Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Review: The Secret, Book and Scone Society by Ellery Adams

Every now and again my book club decides to read a lighter book. This time around we chose Ellery Adams' cozy mystery start to the Secret, Book and Scone Society series. This is the very definition of a cozy mystery, amateur sleuths, not too grisly, and set in a small town. It's a pleasant read for book lovers who enjoy this genre.

Nora Pennington came to Miracle Springs to try and heal from trauma. She is scarred from surviving a fiery accident and keeps herself fairly closed off. When she moved to town, she opened a bookstore and discovered a special affinity as a bibliotherapist, connecting people with the books that they need to read, the books that will help them heal or move them through the problems they are pondering. When Nora meets a man on a park bench and tells him about the magical comfort scones from The Gingerbread House, she also tells him to meet her at the bookstore after he's eaten and she'll help him find a book. He never shows, and is later found dead, having been hit by the train that comes through town. Was it suicide or was he pushed? Nora feels confident that the man she talked to, while clearly worried over something, would never have died by suicide and since the local sheriff comes to the opposite conclusion suspiciously quickly, she resolves to investigate.

Nora will not be investigating alone though. Several other women in town, the baker, a spa employee, and a beautician, who all have secrets and hard things in their pasts come together with Nora to form the Secret, Book and Scone Society. They will support each other, learn to open up to the group, and solve the murder. There are bumps in the road of the women's fledgling friendship and then a second murder occurs and one of their own is accused of it. The women will have to step up their investigation if they want to exonerate their friend.

The story is very bookish, filled with references and quotes which will delight book lovers. Each chapter starts with a quote from a fairly well known book and gives a small hint of the upcoming chapter. The tone is light but there are some darker issues covered both in the secrets held by the women and in the story behind the murders. There is danger but there are also scones. The investigating is balanced by the growing relationship between the women. The end of the book wraps up the mystery tidily but also gives an intriguing tease for the next adventure. All in all a nice read.

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