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Family Secrets

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Welcome to Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. A place for those who don’t belong. Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O’Shea returns to prepare her grandparents’ lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in Welcome to Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. A place for those who don’t belong. Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O’Shea returns to prepare her grandparents’ lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in the backyard. Jayne intends to stay out of it, but when it becomes obvious the sheriff isn't interested in investigating the death, Jayne can't stop herself. Her list of suspects grows faster than the plants in the commons’ pentacle garden. Could it be the local Wiccan green witch with her stash of deadly plants? The shopkeeper who slips into trances and foretells death? The visitor determined to practice black magic? What Jayne knows for sure is that the closer she gets to solving this crime, the more the sheriff wants her to back off. And when a local fortune teller provides a crucial clue, Jayne knows it’s up to her to solve this murder.


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Welcome to Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. A place for those who don’t belong. Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O’Shea returns to prepare her grandparents’ lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in Welcome to Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. A place for those who don’t belong. Sixteen years after a family feud drove her from the cozy Northwoods village of Whispering Pines, Wisconsin, former detective Jayne O’Shea returns to prepare her grandparents’ lake house for sale. Once there, not only does she find that the house has been trashed, her dog discovers a dead body in the backyard. Jayne intends to stay out of it, but when it becomes obvious the sheriff isn't interested in investigating the death, Jayne can't stop herself. Her list of suspects grows faster than the plants in the commons’ pentacle garden. Could it be the local Wiccan green witch with her stash of deadly plants? The shopkeeper who slips into trances and foretells death? The visitor determined to practice black magic? What Jayne knows for sure is that the closer she gets to solving this crime, the more the sheriff wants her to back off. And when a local fortune teller provides a crucial clue, Jayne knows it’s up to her to solve this murder.

30 review for Family Secrets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Thoroughly enjoyable start to a new series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Linda Strong

    Jayne O'Shea has returned to her grandparents home to settle their affairs and place their home for sale. Once there, she finds the house has been trashed ...and a body of a young woman is in the backyard. Being a former cop, she knows enough not to do anything to interfere with possible evidence. The local police don't seem to be too concerned, but Jayne can't help but investigate on her own. Whispering Pines is a small town in Wisconsin, filled with all kinds of quirky, fun, strange people. Wicc Jayne O'Shea has returned to her grandparents home to settle their affairs and place their home for sale. Once there, she finds the house has been trashed ...and a body of a young woman is in the backyard. Being a former cop, she knows enough not to do anything to interfere with possible evidence. The local police don't seem to be too concerned, but Jayne can't help but investigate on her own. Whispering Pines is a small town in Wisconsin, filled with all kinds of quirky, fun, strange people. Wiccans seem to make up the majority. Seems like the dead woman had a tatoo similar to what is seen among the Wiccan. And then Jayne discovers that her grandmother was also involved. There's the man who can see when death is coming. Then there's the young girl who wants to learn the ropes ... learn the spells and incantations. But to what means? All of these are suspects ... and the more Jayne investigates, the more the local sheriff warns her off. But Jayne is tenacious, if nothing else. Something sinister is affecting the town. I would love to think there are still small towns similar to this one ... minus the dead body. Most of the residents are friendly and welcoming ... but as in most small towns, everyone knows everyone's business ... usually. It's a well written story and I loved all the characters. No one can resist Meeka ... Jayne's four-footed partner. I'm hoping this may turn into a series. This is an author to keep an eye on. Many thanks to the author for the advance digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    This is the first book I have read by this author. I received ARC of this story. I really enjoyed the way the story line went and the characters in it. It's not really a cliff hanger, but it does leave some questions unanswered. A good story. The review is done voluntarily and my own opinions. This is the first book I have read by this author. I received ARC of this story. I really enjoyed the way the story line went and the characters in it. It's not really a cliff hanger, but it does leave some questions unanswered. A good story. The review is done voluntarily and my own opinions.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Coco.V

