Book Review: Secrets in the Woods by J.E. Smythe

Title: Secrets in the Woods: An Emilia Long Mystery
Author: J.E. Smythe
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Secrets in the Woods is a gripping tale about Emilia Long- an Investigative Reporter and her quest to find out the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death. Long’s quest begins after reading documents left for her by her adopted mother revealing that she was abandoned as an infant at a Brooklyn hospital. The revelation led Emilia on a suspenseful journey to find her birth mother.

But finding her is not so easy. Her investigations reveal that her birth mother disappeared months before her birth and that the disappearance was linked to a murder. With the key suspect in her mother’s disappearance locked away in jail on unrelated charges and the townspeople, including the Sheriff, unwilling to help her, Emilia finds herself at a dead end. In an unimaginable twist of fate, Emilia discovers more than she bargained for. Some Secrets are really better left untold.

In addition to her 9 to 5 attorney job, Smythe is also the co-founder of publishing company, Lady Esquire Group, LLC. The Attorney Author describes herself as a half analytic and half creative who was blessed to figure out how to join those halves together.   Her other books include: Through Grandma’s Eyes, Zora’s First Day and a Few Good Friends. When asked about the motivation for writing her latest work, she explained: “I’m a lover of the Cozy Mystery genre but I found that there were not a lot of those books written by African American Authors with African American characters. I just wanted to put a whole new face on such a fun and exciting genre.”

Smythe’s adept writing style in Secrets in the Woods is enticing and captivates readers from the first page. The novel feature a cast of believable characters and numerous twists and turns that will have readers begging for more.

In Secrets in the Woods, Emilia Long, an investigative reporter, is determined to find out more about her birth mother. Documents left to her by her adopted mother show she was abandoned at a Brooklyn hospital as an infant. Emilia wants to find out what happened to her birth mother, who apparently disappeared months before Emilia was born.
With everyone seemingly unwilling to help her, including the town’s sheriff, it’s up to Emilia to find out the truth on her own. Yet, some secrets can have dire consequences, and she might uncover a lot more than she bargained for…
I really liked Emilia. She was resourceful, clever, and she had no trouble making tough decisions. The mystery part of the book kept me hooked, and I kept turning the pages until the end. Fans of cozy mysteries will definitely enjoy this new series.

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