Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Grail Conspiracy (A Cotten Stone Mystery #1)” as Want to Read:
The Grail Conspiracy (A Cotten Stone Mystery #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Grail Conspiracy

(A Cotten Stone Mystery #1)

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  987 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Winner of Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year Award for Best Mystery

On assignment in the Middle East, television journalist Cotten Stone stumbles upon an archeological dig that uncovers the world's most-sought-after religious relic: the Holy Grail. With his last dying breath, Dr. Gabriel Archer gives it to Cotten, uttering "You are the only one" in a language she's heard
Kindle Edition, 356 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Grail Conspiracy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Grail Conspiracy

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  987 ratings  ·  110 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Grail Conspiracy (A Cotten Stone Mystery #1)
Sep 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Grail Conspiracy” by Lynn Sholes is another bargain book I got through a Kindle daily deal. It was a definite page turner and a fun read, no matter how far fetched it may have been at times. It was a solid piece of writing with likable characters, a good plot, and a few twists I didn't see coming. I will confess to having a minor addiction to the plot premise of some ancient or holy object or artifact being found or sought after; certainly some books are certainly better than others. Althou ...more
John Hanscom
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably more like 4½, but very good. I hated "The DiVinci Code." This is the book it could have been. It had all the same elements plus the daughter of an angel. It lacked the anti-religion and anti-Roman Catholic bias. It did not confuse theory with truth. The book was a lot of fun. ...more
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
My one complaint is that I felt like it took too long for certain things to be explained or revealed to the reader when the main character was already aware of it. I understand wanting to build a mystery so when the main character is in the dark, it's okay for the reader to be in the dark too... but when the main character knows or discovers something but the reader is kept in the dark for a while longer, it gets annoying. Too many chapters ended on a cliffhanger of the characters discovering so ...more
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do not compare this book with the DaVinci Code! This book was easy to read and without in-depth explanations. This book was all plot and story line, with believable action. Some science fiction thrown in, but once again, believable. Cotten Stone is a great, normal character. I liked this book a lot more than the DaVinci code. I wish the ending was a bit different, but still good.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 2nd time that I read this book. I picked it up to have something to read at the doctor's office knowing that I had already read it. But I have a poor memory so I didn't remember what was going to happen as I continued to read it. I knew I didn't love the book but since I had kept it, I figured I must have at least liked it. I thought I just didn't like the ending. Reading it again, I stayed interested in the story while still trying to remember how it ends but having no clue. I liked ...more
Bert Long
Best summary is "Ummm what?". While the writing style is good, it is not a recommended read. The first 3/4 of the book is a Dan Brown rip-off, then the author attempts a Stephen King ending which is a sprint with gobs of confusion as if someone is begging them to "wrap it up".

Luckily I did not pay much for the book (Kindle sale), but after being out $0.99 and time, I still kinda feel slighted. It is really sad, as I do like the author's writing style, but the structure of the book is just bad.

Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
A the beginning of the book I was sure there were a few chapters missing - and at the end of the book as well. I figured this would be a great grail-hunting story (like Indiana Jones or Angels and Demons) but it was more of what could happen if the grail was found in this modern world. But the sides and background stories - as pointed out at the very beginning of the book - ruin much of the suspense. The authors didn't really get a chance to keep you guessing and there weren't any major plot twi ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do you enjoy mystery? Do you enjoy mystery with brilliance in possible motive and opportunity? Do you enjoy a good read? "The Grail Conspiracy" is a brilliantly written mystery that keeps your interest from the start and never stops. It's filled with uniqueness. It's filled with entertainment. It's a book to add to your Kindle Fire or bookcase.

Open your mind and start reading!

Douglas Cook
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
First sentence, ""Get out!" The Iraqi driver's thin, high-pitched voice filled the car."

Lynn Sholes;Joe Moore. The Grail Conspiracy (A Cotten Stone Mystery) (p. 1). Kindle Edition.
Bonnie Randall
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
Really loved the premise; The (*cough* secretly Luciferian *cough*) Templars, the evil-to-the-core Masons, and a shared, ancient goal of One-World Order (New World Order) are 100% up my alley.