    🎁 FREE on Amazon today (5/14/2019)! 🎁

  5. 5 out of 5

    Heart DeCoupeville

    Acquired Kindle edition when offered free. Started off really bad when grandparents' house is described as covering half an acre. That's like 23,000 square feet! And it's at least two stories! But the yard is only a quarter of an acre? Not sure why there's no cell phone reception. Seems odd for a tourist area not to be accessible. Found using the MC's police-style technique for describing people -- Six foot, muscular, close-cropped grey hair, that sort of thing, in italics! -- to be annoying. Also Acquired Kindle edition when offered free. Started off really bad when grandparents' house is described as covering half an acre. That's like 23,000 square feet! And it's at least two stories! But the yard is only a quarter of an acre? Not sure why there's no cell phone reception. Seems odd for a tourist area not to be accessible. Found using the MC's police-style technique for describing people -- Six foot, muscular, close-cropped grey hair, that sort of thing, in italics! -- to be annoying. Also her constant whining over lack of self-confidence, which then never manifests. Story was a bit more graphic than I'm used to in this type of light mystery, but tolerable. Magical silliness was expected. West Highland White Terrier as a K-9 was a bit of a stretch; is it now the vogue to pick uncommon breeds just for fun? Not bad, if you like this sort of thing -- the blurb pretty much lays out the traditional premise, and no real surprises after that, though part of the mystery surrounding the murder remains to be continued in the next book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Carol Hurtig

    This was just silly. I could see a town with people who were Wiccan but then there are carnies?? I felt like the Mystery Machine and Scooby Doo should show up next. The mystery of the vandalism of her Grandmother's home was not settled and the plot of the murder was weak. Why would he kill Yasmine and try to kill Deputy Reed? If Flavia was the person who caused all the trouble, then why not kill her? It was very annoying when Jayne kept describing everyone she met with their physical description This was just silly. I could see a town with people who were Wiccan but then there are carnies?? I felt like the Mystery Machine and Scooby Doo should show up next. The mystery of the vandalism of her Grandmother's home was not settled and the plot of the murder was weak. Why would he kill Yasmine and try to kill Deputy Reed? If Flavia was the person who caused all the trouble, then why not kill her? It was very annoying when Jayne kept describing everyone she met with their physical description. I'm glad this book was free but I still feel I wasted my time.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Beyond excellent! Drop a former cop, with her trained K9 companion, into a strange environment, add a dead body to the scene and a mystery to be solved ensues. The ending was a surprise, and the murderer and the reasons for the murder were shocking. All in all, a very well-crafted novel with realistic and multi-dimensional people you care about, living in a very interesting setting. What a wonderful way to start a cozy mystery series: reluctant but trained main character and her very cute dog, a Beyond excellent! Drop a former cop, with her trained K9 companion, into a strange environment, add a dead body to the scene and a mystery to be solved ensues. The ending was a surprise, and the murderer and the reasons for the murder were shocking. All in all, a very well-crafted novel with realistic and multi-dimensional people you care about, living in a very interesting setting. What a wonderful way to start a cozy mystery series: reluctant but trained main character and her very cute dog, a unique community with numerous opportunities for future murder mysteries, a slight dash of supernatural (what about that vision of the lady in the water?), and a smidgen of humor, plus portents of past crimes yet to be solved and multi-layered community members hiding their pasts. Yikes! I can hardly wait for the next one! "…anyone who doesn't fit in elsewhere is welcome in Whispering Pines." Count me in!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    I started reading the book because a family member was reading it too.. and as a way to keep her motivated to read, I thought this would help. I did not like the main character of this novel at all.. about page 100 this book started to get a little better... The left this book open ended so I guess now I have to read the series...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Hanan Buhadana

    That was so much fun. Gonna dive in to the next one right away.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sandee

