Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Book Review: The Secrets We Keep by Liz Milliron (Homefront Mysteries #5)

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery, great characters
Cons: Some timeline wonkiness (but it’s minor)
The Bottom Line:
Finding man’s parents
Complicated by murder
Pages turn swiftly

When Secrets Lead to Murder

I’ve really enjoyed the look at what was happening in America during World War II via Liz Milliron’s Homefront Mysteries.  I was anxious to get my hands on The Secrets We Keep, the fifth in the series, and it was another winner.

When we first met Betty Ahern, she was doing her part of help the war effort by working at Bell Aircraft.  But she’s discovered a talent and love for solving mysteries, so she’s quit her job to become a PI.  In fact, as this book opens, she’s just gotten her official license.

The 4th of July 1943 is looming when Betty gets a new client.  Christopher Lake is a private in the army that has been home recovering from an injury he attained in the war.  He’s scheduled to go back to the front in a couple of weeks, but he is hoping that Betty can help him before he leaves.

You see, Christopher was raised at an orphanage, and he is wondering who his parents were.  He’s hoping that Betty can learn the truth before he ships out.  Unfortunately, all he has to go on is a story he heard from the nuns who raised him and a St. Christopher medal he was left with.

It isn’t much, but Betty starts to make some progress.  However, before she can complete the investigation, someone connected with the case is murdered.  Can Betty figure out what is going on?

As I’ve said in the past, I enjoy PI novels when they have a creative premise like this to draw us in.  I was as much interested at learning about Christopher’s parents as I was about the murder.  Which is a good thing since it took a while for the murder to happen.  But, with so much going on, I was never bored.

When the murder happened, things kicked into another gear.  I was always reluctant to return to today when I had to put the book down.  Unfortunately, there are some timeline issues in the book, but they are just annoying since they don’t impact the story itself.  Everything makes sense once Betty pieces it together.

It is great to see how Betty has grown as a detective in this book.  Yes, she’s still learning, but she is doing a great job following any clue she had.  In fact, considering how little she has to start with, it’s a testament to her skills.  We don’t see as much of some of the supporting players, but I did enjoy what they contributed to the book when they were on the page.  And the new characters we meet along the way are just as real as the series regulars.

One sub-plot does flow out of the previous book, and there are some references to previous books in the series.  Nothing is spoiled, however, so you can read this book out of order if you want.  Once you meet Betty, you’ll want to read them all.

The Secrets We Keep will entertain anyone who wants to read about what was happening in America during World War II.  Those who have already met Betty will be especially happy to get the next chapter in her life.

Enjoy the rest of the Homefront Mysteries.

NOTE: I received an ARC of this book.


  1. Oh, I don't know this series but like you, am fascinated by what was taking place on the homefront! I will go look for book 1. Thank you for this review, Mark.

  2. I know people sometimes say that they are sick of WWII but there is still so much for storytelling, including home front stories

    Thanks for sharing this review with the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge


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