This novel was cliché overload; "I'm going to go soak up some sun." Ugh. A syrupy relationship with a (token gay; Vanessa being gay had nothing to do with anything, so...why?) BFF who, every time she was exclaimed over as "Nessi" I was not only transported, visually, to a Loch, but I also cringed. Hard
Jul 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Fulfilled my recent want for grimy-yet-not-too-grimy thriller.
With decently complex characters, compelling backstory, exciting action and satisfactory amounts of mysticism, it's book is for the whole family.
Well written but tends to be a bit too on-brand for the genre, like the author just wanted to tick all the mystery-thriller boxes.
May 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
It’s as wooden as a piece of the true cross. Not engaging at all.
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Next book, please!
Dec 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those interested in Apocalyptic & antichrist theories & conspiracies

Cotten Stone, an American TV journalist is on assignment in Iraq and stumbles on what could be the most amazing and sought after find in all of Christendom -- the Holy Grail. However after she gets home from reporting the story in the Vatican, things start happening and she realizes she is in the above over her head when all those who are near and dear to her start dying in sudden and mysterious deaths. Her new friend and priest, John Tyler, is the only one who can help her get out of this a
Robert Chartrand
Mar 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like religious thrillers
Shelves: fantasy, adult
Given the title it isn't too surprising what the main focus of the book is. (I'll give you a hint, it's the Holy Grail). The story mainly follows Cotten Stone, a reporter for the SSN, who is given the grail from a dying archeologist who then tells her that she is the only one who can stop...well, I don't want to spoil anything for you. Surprise, surprise the grail is later stolen by an organization who plans to use the grail for their own nefarious reasons. Cotten and her new priest-friend John ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book. The Grail and the search for the Grail are just fascinating to me. I think I would have enjoyed it as a screenplay, but frankly, parts of the book moved slowly for me. I loved "Phoenix Apostles" a later work by the authors and loved it. This book had some of the same elements and perhaps I would have liked this one better if I had read it first.

