Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Book Review: Secrets and Scents by Lyn Perry (Book and Candle Shop Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters and a good story
Cons: Narrative technique I don’t like near the beginning
The Bottom Line:
Bad discovery
Let’s us meet fun characters
In this good debut

Unexpected Surprise in the Storeroom

As a general rule, I try to avoid paranormal themed books.  But I do make some notable exceptions, especially for authors I’ve met.  So that made me willing to give Secrets and Scents by Lyn Perry a chance.  I’m glad I did because it was fun.

Best friends Kelli and Jo was thrilled that the opening day for their new book and candle shop, Reading Makes Scents, is finally here.  They’ve been working hard the last few months to get their shop and their inventory ready.

However, they hit a snag when Kelli goes to grab more chairs from their storage area and finds an unconscious stranger there.  Who is he?  How did he get there?  And does this tie in to the strange prophecies from the envelopes the friends found when they were remodeling?

While this is the start of a new series and my introduction to the fictional town of Sugar Pine Station in California, this book is a spin off from some other books that Lyn has written.  While there are a couple of references to those previous adventures in town, Kelli and Jo and their immediate friends are all introduced here, and I felt right at home.

I will say, the book starts out with one of my least favorite narrative techniques.  We start with Kelli making her horrible discovery, and then we flash back three months to see how we got here.  I know, I know, lots of people do it, including some authors I love otherwise, but it always feels like a cheat to me, especially if I don’t know it is coming.

But there is a good story here.  It’s not a traditional mystery, which is refreshing.  There was plenty to keep me reading, and the further I got into the story, the more I was pulled in.

The supernatural elements I mentioned earlier were light.  They do provide an interesting twist to the story, however, and they were fun.

I loved the characters.  Kelli and Jo are fantastic, as are their potential love interests.  We actually get the story from multiple people’s point of view, and we need all of them to fully understand what happens.  Don’t worry, the scene changes are always obvious.

This book is on the shorter side, so it was a fast read.  Not a complaint, but keep that in mind when you pick it up.

There’s even a recipe at the end of the book for apple turnovers.

I’m definitely glad I picked up Secrets and Scents.  If you are looking for something light and fun, you will be, too.

NOTE: I received a copy of this book.


  1. I'm not a big fan of the flashback either but other than that this does sound like a fun read!

  2. I like light and fun! I don't mind a bit of paranormal.


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