A Chattertowne Mystery Series: Book 1
Publication Date: July 4, 2023
Loose lips may sink ships, but bodies and secrets will always float to the surface.
Audrey O’Connell has returned from Portland to her hometown of Chattertowne, Washington, a place where gossip is currency but knowing when to stay tight-lipped is priceless. Procuring a part-time job at the local newspaper to keep an eye on her impetuous sister following Vivienne’s latest romantic scandal, Audrey is assigned a feature series for the upcoming festival which has her digging through the town archives in search of anything interesting. When her former boyfriend Marcus is found floating dead in the marina not long after reaching out to her in hopes of utilizing her research skills, her investigation reveals his conspiracy theories about Chattertowne and corruption within its leadership might not have been so crazy after all.
As she plumbs the depths of the town’s 150-year history, she discovers that beneath the façade of this idyllic hamlet lie secrets long-submerged–including within her own family–and finds herself in the crosshairs of those who guard them.
Now with three dead bodies, an intense case of aquaphobia, and a narrow window before her deadline, Audrey looks to City Manager Holden, octogenarian historian Mildred, and her enigmatic almost-boyfriend Darren to help her discover the truth that will forever change her and Chattertowne.
Small town residents are notorious for knowing and sometimes gossiping about each other’s business. The quaint Pacific northwest town of Chattertowne is no different. In K.B. Jackson’s Secrets Don’t Sink, Audrey O’Connell returns to her hometown and goes to work for the Chattertowne Coastal Current paper, thrusting her into the heart of daily happenings in town.
While running what should have been a mundane errand for her boss, Audrey witnesses what looks to be a dead body from the water in the town’s dock area. Upon closer scrutiny, Audrey is shocked to discover the now confirmed victim is a former boyfriend, Marcus Washburn. What’s even more alarming to Audrey is that Marcus had sent her a message only a few hours earlier asking for her help with an unnamed problem he’s encountered.
As a reporter, Audrey is determined to seek out clues as to what led to Marcus’ murder and, ultimately, the murderer himself. Audrey is caught between and confused by two men competing for her attention, as well as both seemingly to be on the trail of the murderer.
Handsome City Manager Holden Villalobos is a long-time friend who gives the clear distinction he’d like more from their relationship but is reluctantly engaged to another. Equally as handsome, Darren Benson is a fellow reporter at the newspaper but who seems to stay a step ahead of the authorities and of Audrey, too, when following the path where clues lead.
Audrey repeatedly places herself in danger to “get the story” and make sure Marcus’ murderer is brought to justice. Following the clues leads Audrey into the historical past of those who settled Chatterstowne, as well as those who had occupied the land long before, and in that pursuit, she discovers more of herself and the elusive romantic relationship she hopes to find one day.
Secrets Don’t Sink by K.B. Jackson is a wonderfully told mystery with so many twists, turns, and surprises at the end it will keep you turning the pages. While the characters are well-defined and the settings beautifully described, the large number of people involved, both in the current day and the past, becomes a bit confusing. I read on trusting it would all come out in the end, which it certainly did. While most of the plot lines were satisfactorily resolved, other parts were not, leaving the reader to wonder about the final resolution, or maybe the reader just hoped there was a little something more.
Secrets Don’t Sink deftly unfolds with strong characters, a beautiful setting, and an intriguing mystery and plot that seamlessly and deftly unfolds, drawing the reader effortlessly into its depths.
Kate B Jackson (K.B. Jackson) is an author of mystery novels for grownups and mystery/adventure novels for kids. She lives in the Pacific NW with her husband and has four mostly grown children. A part-time genealogist, she loves to craft stories with elements of history and family dynamics.
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