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5++ stars for Hidden Gem: the Secret of St. Augustine by @msspencerauthor #romanticmystery #mystery

Title: Hidden Gem: the Secret of St. Augustine

Author: M.S. Spencer

Genre: Romantic Mystery, Mystery

Book Blurb:

Barnaby and Philo’s story begins with very bad chili and a dead body.

Barnaby is in St. Augustine, Florida, to teach a college seminar, and plans to use The Secret—a treasure hunt book—as a framework for his class. He enlists Philo Brice, owner of an antique map store, to aid him in seeking clues in the historic sites of the ancient city. Together they face murderers, thieves, thugs, and fanatics, heightening their already strong attraction to each other. Can they solve the puzzle and unearth the treasure before the villains do? Philo and Barnaby pursue several twisting paths and false leads before arriving at a startling conclusion.

My Review:

Will Barnaby and Philo unearth the secret treasure or will they be tossed aside? Barnaby is teaching at a college in St. Augustine and his curriculum features a book, popular with treasure hunters. In fact, his class is based on a book and a long-lost treasure. He convinces antique owner and good friend Philo to assist with the clues around St. Augustine. There are a lot of historic sites to investigate. While on this hunt for treasure, they encounter all sorts of unsavory characters. The more they hunt, the more danger they find themselves in. Can they solve the treasure hunt mystery and escape with their lives?

Hidden Gem: the Secret of St. Augustine is a romantic adventure rolled up into a mystery that is one of the best books I've read this year. It has all the components I crave in an unputdownable read and then some. M.S. Spencer writes an addictive mystery with quirky characters, a treasure hunt, all taking place in one of the oldest cities in America. The plot unfolds naturally, allowing the reader to not only follow along but to solve the mystery. There are a few twists and turns I didn't see coming which added such enjoyment to the reading experience. The main characters were well developed with their own personalities. I connected with both Barnaby and Philo. The descriptive narration is lush with details and the dialogue is whip-smart while also humorous. If you love a good mystery with comedic lines, pick up Hidden Gem: the Secret of St. Augustine. A romantic adventure not to be missed, Hidden Gem: the Secret of St. Augustine should be on your reading bucket list. Highly recommend!

My Rating: 5++ stars

Buy it Now:

Author Biography:

Although she has lived or traveled in every continent except Antarctica and Australia, M. S. Spencer spent the last thirty years mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director, and parent. She has two fabulous grown children, a perfect granddaughter, and currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine. M. S. Spencer has published fourteen romantic suspense/mystery novels.

Social Media Links:

Reviewed by: Mrs. N


Charlotte O'Shay
Charlotte O'Shay
Apr 05, 2022

Congrats. Wow! On my TBR!


Jan Sikes
Jan Sikes
Apr 05, 2022

What a great review!! Congrats to M.S.!


Barbara Bettis
Apr 04, 2022

terrific review! I'm looking forward to reading the book. All the best.

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