Secrets and Sunflowers

Secrets and Sunflowers (Pepperville Stories series) by Joann Keder is a fiction story about three friends set in the small town of Sandy Salts. Keilah Charmant is a local coffee shop owner who has to move her business to make way for the new construction project to widen the highway through town. Vanessa Withers is a reporter who writes obituaries in the local newspaper, and Deeloriandra Fisher acts as an honorary grandmother to Keilah’s two children. But all three women are keeping secrets from each other. The town is divided between people who want to keep the two-lane highway and others who support the expansion to a four-lane highway. When a dead body is found in a nearby lake, is it connected to the town dispute? Or is it more personal?

This was a fun story to read, filled. However, stereotypical small-town gossip and speculation. There were several elements of mystery in this book, which I liked. This bit of intrigue kept my interest as I tried to guess what would happen next and solve the mysteries along with the characters. 

I liked that the author included a list of characters at the beginning of each chapter, which helped to avoid confusion as there were many different people introduced in a short span, especially for readers unfamiliar with the characters from reading the previous books in the series. Although this is not the first book in the Pepperville series, it can be read as a standalone story. The author gives enough details to recap what occurred in the other stories so that readers do not feel lost. The references that were made to mysteries solved in previous books and other intriguing details raised my interest in going back to read the other books in the series to find out the full story of what happened.

I felt some of the characters’ motivation was lacking, especially in regard to some ethical issues concerning the actions of the main characters. For example, I did not feel that the author gave a compelling reason why Vanessa did not want to contact the police when she discovered the dead body. The author, however, did include a lot of small details, such as the inclusion of the obituaries of various townspeople and the weather reports. These help the reader feel more part of the community.

Secrets and Sunflowers is an entertaining family saga novel filled with drama and some mystery. Readers of the Pepperville Stories series will enjoy the latest addition to the collection, and new readers to the series will find new friends they want to read more about.

Pages: 436 | ASIN : B0BB5N3RKS

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The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on October 18, 2022, in Book Reviews, Four Stars and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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