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The Scent of Lies

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EMILY PARKER struggles to move on from the devastating loss of her husband. The young widow finds herself sucked into a desperate search for the killer of both her late husband, a private investigator in the small, affluent town of Paradise Valley, and the unfaithful husband of his last client. The police arrest a convenient suspect, which pulls Emily dangerously into the EMILY PARKER struggles to move on from the devastating loss of her husband. The young widow finds herself sucked into a desperate search for the killer of both her late husband, a private investigator in the small, affluent town of Paradise Valley, and the unfaithful husband of his last client. The police arrest a convenient suspect, which pulls Emily dangerously into the thick of things. Emily’s world is rocked when she uncovers some clues that reveal her late husband may not have been who he said he was. With the help of her close circle of friends and the sexy new police detective in town, the race is on to find the real killer before the wrong person is sent to prison and Emily winds up dead. Murder, mystery, romance and intrigue—The Scent of Lies will keep you wondering 'who dunnit?' until the very end.


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EMILY PARKER struggles to move on from the devastating loss of her husband. The young widow finds herself sucked into a desperate search for the killer of both her late husband, a private investigator in the small, affluent town of Paradise Valley, and the unfaithful husband of his last client. The police arrest a convenient suspect, which pulls Emily dangerously into the EMILY PARKER struggles to move on from the devastating loss of her husband. The young widow finds herself sucked into a desperate search for the killer of both her late husband, a private investigator in the small, affluent town of Paradise Valley, and the unfaithful husband of his last client. The police arrest a convenient suspect, which pulls Emily dangerously into the thick of things. Emily’s world is rocked when she uncovers some clues that reveal her late husband may not have been who he said he was. With the help of her close circle of friends and the sexy new police detective in town, the race is on to find the real killer before the wrong person is sent to prison and Emily winds up dead. Murder, mystery, romance and intrigue—The Scent of Lies will keep you wondering 'who dunnit?' until the very end.

30 review for The Scent of Lies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Pros: Interesting setting, good mystery, excellent editing Cons: Did not like most characters (maIn character EmIly was not "sweet" as descrIbed once In book - she reacts strangley & abandons frIends In the mIddle of conversatIons on numerous occasIons), several unanswered matters (so does she ever officially quit her original job?), dialogue seemed fake most times (always full sentences and never a "uh huh" etc), overuse of word "scream" during conversations, sometimes unimaginative situations ( Pros: Interesting setting, good mystery, excellent editing Cons: Did not like most characters (maIn character EmIly was not "sweet" as descrIbed once In book - she reacts strangley & abandons frIends In the mIddle of conversatIons on numerous occasIons), several unanswered matters (so does she ever officially quit her original job?), dialogue seemed fake most times (always full sentences and never a "uh huh" etc), overuse of word "scream" during conversations, sometimes unimaginative situations (felt lIke I could IdentIfy the kIller before the end), plot inconsistencies (she's worried about money at first but then never worries again)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Diana Hockley

    I realise that this book is the first in a series, but that isn't as excuse not to finish the book. Written in a very simple, almost teenage style - no imagery or details, just what they did and said - this novel is littered with repetition and misplaces commas. The mystery surrounding Emily's husband is not answered and the identity of the murderer is screamingly obvious. Disappointing. ***

  3. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Vance

    The Scent of Lies is Book 1 of 4 in the Paradise Valley Mysteries series by Debra Burroughs. This is a romantic mystery, but unlike many of this genre, it is not heavy-handed romance with the mystery as a sideline. The emphasis is on the mystery, or mysteries in this instance. I find that very refreshing. There is nothing wrong with romance, but if you are going to call it a mystery, that should be the focal point. Ms. Burroughs has an excellent balance of both throughout the entire book. Emily P The Scent of Lies is Book 1 of 4 in the Paradise Valley Mysteries series by Debra Burroughs. This is a romantic mystery, but unlike many of this genre, it is not heavy-handed romance with the mystery as a sideline. The emphasis is on the mystery, or mysteries in this instance. I find that very refreshing. There is nothing wrong with romance, but if you are going to call it a mystery, that should be the focal point. Ms. Burroughs has an excellent balance of both throughout the entire book. Emily Parker is a young widow whose husband, Evan Parker, Private Investigator, was murdered in his own office 6 months ago. While looking for answers into his death, Emily discovers more questions. Was he really the man that she thought he was? When she is asked by a client of Evan’s, Delia, to investigate Delia’s husband, she is interested and encouraged by her close circle of friend’s to take over Evan’s P.I. business. Then Delia’s husband is murdered. To complicate matters, Emily is introduced to the sexy new police detective, who is convinced Emily’s first client is guilty of murdering her husband. Emily must fight for her client before Delia goes to prison for a crime she didn’t commit. Or did she? Emily fights to prove Delia’s innocence as she also tries to fight the budding attraction to the new police detective; who is trying to keep Emily alive long enough to see if she could be the one to mend his heart. Ms. Burroughs has the beginning to a winning series with The Scent of Lies. The reader is immediately rooting for Emily, for her to solve the case, get the answers about Evan’s murder, and for the new romance building for her. She has several strong female characters and men that support them rather than feel threatened by their resolve. Not all of the answers are given, it is the beginning of a series after all. The reader is given enough to pique the interest to continue reading the series, but not a gratuitous major cliffhanger that makes the reader feel cheated at the end. I highly recommend The Scent of Lies. I will be reading the entire series of Paradise Valley Mysteries. I hope you’ll join me. See all of my reviews on my blog: http://rebeccavance.com

