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The Secret Chord

(The Virtuosic Spy #2)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  169 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Readers who love romantic suspense and "thrillers with heart" have found their new literary crush.
An Irishman on the run. He's left a lot of things behind him...but they're not far enough back.
Conor McBride has lost everything, and if he can't find a way to disappear in a hurry, the next thing he loses could be his life. Running from enemies he's never met and haunted by
Published (first published January 1st 2014)
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Showing 1-30
4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  169 ratings  ·  31 reviews

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Cheryl Whitty
Reviewed on Behalf of,
Well what can one say after 10hours and 25 minutes of nonstop intrigue and deception.
We follow Conner McBride after he sells the farm and property after the death of his mother. Conner is world class musician and plays the violin. He leaves Ireland and goes to Vermont to work on a farm and old Inn that his employee and friend introduced him too via internet.
Conner can’t believe his luck when he meets Kate, his boss. They start to full in love, but bef
Susan Ritz
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Though I don't usually read international thrillers or romances, Kathryn Guare has completely won me over. Deceptive Cadence, the first book in her Virtuosic Spy series was impossible to put down, with a complex plot that kept me on my toes. I was swept away once again by the second volume, Secret Chord. What hooked me? Guare does an amazing job giving her reader both an exciting plot and intriguing locales. I especially love her descriptions of India.. However, for me, her characters make the b ...more
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sadly I didn't enjoy this book as much as the first one:"Deceptive Cadence". This would be a difficult 'stand-alone' if you hadn't read the first one; and even then, the plot became exceedingly complicated with the multiple identities and double double agents and numerous agencies all getting in the way of each other. Way too much, which convoluted the story for me, never seeming to all come together comfortably. Far too much work on the part of the reader--me--to try to keep everything straight ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Suspense with a wee touch of Gaelic life

The continued world intrigue and suspenseful story blending international criminal life, agencies and cultural blend of Ireland, India and New England Vermont made this book a delight. The characters are psychologically fascinating and the senses are opened to experience the history and lives of these countries. I love a story that leads me to follow up with internet searches of violin solos, different countries religions, languages, geography and in gene
I was really excited to dig into this book because Book 1 was so good. This story had it’s charms as well but I did enjoy the first book more. Our hero, Conor McBride, is in dire need of some serious rest and relaxation. He goes to great pains to walk away from the espionage business that entangled him and his brother in Book 1. A fancy but quiet Vermont Bed & Breakfast needs an experienced dairy farmer and that’s right up Conor’s alley.

At the B&B, he meets Kate (the owner) and Abigail (
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I liked the book despite everything negative I shall have to say about it. This is the second book of a trilogy, but it could stand alone. Again, the DEA, CIA, MI6 and more like agencies were involved. A wife has grieved over the death of her husband until she finds out he was a no good con man trying to steal her fortune and who is indeed alive rather than dead. Learning that and figuring he could be eliminated because of his high crime activity was the most thrilling part of the book. I did no ...more
Victoria Haugen
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the first book in the series, Deceptive Cadence, and was excited to begin this second installment in the series. Very interesting! Conor ends up in Vermont, running, hiding, not knowing what to expect next. Well, throw in a lovely young maiden, and here we go! But there's much more to her than just a pretty face, and secrets can be dangerous. I was captivated from beginning to end, thought the story and narration were amazing. When will there be MORE? :)
I was given this free re
Elaina Myers
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fast paced adventure with surprising twists

One surprise (or a couple really) that I was definitely not expecting! This was another interesting story with unexpected twists and drama. Some happy moments too! :)
Carey Taylor
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The second book in the series is as good as the first. Can’t wait to read the third book
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that THE SECRET CHORD (Virtuosic Spy #2) by Kathryn Guare is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!
Florian Rochat
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

When I turned the last pages of « Deceptive Cadence », Kathryn Guare's debut and brillant novel, I was wondering what breed of cows (Jersey ? Holstein ?) Conor McBride, the hero, was going to milk in Vermont in the coming sequel. I still don't know after reading « The Secret Chord », but never mind. Actually McBride had little time to milk, and plenty to do to escape his ennemies while falling in love with Kate.

I gave 5 stars to « Deceptive Cadence », and feel compelled to give 5 again to « The
Scott L. Jaynes
Jun 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Accolades for Kathryn Guare

