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Scrapbook of Secrets (A Cumberland Creek Mystery #1)

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3.36  ·  Rating details ·  541 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
A debut author presents the first book in a new scrapbooking-themed mystery series which features a small-town setting, quirky characters, and suspense that cozy mystery readers and crafters are sure to love. Original.

Having traded in her career as a successful investigative journalist for the life of a stay-at-home mom in picturesque Cumberland Creek, Virginia, Annie can’
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Kensington (first published January 1st 2012)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Text Addict
This cozy mystery brings us to Cumberland County, Virginia. (Apparently by reading a lot of these things, I’ll be able to vicariously visit the whole country.) And it’s also one of two series I’m aware of that have scrapbooking as the, hmm, creative focus of the characters.

There’s a lot to like about this book, such as: characters ranging in age from youngish moms to outright elderly; a Jewish point-of-view character who actually struggles with issues related to being Jewish in exurban Virginia;
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Jane Reads (Jane in SC)
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I was hooked from the first sentence: For Vera, all of the day's madness began when she saw the knife handle poking out of her mother's neck. This is Mollie Cox Bryan's debut novel, an enjoyable cozy mystery that's a very good read. I look forward to reading Scrapped, and to the release of Book 3 in the Cumberland Creek series.
Vicky
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am about a third of the way through this book. At first I thought it was pretty disjointed. Actually it is disjointed. But then it sunk in that this book is written like a scrapbook, not just using scrapbooking as a foundation for the mystery. It reaches deeper levels than a typical cozy and i am thouroughly enjoying it.

Interesting book on multi levels that but at times it seemed as if the author perhpas had written a much longer version as the time lapses increased. I enjoyed the book and am
...more
Kristine (The Writer's Inkwell)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stacie Amelotte
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
The bones of a good story are here; it just needs to be executed better. At first I thought it was pretty disjointed. But then it sunk in that this book is written like a scrapbook, not just using scrapbooking as a foundation for the mystery. It reaches deeper levels than a typical cozy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the things I liked the most about this book is the representation of several generations and life stages among the women who were part of the local "crop." You will quickly get ...more
Jackie
Feb 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Where, oh, where to start?

1. I'm so glad I didn't spend any money on this. I started reading, then speedreading, then skimming just to get to the end.

2. I thought the characters were indistinguishable from each other. I could detect no character development at all, just a bunch of names representing people that were all the same.

3. A more critical, negative bunch of women would be hard to find. This book was negative from the get-go and stayed that way to the end.

4. Was there any cliche not inc
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Julie Barrett
Mar 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Scrapbook Of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan
The group of woman who meet to work on their scrapbooking have found out some interesting things. Weird things like one of their mothers getting stabbed in the neck, not feeling it, but having to be operated on. Their way home they drove by the one who had died to discover her husband had cleaned out all his wives things, all her scrapbooking so the woman take it all so they can go through it
later. They do not think she committed suicide as she had young c
...more
Chana
A young woman, Maggie Rae, is thought to have committed suicide but it is awfully strange that someone has put all her pictures and scrapbook materials out on the curb right after her death. Hmmm, turns out it is murder (I didn't see that coming, did you?). Annie, her husband and two young children are new to the neighborhood and know Maggie Rae to say hi to. Annie meets a woman from a scrapbooking club and is invited to join. When Maggie Rae is murdered the scrapbookers pick up her pictures an ...more
Jennifer A.M.
May 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
I picked this up for some light cozy mystery reading. It's really not very good. I was perpetually annoyed by the characters. There are several protagonists, but I think the main one is a young mother, Annie who has two young boys. Annie is often sad or confused by why she doesn't love motherhood as much as she thought she would. But then there are moments (several in fact) where her children deliberately wreck her stuff, make giant messes etc. and she just sighs and blames herself for not being ...more
Katie
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! This is probably the best cozy mystery I have ever read--even if the mystery part is lite. Most cozies are light hearted beach reads that are well superficial. This one has a large cast of characters that are well rounded with different meaty social issues (the type other cozies avoid). These character are real and excellently developed. The first couple chapters come off a little disjointed as you switch back and forth through the characters, but once I got to know each of the charact ...more
Lisa
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it


The author is an old friend whom I know to be a wonderful poet, so I was delighted to find out that she is now the author of a mystery series. Scrapbook of Secrets is the first cozy mystery I have ever read and I truly enjoyed it. Mollie has a knack for spiriting the reader along. The writing is crisp and the characters are endearing, particularly Beatrice, a retired physics professor who keeps a protective eye on the town as well as on the group of sleuthing scrapbookers. The richest chapters--
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Rocky
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads.

