Mysterious Mormon Magic: Donna Banta’s “Seer Stone”
The modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is awash with mainstreaming. Becoming a god of your own planet (or universe), Heavenly Mother, even the name “Mormonism” — anything that might make Mormons look weird to Evangelical Christians — gets ignored out of existence. I’ll admit that a lot of practices from Joseph Smith’s time (and particularly Brigham Young’s time) were really, really bad, but…
It used to be that you could find a pretty rock and convince yourself and others that it was magic! Once upon a time the return of the “visions and blessings of old” was one of the selling points of the church. And for a lot of people that history of magic continues to have an impact.
A collector of antiquities is found dead after having posted about an early Mormon seer stone in his possession — and Detective Matt Ryan is once again pulled into Mormonism’s orbit to find the killer. Only now he’s a private detective with a new sidekick: (lapsed) Mormon mom Carrie Zimmerman (and her own sidekick/son).
This book is full of all sorts of colorful characters of Mormonism — from “ex” to mainstream to fundamentalist — coming together in sometimes hilarious ways. It’s an entertaining visit to the multifaceted world of LDS culture (without being pro or anti or pedagogical as Mormon literature often can be).
And the LDS fun isn’t the only draw. It’s an engrossing murder mystery that keeps you on your toes. I remember one fun twist in particular that I didn’t see coming, but seemed obvious in retrospect — just as an interesting puzzle should be.
A fun read for the upcoming holidays or any time — I highly recommend it!
“Seer Stone” by Donna Banta will be available on Amazon in November.