I assumed when I started ‘Scrapbook of Secrets’ that it would be a fun whodunit and I would learn a little about scrap-booking along the way. I seriously underestimated the book I was about to read. ‘Scrapbook of Secrets’, the first in “A Cumberland Creek Mystery” series by Mollie Cox Bryan examines a variety of the secrets that people hold. Secrets that cause guilt, shame and possibly murder. Exploring how the characters and society deals with these secrets provides the reader with an extremely thought provoking book.

Scrapbooking and the “crop circle” where scrap-bookers get together to work on their various projects provide the opportunity to share information. When Maggie Rae, a young mother commits suicide and her scrapbooks are mysteriously discarded, the women get together to finish them for her children and learn many of her secrets. It appears that Maggie Rae has been hiding many secrets. The women begin to question if this suicide could actually be murder.

The book offers us many fascinating characters. Sheila runs the scrap-booking store and is an expert on everything to do with scrap-booking. Vera, her best friend runs the local dance studio and may have some secrets of her own. Vera’s mother Beatrice, a retired physicist is a smart, tough woman who sometimes talks to her dead husband. The main character, at least in this book, is Annie, a journalist who has given up her career for motherhood and moved to Cumberland Creek. As a Jewish newcomer in this little southern town, she finds the crop circle to be one of the first places she fits in. Her skills as a journalist help them in solving the mystery.

The book also offers an appendix of scrap-booking information. To obtain the recipes that appeared in the book, you can check out the author’s web site.

This is Mollie Cox Bryan’s first mystery novel. She is the author of Mrs. Rowe’s Little Book of Southern Pies’ and ‘Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant Cookbook: A Lifetime of Recipes from the Shenandoah Valley’.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in this series. This would be a good book for book clubs. The author has included lists of questions on her website for book clubs. She is also willing to connect to book clubs via Skype.

Five stars out of five.


In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the author free of charge.  I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review.  All they expect is an honest review of the work.