I am a "scrapping" person so this was a really applicable book for me personally.

I really thought the tips and glossary of scrapbooking terms was a great idea.

This is not a life altering read, but it was a nice quick murder mystery/suicide.

Great job Mollie! Keep writing.
Ramona
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one even tho the ending was kind of abrupt. It involved scrapbooking and murder...two of my favorite things. LOL! The characters were fun to get to know and I look forward to learning more about them. I can't wait to read the next one.
Nancy Bradford
Apr 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
At first I was thinking that this was not a true mystery but rather a novel about the intertwining lives of a group of women in a small town. But then I realized this was a very soft Cozy.
I enjoyed reading and had a hard time puttin git down.

I look forward to reading more in this series.
Hannah
Apr 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed the mystery part of this book. I didn't see the murderer being who it was. However, I just didn't care much for most of the characters. They were a little too messed up for liking.
Lelia Taylor
Jan 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: full-reviews
Scrapbook of Secrets
Mollie Cox Bryan
Kensington Publishing, February 2012
ISBN 978-0-7582-6631-6
Mass Market Paperback

Cumberland Creek, Virginia—on its surface, a small town like many others, with its charm, friendliness, and sense of safety, but also with some of the drawbacks familiar to newcomers. Annie and Mike moved to this village with their young sons for all the advantages of small-town life but Annie has found it a bit difficult to be accepted because she is an outsider. Add to that her fr
...more
Brianna Soloski
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Scrapbook of Secrets by Mollie Cox Bryan
271 pages
5/5 stars

I don’t scrapbook at all anymore, but when the chance to review Scrapbook of Secrets came up, I jumped at it. It was my first foray into a cozy mystery and I’m hooked. Cozy books are usually mysteries or romances that are pretty much day to day life with a mystery or romance thrown in.

Scrapbook of Secrets tells the story of the death of Maggie Rae, an erotica writer who is busy raising four kids and sleeping with the men in town. The s
...more
Bonnie
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I stumbled onto this series because it was suggested to me based on other purchases I made in this category and I fell in love with these ladies. They remind me of Patterson's “Women’s Murder Club” but based in a small town. Guess the small town makes this a “cozy" series. The characters are real whether in a large or small city. I have become a fan.

The women are strong and interesting, and the mystery is intriguing. If you're looking for interesting characters and a solid mystery that pushes be
...more
Angie
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Very intriguing beginning and somewhat more sensitive exploration of the characters and their problems than often found is a cozy, but :
1. I CANNOT handle inconsistencies and unexplained events, e.g, the murderer attempts to poison one of the characters with iced tea, but the potential victim had poured the tea herself from a pitcher that the murderer would not have had a chance to poison. Also there are several attempts to scare off Beatrice with vandalism, but why? Since she clearly does not r
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Christi
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads, kindle
I think this book was trying too hard. Who was the main character in this book? Vera? Annie? I just didn't find the characters likable or interesting.

It feels like the author started out with a story about scrapbookers who turn into small town Jessica Fletchers. But then the author decided she needed some more "edgy" topics and added S&M, anti-semitism and Mennonites to the tale. I'm surprised she didn't add a vampire or two to really be trendy.

