On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.
Ink and Shadows (A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel)
4th in Series
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington Cozies (January 26, 2021)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496726413
ISBN-13 : 978-1496726414
Paperback : 320 pages
ISBN-10 : 1496726421
ISBN-13 : 978-1496726421
Kindle ASIN : B087YR9M54
Controversy erupts in Miracle Springs, North Carolina when the owner of the local bookstore tries to play peacekeeper—but winds up playing detective instead . . .
Known for her window displays, Nora Pennington decides to showcase fictional heroines like Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Madeline Miller’s Circe for Halloween. But a family-values group disapproves of the magical themes and wastes no time launching a modern-day witch hunt. Suddenly, former friends and customers are targeting not only Nora and Miracle Books, but a new shopkeeper, Celeste, who’s been selling CBD oil products.
Nora and her friends in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society are doing their best to put an end to the strife—but then someone puts an end to a life. Declared an accident, the ruling can’t explain the old book page covered with strange symbols and disturbing drawings left under Nora’s doormat. It’s up to Nora and the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to sort out the clues before more bodies turn up and the secrets from Celeste’s past come back to haunt them all . . .
Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members
Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people’s woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.
Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.
June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.
Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.
The latest amazing window display at Miracle Books highlights a group of fictional heroines and their stories that are perfect for Halloween. While many find the display fantastic a small group of women taunting family values have found the display offensive and plan to protest and boycott the store and make sure others do the same. It is not just Nora’s shop feeling the group’s ire. They are also targeting Red Bird Gallery and Gifts, and Soothe, a new shop that has just opened selling CBD oil products. Nora is livid and calls for a Secret, Book, and Scone Society meeting to find ways to thwart the “Women of Lasting Values Society”‘s efforts.
Meanwhile, Celeste Leopold and her daughter Bren are busy getting everything in Soothe the way they want it, hoping to draw in plenty of customers that can be helped by their products. Bren does not seem to be happy with their move to Miracle Springs though.
Later at the Farm to Table Festival Nora and her friends notice Bren sitting with a man they don’t recognize. After an altercation, the man takes off. Nora tries to talk to Bren and lets her know that she was there if Bren ever needs to talk. But before Bren can take her up on the offer Nora finds the young woman dead near her home and a very old page from a book filled with strange symbols and drawings under her doormat. The death is ruled accidental but Nora knows there is much more to the story. The Secret, Book, and Scone Society has a new case and they believe their key to finding the killer is in Bren and her mother’s past.
Ellery Adams is a treasure and so are her characters. The women of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society are so cleverly crafted. They all have their strengths and huge hearts supporting each other through thick and thin but also reaching out to help others in need.
In Ink and Shadows, they take Celeste under their wings as she deals with the death of her daughter. Helping out in her shop, bringing her dinner, and staying to share time with her. They also use their sleuthing techniques to try to find out who killed Bren and why. While these women have special “gifts”, they are so real, genuine, compassionate, and empathic even when they are facing their own drama. I quickly became invested in their lives while reading the first book in this series and with each subsequent book they draw me in even more.
I just have to say also that Sheldon is an excellent addition to this series. He is a perfect fit among this strong group of women. He is dealing with his own trials every day but fights to live his life to the fullest.
The mysteries included in this fourth book of the series were so interesting and intriguing. I really found myself caught up by the book page with the symbols and the mysterious book it came from along with Celeste and Bren’s life before coming to Miracle Springs. The book was very well-plotted with several surprises. I enjoyed the way so many members of the community were involved in the story. I was cheering when Nora got help with the family values group from some unexpected people and the way their ideas changed the landscape of many people’s thoughts.
Ms. Adams continues to feature some hot-button topics in her stories. I loved a scene where bullying was discussed. Nora continues to deal with the aftermath of her fire and that took a big step within these pages too, I hate to mention other topics because I don’t want to give too much of the story away.
The author drops a lot of diverse book titles throughout these books and she thoughtfully includes a full list at the end of the book. I always find myself highlighting several while I am reading to investigate later. The quotes at the beginning of each chapter are often very thought-provoking as well.
There was also one passage voiced by June that I would love to make into a poster:
“To me getting lucky is reading something so magical that I’m put under the book’s spell. That book owns me. I can’t think of anything else until I finish it. And I can’t think about anything else for days afterward. And the next book I read is doomed. It can’t take the place of the magic book. But I keep reading. I keep reading because I know that feeling will come along again.”
I totally agree with June.
Because of the theme of the series and the subjects presented I know a lot of research goes into each book so the length of time between each book release is very understandable. This book originally came out while I was dealing with my cancer treatments and I didn’t get to read it until now. The good thing about that is I only have to wait about a month before The Vanishing Type is released and I am so happy about that. Stay tuned I will be sharing my thoughts about that one soon.
Note – book does include some explicit language.
Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent
About the Author
Ellery Adams has written over thirty mystery novels and can’t imagine spending a day away from the keyboard. Ms. Adams, a native New Yorker, has had a lifelong love affair with stories, food, rescue animals, and large bodies of water. When not working on her next novel, she bakes, gardens, spoils her three cats, and spends far too much time on Pinterest. She lives with her husband and two children (aka the Trolls) in Chapel Hill, NC. For more information, please visit www.elleryadamsmysteries.com. Be sure to sign up for her newsletter here.
Follow Ellery Adams on Amazon and find more of her books here.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”