• The Secret of Chestnut Hall

  • A Blooms, Bones and Stones Cozy Mystery, Book One
  • By: Olivia Swift
  • Narrated by: Becky Boyd
  • Length: 3 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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The Secret of Chestnut Hall  By  cover art

The Secret of Chestnut Hall

By: Olivia Swift
Narrated by: Becky Boyd
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Publisher's Summary

A contract to restore an old garden and a handsome client...what more could a girl ask for? Well, a good mystery of course!

Jasmine Summer - or "Jazz”, as her friends and family call her, takes on a contract to restore an intriguing old garden for her client, Evan Sutherland. 

Evan: He’s quite a famous mountaineer who is trying to leave behind a shattered life and an ex-wife who almost ruined him. 

Chestnut Hall: Evan’s house and garden have a mysterious past that intrigues Jazz and Evan. The discovery of a secret grotto leads them both into situations they would never have dreamed about...and into unforeseen dangers. 

Will Evan be able to leave his past behind? What dangers lie within the grotto? Will there be a happy ending for Jazz and Evan? 

©2018 Lirios Publishing (P)2018 Lirios Publishing

What listeners say about The Secret of Chestnut Hall

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Nice story

I enjoyed this story very much. The descriptions of the house and garden were vivid and realistic. I loved the idea of solving such an old mystery. While the narration wasn't bad, it sometimes felt stiff and overly formal, and lacking in any real emotion, so I had to give it a 4. Everything else is very enjoyable, and earned a 5.

1 person found this helpful

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Book 1 - A Blooms, Bones and Stones

This is book 1 in Swift's series Blooms, Bones & Stones. A short, clean, cozy mystery read / listen. Narration was good but sounded monotone, not a lot of depth to the voice or tone / pitch change when portraying other characters. Main characters Jazz and Evan. Evan is a notable mountaineer looking to escape to a quiet place only to discover he's purchased a home with a mystery surrounding it. Jazz who is the gardener he's hired finds herself not only in a mutual attraction with Evan but also in the midst of finding the who done it in the mystery that surrounds Chestnut Hall.
Overall well written, short/quick read / listen with a smooth flowing storyline.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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PROMISING COZY MYSTERY SERIES.

Beautifully narrated with a nice group of characters that will keep you entertained to the last word.

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cozy mysteries are great

This is a fun, cute cozy mystery that will leave you feeling good. It is fast paced and has enough suspects that you will be wondering who did it until the end. And of course you get a great hea that has a bit of a rough time getting there.
I listened to the audiobook and enjoyed it

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The Secret of Chestnut Hall

This is a quick, clean cozy mystery that kept my interest all the way to the end. I enjoyed the characters and the storyline, and I’m looking forward to continuing with the series.

Olivia Swift did a great job with sharing the details in such a way as to keep me guessing. I was definitely entertained.

Becky Boyd delivered a great performance. I would not hesitate to listen to more of her narrations.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

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A well-written story from a good author

The Secret of Chestnut Hall (Blooms, Bones and Stones Mystery #1), my first read from author Olivia Swift. A thrilling cozy mystery. The plot is consistent & clever steadily building to a satisfying. Becky Boyd's narration adds to the enjoyment. “I received a free Audible copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review." The gifting of this book did not affect my opinion of it. I look forward to the next book in this series The Secret of the Jewel Shop. (RIP Marley January 20, 2014 - July 24, 2018).

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A pleasant cozy mystery

I read this book a long time back and was given the audible copy and I think the narrator did an awesome job with the story characters. You get a nice story about Jazz an landscaper and her client Evan. They discover more on his land while the landscape makeover is happening than is normal. Cue cozy mystery. You really get to enjoy the characters and their meaning to this story more than just peripheral characters. I received a free copy of this audiobook at my request and this is my honest review.

