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Secrets in the Stacks–supporting friends

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Secrets in the Stacks

by Lynn Cahoon

The Survivor’s Book Club is for women who are currently undergoing or have finished treatment for breast cancer. It was founded by Rarity, a local bookstore owner and cancer survivor. The group does not actually read books about cancer, but their background gives them an unspoken bond and perspective. When one of the club members discovers her grandmother murdered in their home, the group shifts into high gear to support their friend, clear her of suspicion, and help discover the real murderer.

As is usual with a Lynn Cahoon book, Secrets in the Stacks has an intricate plot, great characters, and a lot of surprises. Cahoon actually discovered cozy mysteries when she was going through breast cancer treatments herself and realized that writing is what she really wanted to do. She has been very successful with several popular series to her credit, but this is the first one that draws on her experiences with cancer treatment and survival.

Rarity is supported by a group of friends who are Sedona, Arizona, locals. She is close friends with Drew, a detective, but the romantic interest in the story is Archer, an athletic man who leads group hikes in the surrounding area. Rarity has her dog Killer, a Pomeranian, with her almost constantly. As the boss, she can even take her well-trained dog, who has a great instinct about people, to work with her.

The murdered grandmother was well-loved in the community, but no one seemed to know anything about her life before she and her teenaged son moved to Sedona. The group decides that something from her past could be a motivation for the crime. The deeper they delve, the more complications arise.

The ending is dramatic, action-packed, and surprising. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Rating: 5/5

Category: Mystery

Notes: 1. #2 in the Survivors’ Book Club Mystery Series, but could be read as a standalone as Cahoon provides any background information needed.
2. Sedona is often associated with new-age beliefs so there are several references to tarot cards as well as one to crystals and sending out good wishes through the universe. Some of the characters believe in the “mystical part” of the tarot card reading and others don’t. As a Christian, I avoid the occult, but there are few enough references and enough skepticism on the part of the characters that I am able to read this book. It is not a predominant theme.
3. Includes a recipe for Hamburger Stew.

Publication: November 1, 2022—Kensington Books (Lyrical Press)

Memorable Lines:

“…running my own business is harder than I thought it would be. Every time I think I see a light at the end of the tunnel, it turns out to be a train.”

She’d worked out her negative feelings about what Shirley had said without confronting the woman. Sometimes you just needed to realize it was you and not them.

The book club was more than just a bunch of women reading books. Or even poking their noses into an investigation, or now, two. They were there for each other.


  1. Gretchen says:

    What a unique premise for a cozy series! We owned a Pomeranian so I always love to meet them in books. The name Killer is hilarious. That second quote is a good one. I also appreciate your note about the new-age and occult references in the book. Sometimes that is a no-go for me, but it sounds like in this case it isn’t overabundant and not the focus. This sounds like a series I might want to check out.


  2. Carla says:

    Excellent review, Linda. I had totally forgotten about this series, but I did enjoy the first book. I did not know that Lynn Cahoon had gone through treatment for cancer. That brings a different look to this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It does, doesn’t it? She makes it clear that survivors do not all react and respond in the same way and so can’t be painted with a broad brush. That’s a useful perspective because we don’t really know what anyone is going through.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Lynn Cahoon, I can’t wait to start this series, thanks Linda!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lghiggins says:

      It is good–perhaps a little more serious than some of her books, but not maudlin. These are strong women. The focus as in the other books I have read by Cahoon is the mystery. Taking place in a bookstore is a happy bonus.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What an inspiring book!

    Liked by 1 person

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