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Four Secrets Kept by H L Marsay

Welcome to Hartwell, an English village full of cobbled streets, ancient curses, and buried secrets.

Although the village may have laid Lord Hanley to rest, his death creates almost as many problems as did his life.

While Lady Lucy Hanley hides in her manor home recovering from her miserable marriage and dodging a stalker, she’s determined to focus on raising her young son and finding ways to make the manor financially viable. Rachel Foxton, who’s long imagined a life away from Hartwell, has her dreams of escape thwarted by a family drama. Dr. Meera Kumar’s budding relationship with the village vet bathes her in a golden glow…until her ex arrives delivering troubling news that threatens everything she’s built. Jo Ormond is convinced she knows what she wants—her detective job back in London—but as she investigates several local crimes that seem linked, including Lord Hanley’s murder, Jo begins to contemplate putting down roots in Hartwell.

Can friends Lucy, Rachel, Meera, and Jo bury the secrets of their own pasts while danger follows them?

Dear Ms. Marsay,

Despite some issues with it, after finishing “Four Hidden Treasures,” I was eager to read the next installment as several plot threads were either loosely tied up or not finished at all.

We’re back in the small Yorkshire village of Hartwell where all the stuff in the blurb is happening. I’m not going to recap anything as the blurb pretty much says it all. Everything that I noticed about the first book is continued here so I’m stealing from my first review –

“I kept thinking the book reminded me of an evening soap opera with chapters neatly covering an episode at a time. Plot points are made – in many cases telegraphed ahead of time. When something was mentioned, I guessed how the information would slot into the various subplots being juggled and I was usually correct. The lives of the women, even the two newcomers, are quickly tangled together. Serious issues are not kept from the reader and in many cases are spilled quickly to the two new women.

New readers might be able to start here as background information about what happened in book one is given but in small doses so it doesn’t turn into a huge info-dump. The drama and angst are back and the issues left unfinished are tied up. A few additional things are added such as Lucy’s “mostly absent from her life” mother appearing and she’s exactly like she seems to be with no hidden depths.

The resolution of most of the plot threads are exactly what I expected. But this time, I noticed a lot of “telling” vs “showing.” So much telling. There are also several instances where, despite the fact that they should know better based on experience, the main characters are extremely naive, trusting, or clueless about what is happening. I know there is a third book planned but for the most part, the things I wanted closure on have been resolved and I have my doubts that I’ll continue any further. C


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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 25 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there’s no TSTL characters and is currently reading more fantasy and SciFi.



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