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Family Secrets - A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 1 (EBOOK)

Family Secrets - A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 1 (EBOOK)

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Welcome to Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. A place for those who don't belong.

Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O’Shea returns to prepare her grandparents’ lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in the backyard.

Jayne intends to stay out of it, but when it becomes obvious the sheriff isn't interested in investigating the death, Jayne can't stop herself. Her list of suspects grows faster than the plants in the commons’ pentacle garden. Could it be the local Wiccan green witch with her stash of deadly plants? The shopkeeper who slips into trances and foretells death? The visitor determined to practice black magic?

What Jayne knows for sure is that the closer she gets to solving this crime, the more the sheriff wants her to back off. And when a local fortune teller provides a crucial clue, Jayne knows it’s up to her to solve this murder.

FAMILY SECRETS is the first book in the Whispering Pines mystery series about a woman determined to return her grandmother's village to the idyllic haven it used to be ... before all the secrets started rising to the surface.

If you love twisty mysteries, characters you’ll want to be best friends with, and settings you'll want to visit again and again, you just found your new favorite books.

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Chapter 1
My West Highland White Terrier sneezed in response. Most likely she was agreeing with me, but she was also mad, so I couldn’t be sure. She loved car rides, which to her meant around town, getting out often to meet people. Five hours crated in the cargo area of my ten-year-old Jeep Cherokee made for one angry pup.
Had we gone fifteen miles yet? I forgot to check my odometer against that last sign. It had probably only been five. All I knew for sure was that I’d been driving on the two-lane country road through Wisconsin’s Northwoods for so long, a funhouse effect had settled in. The never-ending tunnel of pines, oaks, maples, birches, and other species I couldn’t identify was not my normal. I was used to row after row of houses crammed close together. Row after row of trees, not so much.
After another couple of minutes, we passed a sign so small I almost missed it: Whispering Pines 5 miles.
“We’re almost there, girl. Less than ten minutes and you’ll be running your little legs off.”
My phone rang, and my mom’s face gazed at me from the phone in the holder clamped to the air vent. I reached a finger toward the answer button but froze before touching it. I told her I’d call when I got to Gran’s. Guess she thought I should be there by now. I was twenty-six years old. When was she going to stop micromanaging my life?
The phone rang for a fourth time then went quiet. I clenched my hand into a fist and waited for her inevitable re-call. After a minute and no ringing, I relaxed and silently vowed to call her once I got to the house.
Up ahead on the right, the sign indicating the beginning of the village limits appeared. I slowed, checked that there was no one behind me, then pulled to a stop. The impressive wooden marker had to be at least ten feet wide and eight feet tall, the logs on either side were a good foot-and-a-half or two in diameter. It appeared to have been hand-carved by an artisan rather than machine-lathed.
Welcome to Whispering Pines
Est. 1966
A symbol was etched into the wood below the date—a circle with a pentacle in the center and a crescent moon flanking either side. When I was little, I thought the symbol represented the sun, moon, and stars. Now I knew that it was the Triple Moon Goddess symbol and represented the Maiden, Mother, and Crone. Whispering Pines, Wisconsin had been founded by followers of the Wiccan religion and to my knowledge, Wiccans still made up half the population. A narrow four-foot by two-foot plaque hung from the bottom of the sign and read, Blessed Be – Enjoy Your Visit.

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