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Secrets in the Stacks–supporting friends
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.
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)
“…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.
Killer Green Tomatoes–building a family from a business
Killer Green Tomatoes
by Lynn Cahoon
Are the people biologically related to you your only family or can the people you choose to surround yourself with be another type of family? Angie, head chef and owner of the County Seat, tries to answer that question for herself and the reader in Killer Green Tomatoes. Lynn Cahoon’s latest work addresses this question along with several others.
Angie, somewhat of an introvert, finds herself surrounded with issues stemming from various relationships in her small community. The kitchen and wait staff of County Seat are rocked by a death. The Basque community is selecting a new leader. A murder suspect disappears. Numerous women have conflicts with Angie because of small town gossip and jealousies. The sheriff doesn’t trust her. Even Mrs. Potter from across the street is ready to shake her walker at Angie. Felicia, Angie’s best friend, and Ian, her boyfriend, are the two people she can count on.
Killer Green Tomatoes is a really good cozy mystery, and I highly recommend the series. I do have one issue with the book and that concern diminishes as the story progresses. Mrs. Potter comes to stay with Angie for a week, and Angie immediately finds excuses to leave the house because Mrs. Potter annoys her. Initially Mrs. Potter does nothing to cause that behavior on Angie’s part. Later there are some eyebrow raising incidents, but overall nothing to engender Angie’s behavior. It’s a week, for heaven’s sake, and the woman is physically independent! With Angie reconciling herself to the situation, the plot takes center stage and the reader is treated to a fun mystery.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press) for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #2 in the Farm-to-Fork Mystery Series, but works well as a standalone
Publication: July 3, 2018—Lyrical Underground (Kensington Press)
Family ties. They wrapped you up in emotions you didn’t even know were there.
Angie was an introvert, and having someone in her house all the time, well, it had been harder than she’d expected.
“There’s enough evil in the world that I can see and understand. I don’t have to go all underworld to be scared.”