Ink And Shadows
By: Ellery Adams
Opening Line: “Nora Pennington stood on the sidewalk frowning.”
Overall: This is the fourth book in the, Secret, Book, & Scone Society, cozy mystery series. The first three books are, The Secret Book, & Scone Society, The Whispered Word, and The Book Of Candlelight. (Click on the links to read my reviews.) There are four books in the series so far, and I think you should read them in order. It helps you to know and understand who all the characters are. The main character is Nora Pennington, a former librarian, who left her old life behind to open the only book shop in the small town of Miracle Springs, North Carolina. A town known for healing, where tourists flock with hopes of soothing their physical and emotional pains. In the first book, Nora, along with 3 other women in the town, formed The Secret, Book, & Scone Society. All 3 are strong women who have gone through their share of past pain. But, after bravely sharing their deepest secrets with eachother, the 4 of them have worked together to solve some troubling murders in Miracle Springs. In this book, a new shop owner and her daughter come to town to open a healing shop called, Soothe. Among many other things, they are also selling CBD products for pain relief. Nora owns the bookstore and always has unique window displays to attract people to her shop. As Halloween approaches, Nora decides on a display theme of fictional heroines. But soon, a “family values group” disapprove of some of the shops in town, including Miracle Books and Soothe. The group starts causing trouble, then after a series of strange events, someone winds up dead. The death is declared to be accidental, but many things can’t be explained away. So, along with the Sherriff, Nora and her friends try to find out what exactly is going on. But, they just end up uncovering more strange secrets about the newcomers to town.
Ovations: This book series is perfect for book lovers! Nora is a bookstore owner who used to be a librarian. Now, in Miracle Springs she is known as a “bibliotherapist”. She listens to people’s troubles and can recommend a selection of books that will help the person heal. So, there are always a lot of book recommendations throughout each book in this series. At the end of each of these books, there are lists of all the books Nora has recommended, in case you want to read some of them for yourself. I love that! This cozy mystery was unique, original, interesting and well written. The plot makes sense and the ending does too. I hate when you read a whole book and the ending is terrible!
Oh Well: The only negative thing I can think of to say is that the book can be slow at times. The story and mystery unfold gradually throughout the book. But, that is sort of the vibe of this relaxed, North Carolina healing town. Also, I still would like the romance part of these books to be more important, instead of just a minor detail.
Opinion: This is the fourth book in this on-going cozy mystery series. Something I particularly enjoy about this book series is that the Sherriff does like and respect Nora, and appreciates her help with the cases. He does not treat her like “a meddling woman” or “a woman with too much time on her hands” or “an irritating distraction to his important work”, like in some cozy mysteries. I also love how the author, Ellery Adams, writes fully developed, realistic characters with both strengths and flaws. I like how Nora went from being a loner in the first book, and now belongs to this sisterhood of strong women. The relationship between these four women is so trusting, warm and supportive, it really makes you want to be a part of their group. These are stand alone books, but really should all be read in order to understand the characters and their individual, meaningful backstories. I really liked this book and plan to continue reading the books in this series as they come out. The fifth book is due out in April of 2022. Rating 8 out of 10