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Monday, January 27, 2020

Scrapbook of Secrets (A Cumberland Creek Mystery #1) by Mollie Cox Bryan

Scrapbook of Secrets

Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)

Goodreads synopsis: 
A debut author presents the first book in a new scrapbooking-themed mystery series which features a small-town setting, quirky characters, and suspense that cozy mystery readers and crafters are sure to love. Original.

Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mom in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can’t help but feel that something’s missing. But she finds solace in a local “crop circle” of scrapbookers united by chore-shy husbands, demanding children, and occasional fantasies of their former single lives. And when the quiet idyll of their small town is shattered by a young mother’s suicide, they band together to find out what went wrong…

Annie resurrects her reporting skills and discovers that Maggie Rae was a closet scrapbooker who left behind more than a few secrets—and perhaps a few enemies. As they sift through Maggie Rae’s mysteriously discarded scrapbooks, Annie and her “crop” sisters begin to suspect that her suicide may have been murder. It seems that something sinister is lurking beneath the town’s beguilingly calm façade—like a killer with unfinished business…


4.5 Stars

This is the first book in the Cumberland Creek Mystery series by Mollie Cox Bryan.

This was a great start from an author who at the time was new to the cozy genre. Annie is a strong character and a joy to follow around. I loved how she kept making decisions throughout this story trying to find her best life. She fell into the scrapbooking world while finishing up the scrapbooks of the deceased woman. Then she dusted off her reporter’s notebook and went into journalist mode.

Basic premise: a woman dies and it is suspected to be a suicide. And before the ink is dried on her death certificate, someone dumps all the lady’s scrapbooks on the curb for the trash man to pick up. The scrapbooking circle of women decide to save these precious memories and steal the scrapbooks from the trash heap. The woman leaves a voice mail on one of the scrapbooker’s answering machines about attending one of their crops. They realize that someone with suicidal thoughts and intentions might not want to keep precious memories alive. So they begin to investigate the death.

This was a pretty complex mystery. It was easy to follow the suspense plot. But there were multiple POVs and sometimes it was a challenge to decipher who was actually in the driver’s seat of the particular scene I was reading. I was almost glad I had read book five in the series first since I came into this first book with a background for the characters.

This was the author’s first book and I feel like it was a great learning experience for her. The mystery was decent, the characters were new and fresh with a realm of possibilities ahead of them. There was also a great range of character ages in this storyline which helps keep those of us who resonate with specific ages happy while still accomplishing the overall goal of uncovering the killer. 

Looking forward to reading the other three books in this series and then onto other series by Mollie Cox Bryan.

If you love a good cozy mystery, definitely check this one out. You won’t be disappointed.

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