Blind Secrets (Whispering Pines #12) – Shawn McGuire

*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: Sometimes what’s need most is hiding in plain sight.

It’s been almost a year since Sheriff Jayne O’Shea arrived in Whispering Pines. Deciding to stay was the best decision she ever made, but the closer the anniversary gets, the gloomier she feels.

It doesn’t help that she and Tripp have been arguing. Neither does the dense fog blanketing the village. Or the group of cranky wedding planners staying at the B&B. Trying to organize an outdoor event when the weather won’t cooperate is understandably stressful, but their constant bickering is pushing everyone to the edge.

Then, as the fog grows impossibly thicker, things take a turn for the worse when a villager becomes gravely ill. The cause is a mystery, but the rumor going around is that she was hexed or cursed. Considering half the residents are witches, that isn’t surprising. While Jayne doesn’t believe magic is involved, she’s positive about her suspect. Now, all she needs is proof.

This is the twelfth book in the Whispering Pines series, and I strongly advise that you read the others before this one, as we are definitely past the point of being able to easily summarise eleven whole books full of backstory and character development!

So much has happened since Jayne first arrived in the quirky village community and doggedly carved out a role (or two) for herself there.

There is a slight change of atmosphere in this book, as a fog has descended on Whispering Pines, cutting them off from the rest of the world and, to some extent, each other. Jayne too seems to have entered something of an emotional fog, mirroring her environment, as she tries to work out what her role should be since River’s huge announcement (see previous books for details!) The ever-patient Tripp also seems a little more on edge than usual… could there be more to the claustrophobic conditions than merely weather?

Fans of the series will be aware that our favourite green witch, Morgan, is nearing a pretty big life change of her own, and as well as the impending new arrival and the usual familiar faces (Sugar, Honey, Roz, Jola, etc) we see cameos from some old favourites and some brand new visitors, here to plan and celebrate a wedding. Of course, no event in Whispering Pines passes without some form of hazard to life and limb, and the wedding planners may have more than just impeded views to contend with, as the oppressive weather brings old grudges and hurt feelings bubbling to the surface.

With all this to contend with, as well as her secret pledge to ‘save the world’ by eliminating old evils from the village and restoring her grandmother’s peaceful vision, Jayne has a whole lot on her plate and it’s unsurprising that she is feeling the strain.

You’ll have to read the book yourself to find out whether she can successfully juggle her commitments and find her path through the fog before disaster strikes…!

The greatest strength of this series is the world-and-character building; I really feel like I know these people and I long to pop into Treat Me Sweetly or Hearth and Cauldron, before retreating back to Pine Time to listen to the trees across the lake.

Perfect for fans of a well-written cosy mystery with depth and longevity, or anyone who just wants to curl up with a good story, with a warm beverage and a cuddly blanket. But DO, please, read the series in order!

Sounds like you’re getting exactly what you wanted. Why, then, are you being so contrary?
That wasn’t what I wanted. I’d never thought about becoming “queen”.
The trees made that shushing sound again, even though the wind wasn’t blowing. A heartbeat later, their whispers filled my head.
What do you want, O’Shea?

– Shawn McGuire, Blind Secrets
Rival Secrets headshot-1.1

Find more from Shawn McGuire at her website here, or follow her on GoodreadsFacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Blind Secrets is releases on Amazon TODAY!

You can find my previous reviews of the Whispering Pines series here:  Family Secrets (#1); Kept Secrets (#2); Original Secrets (#3)Hidden Secrets (#4)Rival Secrets (#5)Veiled Secrets (#6)Silent Secrets (#7)Merciful Secrets (#8)Justified Secrets (#9)Protected Secrets (#10); Burning Secrets (#11).


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