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 . . .
3 out of 5 stars
I was left with mixed feelings about this book. There were parts of it that I liked and parts of it that I didn’t care for that much.
It felt to me like so much time was spent on the 4 women’s stories, so the mystery was kind of just pushed off to the side. After reading the book though, I can understand why so much time was put into Nora, Estelle, June, and Hester’s stories. We needed to learn about everything that each woman had gone through. Each one of them had something traumatic happen to them that they needed to heal from.
There were times where I felt like Nora’s character came across as much older than she was supposed to be, which distracted me and kept pulling me out of the story. There were also instances where I felt like a character’s reaction to something was a little over the top. Even though Nora is the main character, I didn’t really care for her that much. I didn’t like Estelle at first but she grew on me as the story progressed. Hester and June were just okay to me.
I don’t have very much to say about the mystery. Like I mentioned before, it seemed to be pushed off to the side. I wish more sleuthing had been done. That is one of my favorite parts of a cozy mystery.
I did like what Nora and Hester did with their shops. I thought it was interesting that Nora was able to read people well enough to be able to recommend them books to read that would provide them some healing and closure to whatever it was that they were going through. I was really intrigued by Hester and her comfort scones. I thought it was neat that she was able to bring such powerful memories to the person who was eating the scone, just by the ingredients she added to the scone after having a conversation with the person.
I liked the premise of Miracle Springs and that people came there for a fresh start or to find some kind of healing.
The ending took me by surprise. I’m not sure if the newcomer is going to be able to be trusted or not, so that last part of the book gave me shivers. It will be interesting to see how they play into the next book.
*I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.