Friday 20 October 2023

Lucy and the Hidden Clover - Antony Barone Kolenc - The Lucy Mysteries 02 - A Harwood Mysteries Short Story

Lucy and the Hidden Clover
A Harwood Mysteries Short Story 
The Lucy Mysteries 02
Antony Barone Kolenc
Harwood Press

Lucy and the Hidden Clover - Antony Barone Kolenc - The Lucy Mysteries 02

This is the second of three currently available Lucy Mysteries that I have read. I have also read the first two novels in the Harwood mysteries and greatly enjoyed them, and I intend to read the other three. But when I stumbled across these Lucy Short Stories I had to give it a try, and share them with my youngest daughter. This story is historical fiction set in medieval England in March of 1185. This story takes place three years after the previous Lucy story. And Lucy is now at Harwood. This story previous appeared in the Treasures: Visible & Invisible - Catholic Teen Books Anthology. It was great to read it again as a standalone story. The description of the volume is:

“Lucy and the Hidden Clover is the second story in The Lucy Mysteries series of short stories, which follows the life of Lucy--one of the most admired characters in the award-winning YA medieval series, The Harwood Mysteries. In March 1185 A.D., Lucy must track down a mysterious relic for a dying nun, which will uncover a secret hidden at Harwood Abbey for over forty years. When Lucy learns the truth, will she follow the rules and reveal it to the mother abbess?”

Chronologically this would be the first time we encounter Lucy. But if you have already read any of the Harwood Mysteries you will be familiar with her. I believe this story falls between books 1 and 2 in the main series thus making it our third encounter with Lucy. Sister Brigitte is expected to pass away at the beginning of the story. Lucy asks to pray with the old nun. Brigitte sends her on a strange task to find a clover, and not any clover a clover in a cave. The errand and the results have a huge impact not only on Brigitte but someone else who has been at Harwood for many years.

It was wonderful to reread this story as a standalone volume. I greatly enjoyed it again this time through. Writing short fiction is very different than novels. And not all authors can pull off both, especially authors like Kolenc who write epic historical fiction. But he pulls it off. This is a very well written story. It leaves me desperate for the third, Lucy and the Forsaken Path which I have already picked up. And for the third which would fall before the next novel in the main series I have to read. Unlike the previous volume this one does not allude to another but we can hope. 

The story and main Harwood series is marketed for Middle grade readers but would also be great for tweens and teens. I am in my fifties and I loved it. It is a very well written story and one that will leave you excited for more stories set in this work Kolenc has created. Antony ‘Tony’ Barone Kolenc is a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Air Force Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps. He currently teaches law. In this story, he has shown that he has great skill as a story teller. It is a story certain to entertain, reader young and old alike. And leave you desperate for the other Lucy stories and the 5 novels in the Harwood Series. A wonderful and deeply moving story I can easily recommend. 

This book is part of a series of reviews: 2023 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Antony Barone Kolenc:
The Harwood Mysteries:

Shadow in the Dark
The Haunted Cathedral
The Fire of Eden
The Merchant's Curse
Murder at Penwood Manor

Harwood Short Stories:
The Lucy Mysteries:

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