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B/B-

There was a whole cast of sketchy characters, and this meant that I could only guess the ending. I still had a small list of suspects. That is a nice way to end a mystery.
Overall this story was good. I just wish that this story would have me glued to the narrative the way that a story, especially a mystery should.
The narrator did a very nice job!

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Cozy Mystery

This was a very short cozy mystery, but it didn't feel shallow or lacking depth. It was a fun and easy read.

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A Good Cozy Mystery

This audio book was really good. It had a fast paced story line, with danger and romance. The story had tension and excitement.

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  • Lavender Jade
  • 09-15-22

The secret of Chestnut Hall.

A nice book, but it took me a while to get into it. The plot and characters are nice enough, but the Chocolate Magic Cozy Mysteries remain my favourite series by this author.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 07-30-22

Short and sweet

This was a short and sweet cozy, I would say it leaned heavily to the romance side, which progressed quickly, but because it is a cosy never it never went further than kissing. There is a mystery and I liked how you we were never sure what it actually was, with the twists the author wrote in. I do like my stories longer because you get to know the characters better but for a novella and the start of a new series it was fun. There might have been slightly too many characters (especially with it being short) that other than the main ones, I lost who everybody was because you didn't get to know that great. The gardening job was an unusual occupation for the main character, you don't get to many gardening sleuths but don't worry you weren't confused with lots of Latin plant names etc and It was more of a way to uncover the bones and a mystery.
Jasmine has been asked to restore an old garden for a new home owner, Evan. There she discovers more than a growing attraction to the handsome owner when she discovers a secret grotto and a knife buried in the dirt. Is it a murder weapon? The previous owners wife did disappear. Can Jasmine and Evan find out what went on in the house?And if a murder really did occur where the dead is?
The narrator was okay. I did have to change the listening speed because she either spoke to slowly or to fast and I found it hard to concentrate but when I got the speed right she was pleasant enough.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Korra II Baskerville
  • 12-21-21

Baskerville Book Reviews

This story is as much a romance story as it is a mystery. The characters have chemistry, at least for the amount of time you get to spend with them. The mystery (and romance) are satisfying with plenty of characters along the way to give you a pool to guess from. The ending does feel a bit abrupt, however.

Overall, the audible narrator is alright. She starts off reading one sentence at a time. To clarify, there’s a pause after every sentence, as if it’s the end of a paragraph which is distracting as well. She mispronounces prescribed as “perscribed”. I can’t stand narrators who mispronounce basic English words. Especially when they’re staring right at it as they read it.

NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirsty Barrett
  • 11-29-21

Great

starting book draws you in, settles you with a good selection of characters that appear in the series. Good beginning point for seeing a clean, fun, and mystery story. Well done

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • BellaReads
  • 11-16-21

Hmm…this was a weird read…

The writing was weird, not to my taste. The scenery and the work around the house was over explained. For example, at the beginning, too much time was spent with the characters doing mundane tasks and fixing up the house. But, it took too long to get to the actual mystery plot itself. And once there, it moved too fast, without much depth.

The romance also moved far too quickly and did not make sense; One minute there’re meeting, the next, they’re kissing and claiming to be so into each other. Not only did they have ZERO chemistry, but, they did not even have enough dialogue and conversations between themselves, getting to actually know each other, to make the romance believable.

As for the mystery itself, now I did somewhat enjoy it. I must also say, I was surprised by the twist and who the villain turned out to be, so that’s a job well done. Although, Evan’s personal side plot was a bit strange and unnecessary; again, it all flew by too quickly.

I also had other issues with the story. However, this review would be too long if I were to go over every single one of them. Plus, I don’t want to risk spoiling the book.

Overall, the book was okay. Not that great, kind of boring. But, I do think it does have an audience that would actually enjoy it. I guess I’m just not that target audience, which is fine; not every story is for everyone.

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  • Angel Cross
  • 09-11-20

Great quick story!

Very well written story about a mystery mixed with a bit of romance. Both parties have been burned before but find themselves beginning to trust each other while working on redecorating an outside property. Great narration and a quick cozy read.