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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
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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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.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it, suspensed

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

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    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.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

enjoyable

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

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    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.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Young adult

predictable, whichever and potions etc.
I had the wrong impression given the reviews not my taste.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to

It really wasn’t a great story....the narrator is poor and it seemed like a kindergarten teacher reading it .....I did not enjoy.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Awful

Could not finish this book so I cannot comment on the plot. The narration was abysmal! I had to stop listening. Very disappointing. Do not buy this book!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amanda
  • 2017-09-19

Magical mystery fun!

I loved this cozy mystery! Jane moves to her late grandmothers estate in northern Wisconsin to clean and sell. As soon as she arrives she finds a dead body and weirdness ensues. Magic, a dog, and a potential romance make this a fun surprising mystery. Looking forward to the next book! I received a free review copy of this book at my request in exchange for an honest review. Thanks!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Troublemer(tammy hovey)
  • 2017-09-06

Boy this town has a lot of secrets.

this was a good, fun read. Loved the characters and all the twist and turns that kept me guessing through the entire book who done it. It started when Jane came to clean out her grandmothers house to sell. Found a dead body the first day on her property and then the mystery began. The narration was great. I received this audio book free for an honest review. Look forward to more in this series.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lisarami
  • 2017-09-03

Had me hooked right from the beginning

Any additional comments?

I'm so glad this is a series book. Jayne, Mica, and Tripp are going to be an amazing trio in this series. Among the murder and break in at her Grandmothers home Jayne has got a lot on her plate. She has a great sense of right and wrong and her consciousness causes her to go off beat to do what she knows is right. I love that she has Mica a retired K9 because they really have a connection and Mica helps her with her emotional struggles. Tripp has finally found a community he wants to call his own and being a misfit in his own right he and Jayne have started a great friendship allowing him to finally be employed. I'm glad that Jayne's mother is a side character because she has a real negatitive attitude toward the village of Whispering Pines. The narrator did a great job pulling the listener in and keeping you focused so much on the storyline it was hard to set the book aside. I think she'll do great with the rest of this series. I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kimberly Smith
  • 2017-09-02

Easy read/listen

This book was not at all what I expected. I thought it was a mystery/thriller type, but it seems more like a cozy mystery, IMO. Still, it was a fun, easy listen that kept my attention from beginning to end. The narration was great! The narrator did an excellent job giving each character a unique voice. If you are looking for a light read, you won't be disappointed. I received a free review copy in exchange for an honest review.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • KELLY
  • 2019-01-08

Love the book...narration not so much.

I liked this book very much. However the narration was severely lacking and boring. The narrator is a good reader...which is what it sounds like.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Lisa
  • 2021-05-16

The Bewitching Story

This story was kind of fun, and I was surprised by “whodunnit.” I’m sorry but I did not care for the narration. All characters sounded alike, and I didn’t like the tone.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Petra
  • 2021-04-15

Good but room for improvement

I did enjoy this book very much! It was a fun spin on a mystery. Totally makes me want to be Wiccan, haha. The performance I feel could have been better, as she was pretty monotone the whole time and most of the voices sounded very similar. Again, I liked it a lot and I’m definitely going to keep reading the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kari
  • 2020-09-28

Beans!

Crazy good. Crazy surprise learning how the characters fit together I the end. And the real reason the sheriff was taking his time investigating the murder! Wow!! Finished this book in 2 days, I couldn’t put it down!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Patterson
  • 2017-10-05

Dead bodies and witches make a great mystery!

All the twists and turns held my interest throughout the story. Well written and narrated.
Would recommend it to everyone. Thank you for not swearing, using graphic sex or vivid violence!

"I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • 2017-09-14

Can't wait for more!

Family Secrets hooked me in right from the start. I finished listening to this a week ago, and it’s still replaying in my mind—a sign of a memorable story. Jayne is a relatable character with heart and smarts, and I enjoyed seeing the world from her curious and observant detective perspective. I was definitely rooting for Jayne as she navigated this case while grappling with her inner demons. Shawn McGuire does an exceptional job writing the details of this cozy, quirky town and its diverse cast of full-dimensional characters. I wanted hang out with Morgan and visit her shop, and it was fun to learn about Wicca. My only disappointment is that it seems we’ll have to wait to find out if anything develops between Tripp and Jayne (fingers crossed)…but it just makes me more eager for the next Whispering Pines mystery.

1 person found this helpful