******”Scrapbook of Secrets” has been nominated for an Agatha Award for the “Best First Novel of 2012.”
Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mum in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can’t help but feel that something’s missing. But she finds solace in a local circle of scrapbookers united by chore-shy husbands, demanding children, and occasional fantasies of their former single lives. And when the quiet idyll of their small town is shattered by a young mother’s suicide, they band together to find out what went wrong…Annie resurrects her reporting skills and discovers that Maggie Rae was a closet scrapbooker who left behind more than a few secrets – and perhaps a few enemies.
As they sift through Maggie Rae’s mysteriously discarded scrapbooks, Annie and her “crop” sisters begin to suspect that her suicide may have been murder. It seems that something sinister is lurking beneath the town’s beguilingly calm facade – like a killer with unfinished business..
“I seriously underestimated the book I was about to read…(SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS) examines a variety of the secrets that people hold. Exploring how the characters and society deals with these secrets provides the reader with an extremely thought provoking book.” The Examiner
“Mollie Bryan’s charming debut is a scrapbook of zany small town life with characters you’ll want to visit again and again in each new novel.” –Emilie Richards, SUNSET BRIDGE, 2011; MINISTRY IS MURDER SERIES, SHENANDOAH ALBUM SERIES; HAPPINESS KEY SERIES.
“Imagine the housewives of Wisteria Lane sipping tea, scrapbooking, and solving murders, and you have this gem of a debut by Mollie Cox Bryan.”– Lois Winston, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY GLUE GUN.
“… Mollie Cox Bryan’s look at small town life is both sweet and spicy. A fun and charming debut.” –Meredith Cole, POSED FOR MURDER and DEAD IN THE WATER.
“An old fashioned mystery with some very modern twists. The intriguing characters, eerie happenings, and scrapbook of secrets kept me guessing ’til the end. It’s both warm and chilling, soothing and sinister. I can’t wait for the next installment!” -Clare O’Donohue, SOMEDAY QUILTS MYSTERY SERIES.
“If Encyclopedia Brown had been a scrapbooking fanatic, we surely would’ve seen him at the center of a novel like Scrapbook of Secrets. Mollie Cox Bryan has written a seriously fun and engaging mystery, with characters who reveal themselves slowly and surely–one crop at a time.” —Therese Walsh, THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY
“This new series look to be spectacular,” Harriet Klausner, The Mystery Gazette.
“Scrapbook of Secrets is a font of ingenuity, providing not only superb entertainment but also a surprisingly successful exploration of marital issues. I’m very much looking forward to the next book in this promising series.” Mystery Scene
If newcomer Annie Chamovitz feels like an outsider in Bible Belt small-town Virginia, where does that leave Maggie Rae? Cumberland Creek is stunned when the young mother is found shot dead in her home. The scrapbooking group suspects her husband, because they think he might have been abusive. But Maggie Rae had a secret life as a successful erotica author and a history of taking lovers. At this point, a veritable kitchen sink of suspects surfaces. Annie becomes the lead amateur detective because she is a freelance newspaper reporter; consequently, she gets to the heart of what made Maggie Rae tick. But the killer doesn’t appreciate Annie’s snooping. Let’s hope Annie is prepared. VERDICT This debut crafty cozy pushes its own envelope with themes of erotica and open marriage. Although Bryan’s story suffers from too many red herrings, she introduces some dandy characters that will spin off well as the series unfolds. Match with fellow craft authors Joanna Campbell Slan and Lois Winston. Scrapbooking tips included.
About SCRAPPED (CUMBERLAND CREEK MYSTERY #2) (Pub. Date Dec. 31, 2012) ****Nominated for a Library of Virginia People’s Choice Literary Award.
The ladies of the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Crop are welcoming an eccentric newbie into their fold. A self-proclaimed witch, Cookie Crandall can whip up a sumptuous vegan meal and rhapsodize about runes and moon phases with equal aplomb. She becomes fast friends with her fellow scrapbookers, including freelance reporter Annie, with whom she shares shallow roots in a community of established family trees. So when Cookie becomes the prime suspect in a series of bizarre murders, the croppers get scrappy and set out to clear her name. Annie starts digging and discovers that the victims each had strange runic patterns carved on their bodies – a piece of evidence that points the police in Cookie’s direction. Even her friends begin to doubt her innocence when they find an ornate, spiritual scrapbook that an alleged beginner like Cookie could never have crafted. As Annie and the croppers search for answers, they’ll uncover a shockingly wicked side of their once quiet town – and a killer on the prowl for another victim.
Advanced Blurbs for Scrapped:
“In time-honored scrapbook fashion, Mollie Cox Bryan collects bits and pieces of small town life (and secrets) and weaves a charming, multi-faceted tale. When the Cumberland Creek Scrapbook Croppers welcome a self-proclaimed witch into their fold, they have no idea something wicked may be brewing in their small town. Thought-provoking and well paced, this novel gives an insight into what scrapbookers –or any group of intelligent, caring, complex women—might get up to when one of their own is threatened. A great story, well told!” —Juliet Blackwell, NYT Bestselling author of the Witchcraft mysteries
In Scrapped, the second book in her Cumberland Creek Mystery series, Mollie Cox Bryan’s scrapbookers reveal some surprising secrets that bring them closer together. It is enjoyable to watch her diverse characters grow in complexity as thier friendship deepens. A satisfying and sometimes surprising read. —Sheila Connolly, NYT Bestselling author of the Orchard mysteries.
SCRAPBOOK OF SECRETS (A CUMBERLAND CREEK MYSTERY)
SCRAPPED (CUMBERLAND CREEK MYSTERY #2) (Pub. Date Dec. 31, 2012)
Both available at your local bookstore, Amazon, B& N, and Kensington Publishing.