Thursday, November 3, 2022

Book Review: Secrets in the Stacks by Lynn Cahoon (Survivors’ Book Club Mysteries #2)

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Good characters, entertaining story
Cons: Little introduction to the characters, weak ending, poor editing
The Bottom Line:
Grandmother murdered
The characters are charming
But story is weak

What Secret Led to Murder?

Earlier this year, I finally made the time to read one of Lynn Cahoon’s books.  I started with a new series from her, the Survivors’ Book Club Mysteries.  And I’m now back for the second one, Secretsin the Stacks.

This series is set in Sedona, Arizona, and features Rarity Cole.  After surviving breast cancer, Rarity moved to Sedona and opened a bookstore.  A big advantage of the move is that her best friend lives in the area.  And she is building a new life for herself.  Part of that life is the book club she’s started for cancer survivors.

This book introduces us to Darcy, a new member of the book club.  She’s just finished treatment for breast cancer as well, and she is young, in her senior year of college.  As a result, she works part time for Rarity at the Second Chapter Book Store.

Darcy shares her grandmother’s home with her grandmother.  One day, when returning from work, she finds her grandmother dead, the obvious victim of foul play.  Since the Survivors’ Book Club solved a murder a few months back, she turns to them to help her figure out what happened.  Can they do it?

I was a bit surprised when I picked up this book that there was no introduction to any of the returning characters.  Yes, I read the first book in the series, but it has been several months, and I needed some context for who everyone was and their relationships again.  I was able to piece together the main players as I read the first few chapters, but I didn’t have enough context to remember exactly what a couple of the minor players did.

Once I got into the book, I fell in love with the characters again.  Rarity is a wonderful main character, and I like her and her immediate circle.  I also need to send a special shout out to her dog, Killer.  He is so cute!

The story was good.  There was enough going on to keep me interested.  I suspected what the right path was, but I wasn’t completely sure until Rarity figured it out.  However, the ending was a let down.  Yes, it answered the big questions about who did it and why, but I felt like it left me with a couple of new questions and left a few red herrings up in the air.

Meanwhile, the book needed a bit more editing.  We had a couple of timeline glitches, and a couple of times characters asked a question that had just been answered a couple of pages before.  And yes, they were in that scene.

Now, I did read an ARC.  I always hate to mention these kinds of things in case they are fixed before the book goes to press.  I certainly hope that was the case.

While I did enjoy the characters and got caught up in the story, the flaws in Secrets in the Stacks were pretty significant.  I’m sure the author’s many fans will still be glad they picked it up.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


  1. I forget previous books so often, that I need re introductions most of the time, even for books that I loved, I might remember the main characters, but that's all. Nice review, Mark

  2. I completely agree. I loved the first book in the series but this one fell a bit flat for me.


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