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Wayward Secrets - A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 13 (PAPERBACK)

Wayward Secrets - A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 13 (PAPERBACK)

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What if the best decision you ever made was also the worst?

The new tourist season is about to start. The witches, carnies, fortune tellers, and other lovable outcasts of Whispering Pines are abuzz with excitement. Sheriff Jayne O’Shea, however, is nervous. After their tragic last season, the lakeside hamlet became known as the Murder Capital of Wisconsin, and she would love to redeem their reputation.

Everyone has assured her they’re ready and that it’s going to be a great opening weekend, but Jayne can’t shake the feeling that something is wrong. Then, just as waves of happy tourists start to arrive, villagers go missing one by one.

This is the showdown Jayne has been preparing for. She knows who’s responsible, but before catching the kidnapper, she first needs to save the victims. That means releasing control and letting others step up because this time she’s too close. Failure could mean the end for those she loves most.


WAYWARD SECRETS is the thirteenth 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.

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Chapter 1
THE SUN HAD MADE A full trip around the earth. The moon had gone from new to full twelve times. Or was it thirteen? Regardless, tourist season would officially be underway in the village tomorrow. That meant my life as sheriff and co-owner of Pine Time Bed-and-Breakfast was going to kick into high gear. Although, I’d learned over the past fifty-some weeks that things never stopped in Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. Life slowed a bit in February—more akin to my beloved old Cherokee with its balding tires trying to get out of an unplowed parking lot than a racecar zipping at full speed around a track—but there was always something.
In preparation for the next round of excitement sure to wash into the village with the flood of tourists scheduled to arrive over the next twenty-four hours, my sister and I went for a hike.
“This is a great way to start the day,” Rosalyn chirped as we entered the Meditation Circle. “Why don’t we do this more often?”
“The real question,” I amended, “is why haven’t we ever done this?” I’d started a few summer days with a morning paddle around the lake in a kayak, but never going for a hike. “Maybe because I spend most of my days walking around the village. I really should track how many miles I cover in a day sometime.”
“This isn’t walking. It’s communing with nature.” She spread her arms wide and tilted her face to the sky. “It’s time for yourself. Time to clear your head and prepare for the day to come.”
“Think I need silence for that to happen.”
She gave me her not amused face. “If you wanted silence, you shouldn’t have invited me.”
“Obviously.” We’d just entered the Meditation Circle area, and my gaze landed on the stones surrounding the fire pit. Specifically, a spot where a stone should be. One was missing. “Who would steal a rock? Is this seriously how the summer season is going to start? With a theft?”
Rosalyn gave me about three seconds to ponder this, then spun me toward an opening in the brush to the north of the circle. “Hike now, theft later.”
She was right. I was entitled to a couple hours of communing. I looked around and whistled for my dog. “Meeka?”
About ten yards ahead of us, a fluffy white head popped up above the foliage. She ruffed as though to say, “Keep up!”
“Don’t lose us,” I warned. Thankfully the weeds weren’t even knee high yet. In a few weeks, the plant life around here would soar along with the temperatures.
The Westie replied by diving into the closest bush.
“Do you know where we’re going?” Rosalyn asked.
I patted my pocket. “I have Briar’s map. It looks easy enough to find.”

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