    An interesting mystery full of sub-plots and intriguing relationships. I had a hard time putting this book down. The author creates a level of suspense at many levels, leading the reader deeper into the mysteries, making us a part of the story through Jayne's (MC) thoughts. The story is complex but never confusing as the clues and solutions lead us into more questions. In addition, the town of Whispering Pines has a supernatural component in that many of the the townsfolk, supposedly, have speci An interesting mystery full of sub-plots and intriguing relationships. I had a hard time putting this book down. The author creates a level of suspense at many levels, leading the reader deeper into the mysteries, making us a part of the story through Jayne's (MC) thoughts. The story is complex but never confusing as the clues and solutions lead us into more questions. In addition, the town of Whispering Pines has a supernatural component in that many of the the townsfolk, supposedly, have special talents. These talents are always acknowledged but never seen by our main characters, adding another layer of suspense to the mysteries. Whispering Pines definitely has a darkness hidden amongst its people. The book has a good ending but the story doesn't end in that many of the secrets and mysteries continue. I had to buy the next book as soon as I finished this one.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Cox

    Shawn McGuire’s Family Matters wasn’t just a technically well-written book, it was fun to read. I don’t believe in reviewers giving a detailed synopsis of the book, I feel that is the job of the author to write a synopsis to get people to read the book and it is the job of the reviewer to give an honest review. I am required to say I was given a free copy of the book by the author with no expectation of receiving a positive review and no expectation on my part of any remuneration. As I said, this Shawn McGuire’s Family Matters wasn’t just a technically well-written book, it was fun to read. I don’t believe in reviewers giving a detailed synopsis of the book, I feel that is the job of the author to write a synopsis to get people to read the book and it is the job of the reviewer to give an honest review. I am required to say I was given a free copy of the book by the author with no expectation of receiving a positive review and no expectation on my part of any remuneration. As I said, this book was well-written It was also well-edited and well proofed, with a fast-paced storyline that did not need a lot of action to maintain interest. The plot was believable with human nature being what it is. There was a lot of suspense and there were enough twists and turns to make Chubby Checker proud. The dialogue was credible and authentic. It was not stilted and was never forced or simply a foil of the plot. At no time did I have to suspend disbelief to keep interest in the story. The characters were lifelike, many with quirks that increased their believability. They were complex, well rounded, and well thought out. If the main protagonist wasn’t an on again/off again police officer, I would call this a cozy mystery, which I don’t often read, but in this case, I am glad I did. Shawn McGuire has put together a well written and fun read. A plot driven story with strong characters and dialogue that pulls it all together.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alison Sweet

    Mystical and mysterious Definite 5 stars for this sweet and suspicious story! Love the Wiccan aspects as well as the fairy tale like setting. A good balance of good intention and malice. A light read with depth! I’m excited to read the next novel in the series 😁

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jeannie

    I didn't want to put it down. McGuire is a highly skilled writer and this is a well crafted novel. Her descriptive writing style draws you in and keeps you. I read it in two days, I wanted to see what happened next but didn't want it to end. It is a mystery, but she weaves the story of her life and that of the locals in with it, so it is not just the mystery you find yourself getting involved with but also the workings of the town and the interesting dynamics of the personal lives of the reside I didn't want to put it down. McGuire is a highly skilled writer and this is a well crafted novel. Her descriptive writing style draws you in and keeps you. I read it in two days, I wanted to see what happened next but didn't want it to end. It is a mystery, but she weaves the story of her life and that of the locals in with it, so it is not just the mystery you find yourself getting involved with but also the workings of the town and the interesting dynamics of the personal lives of the residents. I liked the fact that McGuire treated Wiccan as a religion and not just a witchy, paranormal element for the storyline. Her characters are well developed and I liked the relationship that was developing with Tripp. There is no sex and violence in this one. I sincerely hope that there is another book in this series. I loved it and recommend it to anyone that loves a well written mystery. I am voluntarily reviewing a copy I received from the author. All thoughts are my own.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Toni