  4. 5 out of 5

    Wanda

    Emily Parker, a great character that exudes a lot of confidence and spunk, is a real estate agent. Her husband, a Private Investigator, had been shot to death six months earlier, and the murder has gone unsolved. Emily is approached by Delia, a former client of her husband, to take over the investigation her husband had begun. Emily agrees and becomes a Private Investigator with little or no experience. She also hopes to solve her husband's murder during this adventurous quest. And the story unf Emily Parker, a great character that exudes a lot of confidence and spunk, is a real estate agent. Her husband, a Private Investigator, had been shot to death six months earlier, and the murder has gone unsolved. Emily is approached by Delia, a former client of her husband, to take over the investigation her husband had begun. Emily agrees and becomes a Private Investigator with little or no experience. She also hopes to solve her husband's murder during this adventurous quest. And the story unfolds ---- This was a nice sweet romance, mixed with mystery, and it had an interesting premise. You will find no foul language or graphic sex in this book - kudos to the author for that! However, the story was rather predictable, not very exciting - I was ready for it to be over. I found that some sections were too wordy, moving slowly - it just didn't grab my interest. It was an easy read - perhaps too easy - and the ending was a let-down with unanswered questions. I'm sure that was to entice the reader on to the next book in the series. I have another one of the books in the series loaded in my Kindle, so I'll be reading it sometime in the future. If you're looking for a relaxed, easy read, you'll probably enjoy this book. My rating is 3 stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kate's Reads

    "The Scent of Lies", is Book 1 in the Paradise Valley Mystery Series by Debra Burroughs and it is chock full of mystery. Emily is a young widow whose husband, Evan, was murdered six months ago and the murder has yet to be solved. There is a new detective in town from the big city, Colin and things are about to change. As Emily transitions from her real estate career to taking over Evan's private investigation business things get shaken up in the small town of Paradise Valley. Her first client (E "The Scent of Lies", is Book 1 in the Paradise Valley Mystery Series by Debra Burroughs and it is chock full of mystery. Emily is a young widow whose husband, Evan, was murdered six months ago and the murder has yet to be solved. There is a new detective in town from the big city, Colin and things are about to change. As Emily transitions from her real estate career to taking over Evan's private investigation business things get shaken up in the small town of Paradise Valley. Her first client (Evan's last) is Delia, the owner of the largest factory in town. Not long after Emily begins tailing Delia's husband Ricardo he ends up dead and Delia is holding the knife. As the case becomes finding out who killed Ricardo, Emily and Colin are thrown together investigating from both sides of the aisle. Amidst the investigation Emily uncovers mysteries about Evan that leave her wondering if she really knew him at all. Burroughs has created a great cast of characters in this novel. The main players, Emily, Colin, Isabel and Alex are nicely developed and likeable characters. The pacing is fast and the unraveling of the mystery keeps you reading to find out what happens next. A fun read! I look forward to more in the series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    D.A. Cairns