I had trouble with the cosiderable use of explitives by Cotton, especially the s**t word. Unecessary and vulgar. Also the fre
Jun 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Though the Catholic Church and some of the tenets of its faith feature prominently in this book, I would not classify it as a work of Christian Fiction. A major theme of this story is the struggle between good and evil for supremacy in our world. This tale grabs attention for many of the same reasons that author Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code" does. Beyond stimulating discussions about the Catholic Church and its beliefs, this novel could also be the starting point for ethics debates on the ...more
Barbara M
I had the privilege to host Joe Moore and Lynn Sholes at an author dinner given by our Friends of the Library. They told us wonderful things about the writing of this novel. It took them about 10 years, I think they said. In the meantime, Da Vinci Code came out and there were too many similarities so they changed some of their story. A great adventure, very well written and thought out. Cotton is an excellent character. There's a little part of the story that includes the secret language of twin ...more
Terry Ransom
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was a wonderful surprise! I purchased it at a bargain book sale and could not put it down. Others have understandably drawn comparison's with Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, but it was another experience altogether. The plot was lively and the writing was first rate. The plot was expertly laced with history, Scripture, tradition, fantasy, and enough suspense to add rich texture to the characters as their story cascaded forward. Faith and unbelief was kept in understandable tension all t ...more
Terri Palermo
Aug 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-related
I picked up this book because the authors will be visiting my library this Fall. I'm glad I did! The topic is one very similar to The Da Vinci Code and one that fascinates me to no end, on several different levels. Strange, but I couldn't really classify the genre of this book....religious fiction? Mystery? Fluff??
A good read, pretty easy....almost simplistic, in ways that are difficult for me to explain. Thoroughly enjoyed, in any case!
Sep 22, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book had some potential, but ended up being awful. Its like the author dug a big hole and couldn't think of how to get the characters out of it, so figured they would just have divine intervention solve everything. Very predictable (besides the ending, but that is NOT a compliment...there is a reason no one would guess that), terrible resolution. I wanted a quick, easy read, which this was, but it didn't even come close to my expectations for a pop mystery novel. ...more
Sep 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm not going to lie, this book took me a long time to read. It just didn't grab me the way some stories do. It's not bad, just not that great. Nice story, especially if you like ancient conspiracies, which I absolutely do!
I'm just about to start the next book in the series, the last secret. Really hoping it goes quicker than the first one. If not I might consider abandoning the series all together
Wan Ni
Having read so many thrillers about hunting for the holy grail and holy bloodline, I've had my fair share of Mary Sue characters. This novel in particular has no lack of them. Perhaps I read such fiction because I am subconsciously looking for the Mary Sue to my life; the convenient resolution and help rendered is so romantic. ...more
Dec 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's fun to find a character I look forward to seeing more of! Cotten is one of those for me. I like that she has doubts about most things, especially herself. So many heroes are the strong, self assured type and she's more like real people in that she's still figuring herself out while we're all on the edge of our seats. ...more
Another bargain book I got through a Kindle daily deal. It was a definite page turner and a fun read, no matter how far fetched. It was a solid piece with likable characters and a few twists I didn't see coming. Unfortunately it referenced old technology by name which drives me crazy. Just something that we have to get used to in fiction these days. ...more
Richard Becker
This is a compelling thriller. It has Templars, conspiracy theories, elements of biblical history, archaeology and more. Throw in the modern media, cloning, and pure evil and you have a great story of conspiracy and rather special characters to combat the evil ones. It is well-written and suspenseful.
Feb 27, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Particularly interesting in this book was the psychological development of the main character. I think the book went deeper in the protagonist's feelings than most books in its genre (mystery/action). ...more
Tricia Griffith
The plot was a good one, but it felt a bit like it was all packed into the last few chapters, not a lot of back story trickling in throughout. Not a terrible read, but I think it could have been a lot better.
Mary Jane
Dec 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
I expected more of the typical "hunt for the holy grail" type cliche's in this book. But it had it's own unique twist, and I found it enjoyable. I've made a note of the other books in the series and probably will try at least one more at some point. ...more
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripped me from the start....and kept me intrigued right to the end. Because the theme was the "Holy Grail" and finding it, good vs.evil, etc; I thought I knew how it would end...but there was a good twist that I didn't see coming. Well written. Looking forward to other books from this author ...more
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: combine edition 3 10 Oct 22, 2019 04:05AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Nome de Código Portograal
  • O Conde de Monte Cristo I
  • Les Misérables : Tome I
  • The Dark Clue
  • Parem Todos os Relógios
  • A Conspiração do Rei
  • L'Ordre du jour
  • El hombre que amaba a los perros
  • Si c'était à refaire
  • Les Enfants de la liberté
  • A Fórmula de Deus (Tomás Noronha #2)
  • The Last Templar (Knights Templar, #1)
  • Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land
  • O Bisavô
  • Life and Fate
  • The Hamlet
  • E Se Fosses Tu?
See similar books…
Lynn Sholes co-authors with Joe Moore the Cotten Stone thriller series including THE GRAIL CONSPIRACY named 2005 Book-of-the-Year by ForeWord Magazine, THE LAST SECRET, THE HADES PROJECT, and THE 731 LEGACY. THE PHOENIX APOLSTLES was a departure from the Cotten Stone series. THE BLADE features a new heroine, Maxine Decker which is followed by THE SHIELD, and THE TOMB. The newest is BRAIN TRUST. Th ...more

Other books in the series

A Cotten Stone Mystery (4 books)
  • The Last Secret (A Cotten Stone Mystery #2)
  • The Hades Project (A Cotten Stone Mystery #3)
  • The 731 Legacy (A Cotten Stone Mystery #4)

Related Articles

With his new horror novel, The Only Good Indians, author Stephen Graham Jones conjures one of the most effective scary images to ever hover in that...
66 likes · 8 comments