(view spoiler)
...more
Eleanor Jones
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a long overdue review for a book I read over a year ago and recently re-read. One of the things I like about it is that it rather breaks the rules of cozies, at least in my mind. Multiple points of view from an array of fascinating characters from different walks of life, plus a deeper and darker story than often found in a traditional cozy. It all works. I found myself extremely in what Bea and Annie thought and did. And the back story of the town in Virginia in which the book is based, ...more
Susan
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Former journalist, now not-too-engaged housewife Annie feels like an outsider in the little town of Cumberland Creek, but she's gradually made friends with dance studio owner Vera. Vera is horrified when her elderly mother Beatrice comes home from the grocery store with a knife in her neck (she didn't feel it at all). But most of the town is talking about the suicide of young mother Maggie Rae. As the women who gather to work on their scrapbooks learn, the seemingly demure woman lead a double li ...more
Lynn Farris
Aug 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I assumed when I started ‘Scrapbook of Secrets’ that it would be a fun whodunit and I would learn a little about scrapbooking along the way. I seriously underestimated the book I was about to read. ‘Scrapbook of Secrets’, the first in “A Cumberland Creek Mystery” series by Mollie Cox Bryan examines a variety of the secrets that people hold. Secrets that cause guilt, shame and possibly murder. Exploring how the characters and society deals with these secrets provides the reader with an extremely ...more
Beth Harper
Feb 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Given the cover illustration and the subject matter of scrapbooking, I was surprised how prominently discussions of sado-masochism featured in this (mostly) cozy mystery. There were also discussions of sex and abusive relationships. The story was told from multiple characters' viewpoints. Often I don't like this approach, but I liked it here. There's also a strong sense of place (a small town in Virginia). The book covers lots of serious topics relating to women's lives. It took me a while to ge ...more
Susan
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My first for Mollie Cox Bryan and not what I feel comfortable putting on my cozy book list. It's has a little more sex involved than you would find in a normal cozy ( I didn't mind I've read 50 Shades) but I did enjoy it and have the second one ready to go. I did like all the characters and they each felt like to me being the "main" character of the book. Can't wait to find out more about Annie, Vera, Sheila and the others.
Agnes
Apr 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
A surprisingly pleasant read! Sometimes you just need an entertaining, light hearted read and this fit the bill exactly. I won't rehash the plot in this review, but I will say that I enjoyed spending time with the quirky women of Cumberland Creek especially feisty Beatrice. I'm not into scrapbooking but that didn't detract from the story at all. I'm looking forward to reading the next installment!
Cheryl
Oct 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was first in a series about a town where the ladies scrapbook. It starts out with Annie feeling left out and overwhelmed taking care of her house and two boys , much too much was made of this, you wanted to tell her to get a gripe, things don't need to be chaos everyday. The mystery part was good and had several twists and how little we know about other people. I do plan on reading the next in the series.
Staci
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This cozy mystery combines my love of Scrapbooking and mysteries. The book is set in Cumberland Creek, VA and was about the mystery surrounding the death of a young mother. It is initially ruled a suicide, but evidence quickly points to murder. I enjoyed reading the story through the eyes of everyone in the book. Some chapters seemed to end a little abruptly. It was an overall very enjoyable book.
Christina
May 11, 2015 rated it liked it
This is a bit of a hard book to classify. It's clearly marketed as a cozy mystery, but involves elements that are usually kept out of cozies. The hopping from one 3rd-person point of view to another confused me a bit at first, before I got used to it and it finally seemed to settle on Annie as the true "main character."
As an aside, after finishing this book I'm seriously considering trying my hand at scrapbooking for the first time.
Regan
Sep 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Wow....the kitchen sink mystery -- you name the topic, the group, the personality or belief and the author has it all....seriously....all. It was like she read several different cozies with different focus subjects and tossed them all into the book hoping one would stick...there is even the gratuitous gay son who the mother forgives for being gay. I won't be continuing with this series.
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Other Books in the Series

A Cumberland Creek Mystery (5 books)
  • Scrapped (A Cumberland Creek Mystery #2)
  • Death of an Irish Diva (A Cumberland Creek Mystery, #3)
  • A Crafty Christmas (A Cumberland Creek Mystery #4)
  • Scrapbook of the Dead (A Cumberland Creek Mystery #5)

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