Steeped in Secrets by Lauren Elliott is the debut of A Crystals & CuriosiTEAS Mysteries. Shayleigh “Shay” Myers returns to Bray Harbor, California with her life in a disarray. Her ex-husband cheated on Shay, swindled her out of her jewelry store, and has ruined her reputation as a gemologist. Shay has inherited Bridget Early’s shop and beach cottage, but she does not know why Bridget left them to her. Shay is touring the Crystals & CuriosiTEAS with the realtor when they discover a man dead on the roof of the greenhouse. Shay does not like how Sheriff Frank Burrows is railroading the local pub owner. She decides to do a little investigating to see what she can uncover. Shay gets help from her sister and Bridget’s special dog named Spirit. She also uses her empathic gifts in her quest for the truth.
I enjoyed reading Steeped in Secrets. Shay is an interesting character. I liked learning about Shay and her special gift. I have a feeling we have just scratched the surface. There is an eclectic cast of secondary characters that includes the charming Liam who owns the pub next to Shay’s shop. I enjoyed the descriptions of Bray Harbor. The mystery was interesting, but I wish it had not been so easy to solve. I enjoyed following Shay as she searched for clues and asked questions. Her special gift guides her along with Spirit, Brigit’s dog (now Shay’s dog). Shay still has questions regarding her inheritance and her ancestry. We will have to wait for the next book to learn more. My one negative comment is I was not fond of the repetitive details (I got it the first time). Steeped in Secrets was a fun book to read. Steeped in Secrets is a spirited tale with a smarmy ex-spouse, enigmatic inheritance, an appealing pub owner, a dishonest sheriff, a mysterious dead man, and empathic capabilities.
The Avid Reader