The Secret, Book & Scone Society
Setting – North Carolina
Kensington (October 31, 2017)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B01N4W09GF
Audio CD ISBN-13: 978-1520079691
From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . .
Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.
When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.
Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.
Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .
Nora Pennington has come to Miracle Springs, North Carolina to escape a terrible tragedy. She feels safe in her bookstore helping her customers find their own healing in the books she chooses 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”. She and Nora work together by sending their customers to each other’s stores. June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves and Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves. These 4 women were very introverted, had no friends, and barely knew each other until a man left Hester’s bakery on his way to Nora’s bookstore and never arrived. Soon after, he is found dead on the railroad tracks. The local police quickly rule the death a suicide but these ladies can’t believe that is true. Together they form the Secret, Book & Scone Society and decide that together they can find the truth and get justice for a man they didn’t even know.
This is such a special story, so much more than a cozy mystery, but a story where the characters bring hope to others while examining their own lives. They are each in places of needing healing themselves and over the course of this story a heartwarming bond is formed. These characters are written with a loving hand as we learn throughout the book the traumas they have endured to become the woman they are today. At first they read as timid characters but their strength grows with the turn of each page. Ellery Adams is known for creating characters that readers want to know better. These character are absolutely wonderful. They are compassionate, engaging and relatable and believable. Characters you would want to be friends with if you could jump into the book. I want to join their society.
The mystery itself was a curious one. Neil Parrish was a business man clearly at a crosswords that he was unsure how to handle. Knowing nothing of the man Nora and the rest of Secret, Book & Scone Society had to do some research and legwork including sneaking around in places that put them in danger. For me it was like a huge puzzle with too many pieces. Some information moved their investigation forward, some sent them in circles, or was just interesting but may not have anything to do with Parrish’s death. I was intrigued and entertained following along for each new discovery. I was holding my breath for the climatic scenes. Wow!
Miracle Springs is a very interesting place and a fantastic setting for this series. I think we have barely scratched the surface of the potential stories that can be gleaned from the town and its residents. As someone trying to heal myself from a variety of things in my life I wish I could actually travel there for my “comfort” scone and my bag of books that would set my healing on a clear course.
I have loved everything I have read by this author. She is such a talented writer and she has created something truly magical in this story. I am excited to see where she takes this series. This amazing story was a true trip to PARADISE. What a extraordinary escape!
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.
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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.”