The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn


Book Title: The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn by Amber A. Logan
Category: Adult Fiction (18+), 336 pages
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: CamCat Books
Release date: Nov 15, 2022
Content Rating: PG. The book is clean, without excessive swearing, no sexual content or graphic violent scenes, etc.

Cracked doesn’t always mean broken.

Grieving her mother’s death, Mari Lennox travels to Kyoto, Japan to take photographs of Yanagi Inn for a client. As she explores the inn and its grounds, her camera captures striking images, uncovering layers of mystery shrouding the old resort—including an overgrown, secret garden on a forbidden island. But then eerie weeping no one else in the inn seems to hear starts keeping her awake at night.

Despite the warnings of the staff, Mari searches the deep recesses of the old building to discover the source of the ghostly sound, only to realize that her own family’s history is tied to the inn, its mysterious, forlorn garden . . . and the secrets it holds.

add to goodreads


The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn is such a unique kind of ghost story that takes place in Japan. The opening scene, with Mari in her mother’s hospital room, really hit home for me. It uprooted memories of my own mother’s hospital room years ago…


A title with the words Secret Garden pulls me in every time. Even when it’s in a genre I don’t usually read. Though I rarely read paranormal fiction, I enjoy taking new adventures in my fiction reading, and this one was fun to read. When I learned it was a ghost story and included a mysterious abandoned garden, I certainly wasn’t expecting a touching, tranquil, well composed tale of healing and redemption. 


I love a story that teaches me something new. This story provides rich descriptions of Japan—the country, cuisine, and culture. I enjoyed visiting Yanagi Inn and following along with Mari during her exploration.


This is a lovely re-telling of The Secret Garden. I recommend it to all readers, especially those who enjoy ghost mysteries.


First Line: I’d always been told hospitals were a place to heal and rest, but my mother’s hospital room was an assault on the senses.

Genre: Ghost Mystery, Paranormal fiction, re-telling

Author: Amber Logan

Page Count: 464


Disclosure: #CoverLoverBookReview received a complimentary copy of this book.


Cover Like


Amber A. Logan is a university instructor, freelance editor, and author of speculative fiction living in Kansas with her husband and two children—Fox and Willow. In addition to her degrees in Psychology, Liberal Arts, and International Relations, Amber holds a PhD in Creative Writing from Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads


Top Five Retellings I read in 2022
By Amber A. Logan

I love a good retelling. Perhaps there’s just something about the mental exercise of overlaying a text on top of the original that appeals to my academic brain, but I love both writing and reading retellings. 

2022 has been a fantastic reading year for me, so I wanted to share the top five retellings that I’ve read so far (all published in 2021-2022).

Unnatural Creatures: A Novel of the Frankenstein Women by Kris Waldherr (10/4/22) As the title suggests, this is a reimagining of Frankenstein, told through the eyes of the women in the original story. Compelling and well-written, creepy but not horrific. A must-read for hardcore Frankenstein fans, and still a plenty good story if you’re only vaguely familiar with the storyline.

Hyde by Craig Russell (2/4/2021) While not a direct retelling of the original Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story, this is clearly a reimagining of the Jekyll/Hyde personality. An atmospheric gothic horror story set in Edinburgh. Pretty dark and gruesome at times, Hyde is a perfect Halloween read. 

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher (7/12/22) A super imaginative and creepy retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” with gothic fungus vibes reminiscent of Mexican Gothic. A short read with fantastic world-building and characters. 

The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood (5/4/21) This was the dark, Victorian Cinderella retelling I didn’t know I was dying for. This is not a sweet fairy tale, but rather a pact-with-the-devil kind of descent into immorality. Gorgeous writing and twisty—I loved it.

Gold Spun (6/8/21) and Curse Undone (10/4/22) by Brandie June Ok, I might be cheating a little by including two here, but they are a duology so I thought it fair. Also, I figured I’d balance out the list by having a slightly lighter retelling because the first four are pretty dark! Gold Spun is a YA Fantasy retelling of Rumpelstiltskin in which the “miller’s daughter” from the original story takes the center stage. Lots of court drama, fae, and love triangles. Curse Undone takes the story in new and exciting directions that expand well beyond the original fairy tale. A great fantasy romp all around.