    A clean novel. Very refreshing. No swearing, graphic violence or sex. The Scent of Lies is all about the characters and story. The female heroine, real estate agent Emily, becomes a Private Investigator after the death of her husband leads her to suspect he had a double life. She's a strong and intelligent woman who I liked immediately, and her romance with police detective, Colin is a classic, irritation to passion love story. The Scent of Lies has a nicely woven plot with intrigue, suspense and A clean novel. Very refreshing. No swearing, graphic violence or sex. The Scent of Lies is all about the characters and story. The female heroine, real estate agent Emily, becomes a Private Investigator after the death of her husband leads her to suspect he had a double life. She's a strong and intelligent woman who I liked immediately, and her romance with police detective, Colin is a classic, irritation to passion love story. The Scent of Lies has a nicely woven plot with intrigue, suspense and a surprising twist. I found it easy to read and entertaining. The characters were interesting and believable, the author's writing simple and engaging. Even if you don't usually read romance or mystery/romance, I think you'll enjoy The Scent of Lies.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cathie

    This is the second book I've read by Debra Hurroughs & tho I did enjoy it, it really lacked any real depth. The plot was easy enough to follow with no real suspense. I couldn't make up my mind about the main character, Emily Parker, whose husband was murdered & who decided to leave her lagging real estate business to take over her late husbands PI business. What bothered me the most about Emily was that whenever Emily was out with her friends she would end up abruptly walking out on them because This is the second book I've read by Debra Hurroughs & tho I did enjoy it, it really lacked any real depth. The plot was easy enough to follow with no real suspense. I couldn't make up my mind about the main character, Emily Parker, whose husband was murdered & who decided to leave her lagging real estate business to take over her late husbands PI business. What bothered me the most about Emily was that whenever Emily was out with her friends she would end up abruptly walking out on them because they said or did something that upset her instead of talking it out with them. It felt like she was very immature.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Literati Literature Lovers

    3.5 Torn Stars I am torn by this book as I both read and listened to it. I really have to say that the narrator of the book left me flat. Which did affect my overall enjoyment of the characters and plot. The book focuses around Emily recent widow and thrown into a career change from realtor to private investigator. Her first case spirals from a roving hubby investigation to murder. Whoopsie. She meets the sexy new town cop and sparks fly. Hmmm or sparks would fly if the narrator would not have m 3.5 Torn Stars I am torn by this book as I both read and listened to it. I really have to say that the narrator of the book left me flat. Which did affect my overall enjoyment of the characters and plot. The book focuses around Emily recent widow and thrown into a career change from realtor to private investigator. Her first case spirals from a roving hubby investigation to murder. Whoopsie. She meets the sexy new town cop and sparks fly. Hmmm or sparks would fly if the narrator would not have made the characters sound bored with the action taking place around them. So I do plan to continue the series, but as a reader not a listener.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Debra Burroughs

    From the first page, this book was a fun and exciting read. Emily is a sassy, stubborn lady private eye that is also very endearing, as are her close circle of friends. All the characters are warm and engaging and the romance between Emily and the hot new police detective is passionately sweet. The story is so well crafted that you'll be wondering who did it til the very end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    I found it predictable and the inconsistencies and errors throughout were annoying. I can't say that I really have too much desire to continue the series at this point. This one was a freebie on Kindle and unfortunately, it just didn't hook me enough to pay for the rest of the series like some of the freebies do.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Considering that I knew who the murderer was about halfway through the book, I don't consider this to number among the better-written books I've read. Furthermore, the cutesiness of the relationship seemed to me a bit like frozen syrup. Blech! I got the three-volume set, but I won't be reading any other titles by Ms. Burroughs.

  12. 5 out of 5

    MariLou Schuman

    I really tried to read this, but couldn't get past the 1st or 2nd chapter. The emotions of the main character were all over the place and made no sense. Calm with her friends one minute, jumping up and stalking out the next. I'll give it another try - I hate giving up on a book I purchase.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    Two women’s husband murdered, the main character leaves one heck of a twisted trail in helping the other.I was hesitant in reading a romantic murder mystery, but this was cleverly written!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Myra Gabor