    What a great mystery with a dash of paranormal! I can’t believe I waited this long to start the series. I fell in love with McGuire’s writing style back when I read her Wish Makers series. This is a very different series in more ways than one; the obvious contrast being the shift from YA to Adult. When I first began reading Family Secrets I thought Jayne was an incredibly rigid, almost monotone, voice in the story. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this protagonist, and I’ll admit…I was afraid I was What a great mystery with a dash of paranormal! I can’t believe I waited this long to start the series. I fell in love with McGuire’s writing style back when I read her Wish Makers series. This is a very different series in more ways than one; the obvious contrast being the shift from YA to Adult. When I first began reading Family Secrets I thought Jayne was an incredibly rigid, almost monotone, voice in the story. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this protagonist, and I’ll admit…I was afraid I wasn’t going to enjoy her story. In the end, that’s one of the things that made it so enjoyable; Jayne’s story arc. She was uptight in the beginning–understandably so–because of her family dynamic, her past career choices, and the love that she had to let go. The mistakes she made haunted her to the core. As I continued to read, though, her interaction with the villagers and her budding friendship with Tripp began to smooth her rough edges. Of course, the most important bond in this story is the one she has with Meeka. Love that dog! I need a Westie now. I absolutely adore the organic, slow building connection Jayne makes with Tripp. Nothing forced about it. The mystery in this tale is brilliantly paced and captivating. There are so many characters in this story as she meets the people who live and work in Whispering Pines, but not once does it feel overwhelming and every character was extremely well developed. I’m in awe of McGuire’s talents. I’ve already purchased the second book in the series so I had to write my review before I devour each book and they all start blending together. Highly recommend to all fans of mystery and paranormal stories! Well done, McGuire!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Michael Adamchuk

    My first read of this series and author. I enjoyed the novel and the story line. The setting was perfect, the characters well drawn out and the information on the Wiccan religion was interesting. Would have been a five, I think the ending was a bit rushed. Former cop, Jayne O'Shea, finds a body on her grandparents' property in Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. The setting and descriptions are depicted very vividly, almost makes you feel like you are there. She thought she was going to stay about a we My first read of this series and author. I enjoyed the novel and the story line. The setting was perfect, the characters well drawn out and the information on the Wiccan religion was interesting. Would have been a five, I think the ending was a bit rushed. Former cop, Jayne O'Shea, finds a body on her grandparents' property in Whispering Pines, Wisconsin. The setting and descriptions are depicted very vividly, almost makes you feel like you are there. She thought she was going to stay about a week but circumstances have changed that. She even becomes a part time deputy. She meets Tripp and they become close friends. She also meets many of the interesting and quirky characters in Whispering Pines, many of whom practice the Wiccan religion. Jayne and her trained service dog, Meeka, surreptitously investigate the death of Yasmine Long, whose body was on the property. Sheriff Brighton warns her several times to lay off. During her off hours, Jayne and Tripp try to clean up the vandalized property and consider using it to open a B&B in this tourist town. Jayne also "interviews" several townspeople while investigating Yasmine's death. She even participates in a Wiccan ceremony and has a protective spell placed on her. In the end, she solves the crime. I may try the next story in the series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Melliott

    I liked the main character and her new sidekick in this. I also liked the setting of the remote village that welcomes only those who don't fit in elsewhere—Wiccans, circus folk, psychics. And if she describes any more of the food they are selling and eating in the village shops I may break quarantine to go to the nearest bakery or ice cream place! I did have some issues with the way the mystery was structured—solved, yet not solved, and kind of an abrupt ending that was obviously designed to get I liked the main character and her new sidekick in this. I also liked the setting of the remote village that welcomes only those who don't fit in elsewhere—Wiccans, circus folk, psychics. And if she describes any more of the food they are selling and eating in the village shops I may break quarantine to go to the nearest bakery or ice cream place! I did have some issues with the way the mystery was structured—solved, yet not solved, and kind of an abrupt ending that was obviously designed to get you to go on to the next book. Since I am a sucker for not knowing what happened, I have picked up the next title, in fact the next two, since they came as a three-book set for Kindle. But I'm not sure how much longer I will keep reading, because I am also a stickler for grammar, and she keeps getting the "and I" vs. "and me" wrong. Grates on every nerve.

