Book Reviews

Book Review: Hidden Secrets

Hidden Secrets

A Whispering Pines Mystery #4

By Shawn McGuire

Published 2018

404 pages

In this installment of the Whispering Pines Mysteries, Sheriff and new B&B owner Jayne and her boyfriend/B&B co-manager, Tripp, welcome the first guests to Pine Time over the Labor Day weekend.  Within 24 hours, one of their guests is dead and it doesn’t look very much like the hit and run accident Jayne had at first assumed.  To make matters more difficult, the deceased is the brother-in-law of her college friend.

This will most likely be a short review because all of the books in this series have been enjoyable and fairly quick reads, despite the page count.  **Spoiler alerts coming** Jayne and Tripp grow more serious even as they run into obstacles for keeping the B&B open all winter, the only way they can foresee turning a profit within a year.  If they don’t, Jayne’s mother has threatened to sell the house and village.  Despite advice to stay in the present, Jayne dives into the investigation before she’s even sure her guest was murdered, but also winds up defending herself from the rash of deaths the village has witnessed since she arrived.

I’d wondered in the last book how many murders can happen in this small village before someone starts pointing the finger at Jayne.  I wasn’t disappointed, it popped up in this novel but with a slight twist.  A few of the residents believe that Jayne has stirred up bad energy in the village, which is true since she unearthed a murder from forty years prior that had been written off as an accident, which seems to be a theme in this village.  However, rather than just blaming her for bringing in bad juju, the same villagers are of the opinion she’s also the one to fix it.  So, we have a plot line for the next several books.  Possibly the entire series.

I really like the characters in this series – from Jayne and Tripp to the Wiccans in the village.  I’ll state again that Jayne reminds me a lot of Kelsey Milhone in the Alphabet Murder Series by Sue Grafton.  After reading a few of the Whispering Pines Mysteries, I get the same feeling of touching base with old friends, seeing what they’re up to, and how plans have progressed since the last time we visited.  The consistency is wonderful and I look forward to making my way through the entire series.

I gave this book a solid three stars.

My rating system:

5 stars – Wow, I could not stop thinking about this book and/or I wish I’d writtn it.

4 stars – This was an awesome novel, I’d recommend it to friends.

3 stars – This was a good novel, I will look for more by this author.

2 stars – An okay novel, but I probably won’t look for anything else by the author.


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