ARC Review | Mayhem at the Mission: A Santa Barbara Mystery by Laura Eltherington

Mayhem at the Mission is the first ARC I picked up from BookSirens. Find the book here.

Book Details

Book details of Mayhem at the Mission by Laura Eltherington

Genre: Historical mystery, romance

Editor: Nik Edlinger

Illustrator: Amelia Bellows

Publisher: Self-published

Publication date: June 4, 2019

Pages: 302

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Book Blurb

With her aunt, the Mother Superior, heading the monastery, Hannah should have no problem fulfilling her plan to become a nun. But what she finds while cleaning the private office of the friar at Mission Santa Barbara is the first in a series of clues that gets her entangled with a Vatican art heist and a mysterious (and handsome) man named Will.

In her debut novel, Laura Eltherington takes readers on an energetic romp through the beautiful coastal City of Santa Barbara, California. Both a love story and a historical mystery, Mayhem at the Mission is the perfect read for anyone spending a day at the beach – or who wishes they were.

Visit our site at and click through the gallery to follow Hannah and Will in their journey through Santa Barbara.

My Review

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Unfortunately, this book did not work for me. I went in expecting a mystery novel, only to find that the mystery takes a back seat. Part of the plot is given away even before the story is halfway through, and the rest of the narrative devotes space to describing events that bring the male and female protagonists together (romantically).

I am not well-versed with the Catholic faith, so I was very thankful for the Appendix of Definitions at the end of the book. However, the book has too many details about locations, history, dress, and other extraneous things that make it difficult for the reader to stay attentive to the mystery involving the art theft.

I also found behavior of the male protagonist problematic. It comes across as creepy and predatory, not passionate (as I’m sure the author meant it to be).

However, the good thing about this book is that I am much more knowledgeable about Santa Barbara, its history, and the Catholic faith than I was before!

About the Author

Laura Eltherington, author

Laura Eltherington has over twenty years of experience as a marketing designer and brand strategist. What none of Laura’s colleagues knew was that she was as masterful of a storyteller in words as in images. And if you’d asked any of them to guess what topic their irreverent friend with Goth fashion sensibilities would write about, no one would have guessed “an aspiring nun named Hannah.” Laura, a longtime Santa Barbara resident, conceived her novel while running by the Santa Barbara Mission. Her current challenge? To convince her daughter to read a single chapter of her first novel.

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