  17. 4 out of 5

    BJ

    LOVED this story! I avoid most fantasy, witchcraft, paranormal, etc., but this is written more for understanding than for a thrill of the occult and witchy things! It's not 'over the top' witchcraft, but looking at Wiccan as a religious belief. I fell in love with McGuire's writing through her novellas in the Lei Crime Series KW, and she's brilliantly captured the 'feel' of the northern part of Wisconson. Having spent a summer's week just outside of Madison, her descriptions almost had me scratc LOVED this story! I avoid most fantasy, witchcraft, paranormal, etc., but this is written more for understanding than for a thrill of the occult and witchy things! It's not 'over the top' witchcraft, but looking at Wiccan as a religious belief. I fell in love with McGuire's writing through her novellas in the Lei Crime Series KW, and she's brilliantly captured the 'feel' of the northern part of Wisconson. Having spent a summer's week just outside of Madison, her descriptions almost had me scratching the mosquito bites I remember. Awesome character development, excellent cultural and small-town depictions... Looking forward to another story about Jayne, Meeka and Whispering Pines. Highly recommend this one!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Natasha

    Six months after resigning from her detective position, Jayne finds herself tasked with the job of packing up her recently deceased grandmother’s home and getting it ready for potential buyers. Shortly after arriving at her grandmother’s home, her K-9 discovers the corpse of a young woman near the house. This book covers the unofficial investigation Jayne embarks on to discover the culprit responsible for the young lady’s death. Along the way, she uncovers secrets about her grandmother and some Six months after resigning from her detective position, Jayne finds herself tasked with the job of packing up her recently deceased grandmother’s home and getting it ready for potential buyers. Shortly after arriving at her grandmother’s home, her K-9 discovers the corpse of a young woman near the house. This book covers the unofficial investigation Jayne embarks on to discover the culprit responsible for the young lady’s death. Along the way, she uncovers secrets about her grandmother and some of the village’s respected leaders. Whispering Pines is a secluded lakeside village frequented by tourists and inhabited by wiccans, carnies, and fortune tellers. The locals protect each other. Tourists are welcomed to visit, but discouraged from lingering too long.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    4 stars Family Secrets is the first book in the Whispering Pines series by Shawn McGuire, This is a cosy mystery following former police detective, Jane O’Shea as she gets drawn into a murder investigation in her hometown. This is a crime and investigation story with plenty of suspense, interesting and quirky characters, and more- all woven into a clever little mystery. Definitely looking forward to following the rest of the series! Intriguing! Thank you, Shawn McGuire!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Family Secrets was my first book by Shawn McGuire, but it will not be my last. I absolutely loved this book, so much so, I placed it on my favorite books of 2017 list. The author created an amazing cast of characters, each one well developed. My favorite character , outside of the main protagonist Jayne , is Morgan. The murder happens rather quickly, and the story begins drawing you in immediately. There are plenty of suspects. But the actual murderer and its explanation, you will never see comin Family Secrets was my first book by Shawn McGuire, but it will not be my last. I absolutely loved this book, so much so, I placed it on my favorite books of 2017 list. The author created an amazing cast of characters, each one well developed. My favorite character , outside of the main protagonist Jayne , is Morgan. The murder happens rather quickly, and the story begins drawing you in immediately. There are plenty of suspects. But the actual murderer and its explanation, you will never see coming. I've only just finished this book, and I'm already anxiously awaiting the next one! I just can't wait to see what is in store for our friends in Whispering Pines!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    Whispering Pines appears to be a family friendly and safe place, but appearances can be deceiving. Jayne O'Shea is the new Sheriff and she is finding that there are a lot of secrets in this town. Janye believes that her grandmother was murdered and is seeking the truth. Well-written and enjoyable story! I received an advance reader copy of this book. Whispering Pines appears to be a family friendly and safe place, but appearances can be deceiving. Jayne O'Shea is the new Sheriff and she is finding that there are a lot of secrets in this town. Janye believes that her grandmother was murdered and is seeking the truth. Well-written and enjoyable story! I received an advance reader copy of this book.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn Goode