Rarely do I take the time to post a review for an ebook I have finished. Regardless of the enjoyment I receive from a story, in the end it is over and I am ready to move on. Not so with the Conor McBride series. Having read Deceptive Cadence and The Secret Chord back to back I am finding it difficult to pull away from this complicated, dangerous world that "everyman" Conor McBride struggles to survive. If ever I became immersed in a fictional story line it has happened
Belle Ami
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Kathryn Guare has created a wonderful character, an Irish spy with a heart of gold. Everyone loves a hero that is vulnerable, and Conner McBride fits the bill nicely. The fact that he is a virtuoso violinist, an oft times reciting poetic bard, and an action packed heroic M16 secret weapon doesn't hurt either. Guare's descriptive writing is flawless, however, I do agree with the writer of the only two star review that The Secret Chord received, if I hear about one more cup of tea being dr ...more
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This thriller, set mainly in Vermont, introduces us to Kate, an innkeeper who recently lost her husband to a tragic accident. Then enters Conor who picks up where we last left him in Deceptive Cadence (The Virtuosic Spy Book 1). All is not smooth for these two at the beginning, in case you are wondering if you've been thrown headlong into a romance. Frank, Sedgwick and Bishan are all back so you know there has to be trouble. The intrigue continues and does not disappoint. The writing is just as ...more
From the time I finished Deceptive Cadence, I wanted more of Conor's story. This installment (and the short story From Here To Bethlehem) not only brought me exactly that, but also introduced Kate, who brings even more layers of interest and intrigue to the story. Without getting too spoiler-iffic, I'll say it was wonderful seeing how their pasts deepened their connection, and let something great come out of the ashes left by evil. Now, time for the next book, which conveniently came out the oth ...more
Debra E Davis
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I listened to The Deceptive Cadence as an audiobook and enjoyed the performance. The descriptive writing about locations is vivid, and the plot twists kept me going. This book had all of that, but since Vermont is not as exotic as India, the action seemed a bit forced against a domestic background. I want to like the characters more, but Conor and Kate are too good to be true. Sedgwick and Frank are cliches. I will probably read the next book in the series, hoping for some deeper cha
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first book of the series just a bit more

Conor McBride is a fascinating character. I am glad to have met him. The setting for book 1 was interesting as well. This book had just a few too many unlikely twists to the story. To find out what they were, you'll have to read the book yourself.
Kathi Defranc
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The 2nd book in this series and another great read. You feel the countryside and all the beautiful places so well described in this tale,I totally enjoyed every moment! The story is wonderful with characters that you want to know everything about,they become your friends as the story unfolds,and you hate to see the end arrive I am looking forward to the next book about the Virtuosic Spy!
Lisa Campbell
Aug 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful characters, great story! Great settings in Vermont, Ireland, and India. I highly recommend The Virtuosic Spy series for those who look for detailed mysteries, with complex characters.
This is the second book in the series. Deceptive Cadence, the first in the series was recently released as an audiobook! Available through Audible!
Hoping there will be a fourth installment!!
Jan 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and found parts of it amazing. Unfortunately, the oh-so-predictable romance was not one of those parts. But the story moved along and was interesting, and I did enjoy reading it. (I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.)
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is a fresh tangle of the sublime and the intense. While generally a gentle man, whose loves are his family, the Isle of Dingle in southwest Ireland, and his precious Pressanda violin. He is also an M16 agent who gets pulled into dangerous missions for the British Government.
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Another top-notch offering from Kathryn Guare. I especially enjoyed the Vermont settings in this one, and the addition of the character of Kate. I'm already looking forward to book 3.
keith portale
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don't miss this one

Connor keeps getting better and better. Now with Kate by his side she balances him perfectly. What a great read! Well done Kathryn Guard well done indeed
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just finished reading The Secret Cord (book 2) in the Virtuosic Spy series by Kathryn Guare. I loved the intrigue and the love story. Cannot wait to read more about Conor McBride!
Anne M. Wilkins
Apr 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The secret chord

Great storylines - both the personal and larger CIA and DEA stories. Looking forward to reading the next book now
Allen Herman
Aug 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No let donwn w #2

I put Ms. Guard I the same team as J. Graham, MA. Conley, Nora Roberts, J D Robb, etc. Keep them coming
Patrick  Reid
Sep 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The two books in this series are some of the best writing I've come across in years and I would probably put the author head to head with the giant's of this genre.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series is such a joy to read. Romance and action. I am looking forward to the next book which should be out soon. I hope Masterpiece Mystery produces this series.
Betsi OHara
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2017
The Book Junkie Reads . . .
action adventure music romance intrigue
Overall 5 out of 5 stars
Performance 4 out of 5 stars
Story 5 out of 5 stars

Let me get this out in the open. You will be lost and confused if you just jump right in to this read without having any background with the characters or the series. I highly suggest you go back to book one of this series and pick all the bits and pieces that lead up to this point. At the same time if you are good at keeping track of multiple tangled webs of lies, deceit, secrets, d
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Kathryn Guare lives in the Vermont town where she grew up, part of the third generation of her family to call the tiny capital city of Montpelier home. She spent ten years as an executive with a global health membership and advocacy organization, worked as a tour coordinator in a travel agency, and has traveled extensively in Europe and India. She has a passion for Classical music, all things Celt ...more

Other books in the series

The Virtuosic Spy (3 books)
  • Deceptive Cadence (The Conor McBride Series, Book 1)
  • City of a Thousand Spies (The Virtuosic Spy #3)