Alyson Prescott and her mother move to Cutters Cove, Oregon, as part of the Witness Protection Program. They have moved into a dilapidated old mansion and are working on fixing it up to it’s former glory. Alyson must start at a new school and quickly becomes friends with Mac, Trevor and Eli. When her new friends agree to help Alyson start cleaning out the attic, they find a mystery that is many years old. As they begin to work on solving the mystery, someone breaks into Alyson’s house and sends her a threatening note. The foursome does not know what clues they have uncovered but they know that they are making someone nervous.
The characters are well developed, realistic and are three dimensional. The characters in this series are teenagers and the author portrayed them very accurately. They are in the getting-to-know each other stage and it is fun seeing how quickly they bond together. There are a couple of characters that are not really likeable and at times I wanted to see them put in their place. It will be fun to watch them grow and develop and strengthen the bonds they have already formed.
There are two mysteries contained in this book. The first is who is the heir to the Cutter fortune. The second is if an apparent older suicide is actually a murder. The mysteries are complex and well-plotted and they are carried on throughout the entire book. I did not figure out these mysteries until they were revealed at the end, and the conclusion is very plausible.
The writing style flows smoothly and the book is a easy, clean read. The author is very talented in creating small town settings that the reader would like to visit. She seems to know exactly what happens in smaller communities and is able to describe the atmosphere and activities that make them special.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted mystery cozy. Any age reader will enjoy this book, both young and old. That is actually true for all of Kathi Daley books, they are all clean well written cozies. The Secret is a great start to a new series by this very talented author.