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  • Family Secrets

  • A Whispering Pines Mystery
  • Written by: Shawn McGuire
  • Narrated by: Sandra Murphy
  • Length: 7 hrs and 23 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (102 ratings)

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Family Secrets cover art

Family Secrets

Written by: Shawn McGuire
Narrated by: Sandra Murphy
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Publisher's Summary

Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O'Shea returns to prepare her grandparents' lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in the backyard.

Jayne intends to stay out of it, but when it becomes obvious the sheriff isn't interested in investigating the death, Jayne can't stop herself. Her list of suspects grows faster than the plants in the commons' pentacle garden. Could it be the local Wiccan green witch with her stash of deadly plants? The shopkeeper who slips into trances and foretells death? The visitor determined to practice black magic?

What Jayne knows for sure is that the closer she gets to solving this crime, the more the sheriff wants her to back off. And when a local fortune teller provides a crucial clue, Jayne knows it's up to her to solve this murder.

©2017 Shawn McGuire (P)2017 Shawn McGuire

What listeners say about Family Secrets

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Story
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

poorly read

not inti wiccan / witchcraft / satan. wish the summary suggested that, would never have bought it. narrator is not at all worth listening to.

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4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it, suspensed

I love it, felt I was engaged in this witchy town, thank you so much

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Believable Characters Might Have Helped..

I lowered my expectations by *a lot* after listening to the first two chapters of this book. "It HAS to get better than this" I told myself. "Just take a deep breath and suspend disbelief. You've done it before..". I actually restarted the book thinking that I could get past the suck.

I could not.

Shawn McGuire's setting is unusual (a Wiccan community in Wisconsin), the mystery is - on it's face - intriguing (the murder of a promiscuous newcomer to town), the prose is competent, and the descriptions are quite good - but the story crafting is too implausible. The almost nonchalant reactions of characters to finding a body is baffling, for example. One wonders if McGuire has ever been around a dead person (being subdued in the presence of death is preternatural.. "Let's pet the dog and go for a latté" is simply not credible).

Brown Bag Books provide excellent technical support - the sound quality for this recording is outstanding - and Shawna Murphy is an excellent reader. She actually nearly makes this tale believable with spot-on diction, timbre, cadence, and tone. Furthermore, she delivers enthusiastic voice-acting (a little bland for many characters.. but true-to-life despite the eyeroll-worthy dialogue she is given).

I bought this book as a 'Daily Deal' and it's a stretch to judge it worth the $3.75 I paid for it. This shockingly improbable whodunit may have been improved with characters reacting to murder with more than a "ho-hum" attitude, but it's Not good overall (I'm actually dumbstruck to hear that this is widely considered the 'best' book in the 'Whispering Pines' series).
As it stands - at best -  'Family Secrets' merits 2 stars out of 10 (points added for above-average narration and beautiful sound quality).
Regardless, unless you're looking for background noise while you vegetate, don't waste your time.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

a very interesting story

a very interesting story but you want to keep listening to to find out where it's going to go and find out what happens. well worded and great performance by the reader.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable

it was a fun mystery. Kind of left you hanging. It was still an enjoyable read.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It was ok

I’m glad I didn’t pay full price. I suppose I should have gotten a clue when it said Book 1. The narrator was not great but had a clear speaking voice. Bits of info related to Wicca were interesting. The main character was sort of pathetic but then it’s probably important to remember she is 26. Another clue that this was not the right book for me.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

not bad

Surprisingly decent Wicca-themed cozy. I only picked it up because it was a daily deal on Audible. It was worth the 3.75. I'm not a cozy fan, but the story was interesting enough and the writing was fairly accomplished. I don't know if I'd read the next one, but it was alright. Just not really my genre. I'm not a huge fan of romance subplots. This one wasn't the worst (not quite an insta-romance, the author is playing the long game), but it's just not my thing.
The narration was ok. It kind of sounded like she was new to it, but she made a good effort.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Dry Narration

The narration was very dry and the plot line was somewhat predictable. Only a couple of parts were surprising. It could have been much improved with better narration. Often I couldn’t tell the difference between the main character’s dialogue and thinking to herself. This got quite confusing when she’s saying surprising things right to someone’s face…or not?

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I’m out

Reverse discrimination? Really? C’mon now. In this day and age this is not just irresponsible, it’s a lazy trope.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Better then I expected

I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure what to expect from the sample but I thought it was great. I have already purchased the second book in the series. Can't wait to start it. Thanks Audible for a great suggestion.

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