    I received a free copy of this book from the author and voluntarily chose to review it. In brief, Emily Parker is a widow. Her husband, Evan, had been murdered six months before we meet her. Emily is trying to make ends meet and decides to take over her husband’s private detective business. She feels that she’ll be good at it and would pay better than trying to sell real estate. Emily has three very good friends, who will probably show up in later stories. These three friends make an effort to fix I received a free copy of this book from the author and voluntarily chose to review it. In brief, Emily Parker is a widow. Her husband, Evan, had been murdered six months before we meet her. Emily is trying to make ends meet and decides to take over her husband’s private detective business. She feels that she’ll be good at it and would pay better than trying to sell real estate. Emily has three very good friends, who will probably show up in later stories. These three friends make an effort to fix Emily up with someone new. They feel that six months is enough time to mourn. But Emily hasn’t moved on yet. While wearing her husband’s clothes she finds a piece of paper with a woman’s name and phone number. She also finds a safety deposit key in the closet. And so, the mystery starts. Just who was the man she had married? Who murdered him and why? On her first paid case, her client’s philandering husband is murdered and the police are sure that her client did it. Emily is determined to find out who the real murderer is. There’s a lot of emphasis on how Emily dresses and how she wears her hair. I suppose this is important to a certain group of reader. The author might be figuring that this would show us the kind of person she is. I can’t think of any other reason. The real murderer is almost shoved in our faces every time we encounter her. So, no mystery there. It’s termed a cozy mystery and I’m not really sure what that is. It is a romance and a very well written one. By this I mean that she and her new boyfriend actually like each other and do not fall into bed in horrifying detail. We do wonder about her husband, Evan and his back story. Oh, there is a huge plot hole. Someone involved in the murder has gone back to New York City from Idaho. Emily flies there and in a city of more than eight million people and I don’t know how many police precincts, she manages to show up at the right one. So, good book, not a great one, but it is an engaging read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Chrissie Gerber

    A book filled with mystery, intrigue, and murder. Whether you just want an escape or want to delve into a great series, this will be it... I mean what could go wrong when you start to investigate murders, right? Emily Parker lost her husband, who was a PI, and clearly working on something big. She gets sucked into his last case, which might have also gotten him killed… Now, I’ll just start by stating that this is a fast, easy read. There is just enough mystery and twists to keep you interested in w A book filled with mystery, intrigue, and murder. Whether you just want an escape or want to delve into a great series, this will be it... I mean what could go wrong when you start to investigate murders, right? Emily Parker lost her husband, who was a PI, and clearly working on something big. She gets sucked into his last case, which might have also gotten him killed… Now, I’ll just start by stating that this is a fast, easy read. There is just enough mystery and twists to keep you interested in wanting to learn more. Although we do get some satisfaction in solving the case, we do not yet get to learn why Emily’s husband was murdered. We do know there’s a lot more to his death, which means there are more books to read. I'm already geared up to read the second installment, because I need to know what really happened to her husband and why. The romance in this novel is handled well, given that Emily is still grieving the loss of her husband. Her love interest seems wonderful though and is very understanding of her situation. What I enjoyed most about this novel was the awesome group of female friends. Emily has an incredible support system. I thoroughly enjoyed the female empowerment present in this book. And the diversity of personalities, her characters all had their own quirks and ideas. What I did not see coming early on, but figured out quite fast, was the outcome of this immediate crime. This did not, however, detract from my enjoyment of the book. Whether we learn more about her husband's murder with each novel or not, I think this one is a well-written, enjoyable book, that can easily remove you from your own life, and suck you into that of Emily's. Here's hoping that Emily and her new boyfriend will continue to explore their romance, her friends will keep her on the right track, and she will get the answers she needs to move on for good...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana Crook

    Enjoy Debra's books I have read quite a few of Debra's book is and thoroughly enjoyed each one. This one, however, felt a little long and wordy. It seemed like the characters could have cut to the point faster. Emily finding information, then repeating it again for the attorney and then Colin and again, to her friends. Nothing was happening, through most of the book, and wham! You get action and finally some useful information. They all went back and forth, back and forth to who of the two women Enjoy Debra's books I have read quite a few of Debra's book is and thoroughly enjoyed each one. This one, however, felt a little long and wordy. It seemed like the characters could have cut to the point faster. Emily finding information, then repeating it again for the attorney and then Colin and again, to her friends. Nothing was happening, through most of the book, and wham! You get action and finally some useful information. They all went back and forth, back and forth to who of the two women was the killer. Delete a lot of the over abundance of words and the book would have moved faster and smoother. I do recommend all of Debra's books. Maybe throw in a little more romance!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I rated this 3 stars, considering that it is pretty much Young Adult and that I did finish it. There were a few errors in it (more than 8, less than 12), but not so many that it was annoying. I felt the story was just a little flat, given that I knew from the beginning who would NOT have been the murderer, and I would have won a bet on how several of the story lines would finish. It was just too predictable, and the heroine and her good friend whose husband was killed, both were apparently way t I rated this 3 stars, considering that it is pretty much Young Adult and that I did finish it. There were a few errors in it (more than 8, less than 12), but not so many that it was annoying. I felt the story was just a little flat, given that I knew from the beginning who would NOT have been the murderer, and I would have won a bet on how several of the story lines would finish. It was just too predictable, and the heroine and her good friend whose husband was killed, both were apparently way too clueless about their spouses. It just lacked the depth I prefer.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Emily, a young widow, has friends, is cute, smart and wants to be a PI. She also wants to find out more about the death of her husband, as parts of his former become visible about 6 months following his death, and there are some surprises. There are unfaithful men, women who fit a certain physical description, people who have money and those without much. I found the book intriguing- tho I did guess who done it. I would like to rate it 3.5 as it's better than average and I want to read more in t Emily, a young widow, has friends, is cute, smart and wants to be a PI. She also wants to find out more about the death of her husband, as parts of his former become visible about 6 months following his death, and there are some surprises. There are unfaithful men, women who fit a certain physical description, people who have money and those without much. I found the book intriguing- tho I did guess who done it. I would like to rate it 3.5 as it's better than average and I want to read more in the series.but