    This mystery series is super well done. I love the details and vibes we get from the town. I love the side love story going on. And we get a little mystery and a little murder. It’s been really fun. I’m on book 3 and have already downloaded 4-6! I’m excited to continue this and actually hope someday they’ll make this into a tv series. I’d love to see the detail this book offers come to life.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rayne

    Quaint, quirky and a little bit more This is a very different cozy mystery. The setting is a quaint town with a little bit of bizarre. I felt that I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jayne is likeable and also a bit on the quirky side. There was enough to keep my interest and I still have some unanswered questions - which makes me curious about book 2.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Hogue

    I enjoyed this book. I kept changing my mind on who I thought the killer was; I like that I wasn't able to guess it right away. I really liked how there wasn't too much on the main characters past. I'll definitely be reading the next book! I enjoyed this book. I kept changing my mind on who I thought the killer was; I like that I wasn't able to guess it right away. I really liked how there wasn't too much on the main characters past. I'll definitely be reading the next book!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paula

    What a great book. Different. Wiccan religion. Small woodsy town. Female cop as well as other strong female roles. Plenty of mystery and possible romance in the next episode. I enjoy reading this kind of fantasy . Looking forward to the next book!

  26. 4 out of 5

    SA Krishnan

    Excellent mystery. Deep descriptions and the characters are all very well etched out. Engaging read

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Hupe

    "Jane O'Shea's life is in shambles..." Check out the rest of my review at: http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/... "Jane O'Shea's life is in shambles..." Check out the rest of my review at: http://magazine.indtale.com/magazine/...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ember Daley

    Cliffhangers are not always bad! When an author writes like this, she can leave me hanging as long as I’m not hanging for years on the next book. Shawn definitely kept my interest in Family Secrets. I’m definitely gonna head into the rest of this series. Great book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    TE

    I loved it. Shawn McGuire really is one of those authors who can paint pictures with her words. I enjoyed the charming quaintness of Whispering Pines and it's eccentric inhabitants. I feel like I know the characters and what makes them tick. The only downside was that it ended too soon for me. I can't wait to see what Jayne and Meeka are going to do next. For those who want to know: No sex or violence in this one. I loved it. Shawn McGuire really is one of those authors who can paint pictures with her words. I enjoyed the charming quaintness of Whispering Pines and it's eccentric inhabitants. I feel like I know the characters and what makes them tick. The only downside was that it ended too soon for me. I can't wait to see what Jayne and Meeka are going to do next. For those who want to know: No sex or violence in this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Catherine

    Randomly picked this one up from the free ebook barrel on Kindle and ended up actually really liking it. Jayne was a great main character. I liked her energy and her passion for justice. She read like an actual realistic woman which isn't always the case in these kind of books. I really liked the idea of the town being a Wiccan enclave and the mystery was well done. I didn't guess who the real killer was until I was supposed to. The only thing I didn't like about it was the main romantic (?) her Randomly picked this one up from the free ebook barrel on Kindle and ended up actually really liking it. Jayne was a great main character. I liked her energy and her passion for justice. She read like an actual realistic woman which isn't always the case in these kind of books. I really liked the idea of the town being a Wiccan enclave and the mystery was well done. I didn't guess who the real killer was until I was supposed to. The only thing I didn't like about it was the main romantic (?) hero, who I found to be a little sexist and just kinda boring overall. But he wasn't even really in it that much, so he was bearable. There was also some kinda iffy sexism about the victim and her promiscuity in the town but for the most part, Jayne didn't agree with it so that's good. I honestly want to see what happens next in this series so I just might have to be pulled in and buy the second book.

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