setting. Although I'm not a fan of crime novels, I thought it was well-written and entertaining. If you enjoy a good mystery, then you might enjoy getting to know the people in Beneficent, Mississippi.

I was given a copy of this book for free
Joy Kidney
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"When pride comes in one door, virtue goes out another."

Beneficent, Mississippi's high school basketball heroes have come home from the war to a town they are proud of. Proud of its virtues, even its motto: "A town as good as its name." That is, until there's a sniper on the loose, dead squirrels on the porch, imbezzling, a murder, then another. The citizens of Beneficient go through some soul searching, including forgiving, and even a change in the town's motto. A poignant mystery.
Adrienne Rivera
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Just incredible

This was a great book, in every way. I enjoyed the writing style, the time line, the characters, the setting and the town. I could not put this book down, and did not want the story to end. This was a real page-turner! I will definitely read more books by this author.
Janet Cardillo
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doesn't anyone edit anymore?

I like the story line, the character and the tension in reading it. What I did nilot like was being to copies upon copies of the same verbiage, as if I'd gotten stopped in a tim3 warp. It's not enuf to do spell Check. You have to proofread each edition.

Rhoda Mukasa
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So real!

I love this book. The way it's written and the writer's sense of humour while pointing out the sins we tend to accept as normal. Even better is the way he speaks to real circumstances in society as well as within ourselves keeps our salvation in Christ central. Not by power or might but by the Spirit of the Lord indeed!
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book, wasn't sure where it was going but I finally figured out who done it before I got to the end. I am so glad of how the book ended and how religion was incorporated into the story to let us know it isn't always about ourselves. ...more
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I loved it! Very nicely written I definitely want to read more. It is very nice to find yet another author that I like. Thank you for an awesome read! 😁
Beverly Strouth

Mysteries abound in the little town of Beneficent. Things are not always as they seem! Who did it? You will be surprised!
Kathryn Spurgeon
Great story

I loved all the characters in this book, even the bad ones. That makes for a good book and a great lesson. We’re all sinners
Mildred J Lambert
Very touching and Compelling

I loved this book and was surprised by the way it worked out in the end. The author does not disappoint.
Sarah Phillips
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great story - with a few surprises mixed in! I enjoyed this book because it is not only well written but gave me some things to think about. Things are not always as they appear . . . and what motivates people to do what they do. I found myself staying up late to finish the last chapter!
Ruth Perry
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Different but a rewarding read

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian writing. Is enlightening and inspirational. Also for the lover of mystery or who-done-it's, I found it to be worthy. And the romantic love story added a special touch.
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I'm working now as a novelist and poet, also teaching at writers' groups and conferences. In a prior incarnation I served in two wars with the U.S. Army. Afterwards, I taught English literature at two liberal arts colleges. The World's Perfect Woman consented to honor me in marriage, and we enjoyed six decades together until the Lord needed another alto for His heavenly choir. I live in the woods ...more

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