  19. 4 out of 5

    Don

    A Stupendous Read Great characters, fast paced action, and multiple plots. What more can you ask for. A cheating husband that will sleep with anyone is murdered. Of course this leaves several suspects. Our main character is tenacious in finding the real killer. She and her friends will prevail in the end but you have to get her book to find out. Getting excited to read this author's other works. Know I will not be disappointed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    April Rohrer

    I wanted to like this book and didn’t. The story was way too predictable and the villain was obvious to the reader while confounding all the book’s characters. The love story was not super believable and the male lead was snide and annoying at times—I wouldn’t have stuck around. Also left one mystery unsolved at the end (maybe they come back to it in another book) but it was left hanging and therefore unfulfilling.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wendy LaBounty

    'The Scent of Lies' starts slow, so don't stop. A enjoyable relief from a heart-pounding, scared-to-death thriller, it gains speed and becomes quite interesting, enough that I am ready to start the second book. Put yourself in Emily's place - husband just killed, she is still a bit scared and wants to know exactly what happened to him and why. While her friends are setting her up with a new guy, her husband's last client asks her to complete the job he had started. She is a bit naïve but holds h 'The Scent of Lies' starts slow, so don't stop. A enjoyable relief from a heart-pounding, scared-to-death thriller, it gains speed and becomes quite interesting, enough that I am ready to start the second book. Put yourself in Emily's place - husband just killed, she is still a bit scared and wants to know exactly what happened to him and why. While her friends are setting her up with a new guy, her husband's last client asks her to complete the job he had started. She is a bit naïve but holds her own in the role she steps into. Emily is quite believable; keep reading.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Stacy

    This was a very exciting book...murder mystery with realtor turned PI after the death of her husband. It captured my attention about 20% in and kept it until the end. My only complaint would be that some things brought up during the course of the book about the dead husband were never resolved so it makes you think there is a second book, but there is not.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Carroll

    Truth, lies and detective eyes Emily's world is crashing around her, starting with the murder of her PI husband. This fast paced story unravels her life and spins her into another murder, with a friend as the prime suspect. Emily must discover the real killer before she becomes the next victim.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Rudolph

    Great book I couldn't put this book down!! I read it in one sitting. I loved the characters, the mystery of who did what and the storyline. They all kept me totally engaged in the story from start to finish! I can tell this is going to be another great series by Debra Burroughs

  25. 5 out of 5

    gloria marquardt

    I liked the story and it was an easy read. Characters needed more development. The story was good . I read it in a couple of hours. No surprises but I enjoyed getting to the end. Good work.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Quick, easy to read crimes to be solved story. Likeable characters and interesting storyline. For me it was missing depth and there was no resolution to original crime of her husband's death(future stories?) 3.5 stars.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    A Wonderful Book! I loved everything about this book. I loved the romance intermingled in the mystery. The main characters were unique and lovable. I like how the author gave the clues to the killing. I was surprised at the end which I liked. I read it in one sitting.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Great Story Emily lost her husband 6 months prior when he was shot in his office. But now she find a name and questions a lot. It was his last client and now she is going to have to prove her innocence.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol Simmons

    Fantastic So glad I read Book 1 in Paradise Valley Mystery got to meet Emily Colin and the rest of the Thursday Dinner Gang. Have read other books out of order but each one is so good will read all the books in this series.and everything this very talented author writes

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Hetzel

    Several key issues missing in this book such as the need for Private investigators to be licensed! Their was a simplicity that was difficult to deal with...many preposterous decisions made that have little reality to the real world. I won’t be looking for the second book in the series!

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