Rival Secrets

A Whispering Pines Mystery, Book 5
Narrated by: Sandra Murphy
Length: 8 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What if your nemesis challenged you on your home turf?

A sense of community. Quaint surroundings. Deadly rivalries. Welcome to Whispering Pines. 

As the weather turns crisp, Jayne O’Shea and the other villagers prepare for the last big tourist draw of the season: the autumn equinox festival. It’s a time to enjoy a bounty of food, the company of others, and the ever-popular cooking competition. Events in the baking division, however, turn from friendly to fatal when one of the contestants, a beloved nationally known chef, is found dead in the woods. 

As all eyes turn to one of the villagers as the killer, Jayne knows that what’s seen on the surface isn’t always the truth, especially in Whispering Pines, and digs deep to clear the name of one of their own.

©2018 Shawn McGuire (P)2019 Shawn McGuire

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Festive Time & Murder

This quaint town decides if you stay or move on, a focus on Wicca and it also seems like Murder continues to happen. A festive time with gathering of people and food. Until a chef is found murdered. Given audio for this and enjoyed the good narration.

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The series is getting better as is goes along

I enjoyed this book the most out of all the Whispering Pines series so far. Meeting up with the villagers again makes me feel like I’m settling in with a latte and catching up with friends. Very interesting and eclectic friends! Every book reveals more about the ups and downs of the villagers’ lives, and how past hurts come back to haunt them. Sheriff Jayne O’Shea is again on the case to solve a murder! As always, Shawn McGuire does a nice job with the narration. A fun listen all around.

I received a promotional copy of this audiobook and this is my honest and voluntary review.

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Each book in the series gets better and better....

Rival Secrets is the fifth book in the Whispering Pines Mystery series, and, although enjoyed best as part of this amazing series, I think that it could be enjoyed without reading the first four books in the series. Book five finds Whispering Pines approaching fall and the end of the tourist season, and the village sheriff, Jayne O'Shea, is expecting less excitement. However, Jayne's hopes are dashed when a world famous baker and former village resident dies under suspicious circumstances while competing in a baking/cooking contest at the Autumn Equinox Festival. Not only is the deceased a rather unpleasant person, she also delights in antagonizing local kitchen witch and bakery owner Sugar. With so many potential enemies to investigate, a village to protect, and Sugar to exonerate, Jayne diligently pieces the clues together. As with all the books in the series, the author cleverly mixes an intriguing, whodunnit mystery with plenty of local color and a touch of the paranormal. My only complaint about the book is that it had to end, but it leaves me ever more anxious to listen to book six.

Sandra Murphy narrates all the books in the series, and she is the perfect Jayne. Of course, with her high level of skill, Murphy handles all the characters of the book well. She adds just the right tone to keep the story interesting and exciting, but she also portrays the more touching and emotional sections of the book perfectly. I have listened to many audiobooks narrated by Murphy, and she is an incredibly talented narrator in all. I highly recommend anything she narrates and the entire Whispering Pines series in particular.

I received a copy of this audiobook at my request in exchange for this honest review.

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Rivals in Whispering Pines

Rival Secrets by Shawn McGuire really pulled me in. I love how the author uses such vivid imagery to describe the community of Whispering Pines. I can envision so much of this lakeside village, the characters, the rivalry, and the relationships. This book is both a standalone listen and a continuation of the series. I love how the author reveals secrets in this book and the symbolism. Sandra Murphy was incredible performing the book. She brought the characters to life. I could hear exactly who was speaking. The emotions she portrays were so realistic.

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It's getting even better

Rival secrets

Welcome to Whispering Pines, a place where everyone has a secret. Shawn McGuire masterfully weaves a multi-layered story that contains murder, mystery, magic, misfits and more.  The locals are getting ready for the annual baking contest. Gin Wakefield grew up in the tiny town and moved on to baking fame. Sugar and Gin were childhood friends, but they grew apart. Hard to believe that this small town has a history of murders. Some have said Jayne brought bad luck with her. Jayne is tenacious and she has plenty of other suspects to look at, to question. As she continues to investigate, she learns a lot about bees. I love the bee education provided in the story. I love learning new facts. The competition continues as Jayne investigates the clues to find the murder.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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Bee careful.

I listened to Rival Secrets as a stand alone and I am certain that doing so it loses some of its charm. It's an engaging cozy series.
I love the idea of Whispering Pines where you have to be odd to become a resident and with a service that will add to the community. Everyone knows just about everything about each other that they are willing to share. After a busy summer of vacationers everyone wants some peace and quiet.
When a successful celebrity ex resident comes to town for a baking challenge, old grievances come to the surface and before long there is a dead body at the Inn.

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Whispering Pines is like another world.

Love everything about the series . I miss everyone when I finish a book. Audible is wonderful. Narration is wonderful.

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  • Julie
  • 10-03-19

Don't keep this book a secret tell your friends

I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book by this author that I have listened/read but it won't be the last as I enjoyed it and will be looking into getting the previous books to see what I have been missing. Even though it is billed as a witch mystery there was no spell casting or magic, the villagers used herbs, crystals and Palm reading which for some means they are odd balls. I happened to like there eccentricities and found them fun. The mystery was good and the story had plenty of suspect's with motives to keep you guessing.
Whispering Pines is hosting the autumn equinoxes festival and this mean they have a annual cooking competition but this year it is going to turn deadly for one of the contestants. Old grudges and secrets come back up to the surface when a celebrity chief and her team storm into town and take over. Jayne first off has to decide if it was an accident or murder and with all.the reporters coming to town she doesn't have long to decide before things turn really bad. With the victim being an old resident who has made good there is not shortage of suspects.
I really liked the narrator and thought she brought he characters to life really well, as well.as having to do a number of accents.

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MommaBear
  • 10-12-19

A Pagan Village, Murder Mysteries, Sheriff A Woman

I was kindly given this book for free and asked to write a review and in nutshell - my opinion, I cannot wait to buy the previous books in the series.

This book can be totally enjoyed without reading the previous ones in the series. Yes, the back story would be nice but not knowing it in no way detracts from the story.

Its an enjoyable and quick listen - what I mean by this is you don't have to rewind a few times to totally understand what is going on ( not a bad thing but when you just want a nice mentally light book to listen to this is perfect. I don't mean it is not worth reading it is, there is a place for books that you have to work with and a place for ones that you just lie back and enjoy the story. It makes sense and not full of romance that detracts from the main story ( or as with some are the main story with the murder as incidental and not for me).

This book gives a nice rounded story.

I loved the voice of the narrator as being from the UK I find sometimes I cannot either understand what they are saying or are speaking to fast. Sandra Murphy speaks just at the right speed for the story and emphasises what needs emphasising and doesn't make the woman in the story sound like airheads ( common for some narrators no matter where they come from). I will definitely be seeking out other books she has narrated.

Overall a perfect book to either relax to or to listen to on your commute