The Book Of Candlelight
By: Ellery Adams
Opening Line: “Nora Pennington had no idea how much the rain would change her life.”
Overall: This is the third book in the, Secret, Book, & Scone Society, cozy mystery series. The first two books are, The Secret Book, & Scone Society, and The Whispered Word. (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, the town has been experiencing a lot of rainfall, but Nora rides her bike over to the flea market and buys a piece of pottery handmade by a Cherokee artist named Danny. Nora plans to give it to her boyfriend Jed as a gift. But, the next day Nora finds Danny’s body floating in the overflowing river. His death is declared to be an accidental drowning, but Nora and the Sherriff both have doubts. So Nora, along with her 3 friends in the Secret, Book, & Scone Society, together with the town’s Sherriff begin to investigate alternatives to what may have caused Danny’s death. Nora befriends Danny’s widow, Marie, and learns a lot about Danny and his Cherokee family heritage. But, so much of what she learns, just leads to more questions surrounding his death. During all this, a total stranger to town starts helping out at Nora’s bookstore. Normally, she runs it by herself, but she need the help and he turns out to be exactly what Nora needs.
Ovations: I love that this cozy mystery series is so much about the power of books! There are thoughtful quotes from famous authors at the beginning of each chapter. There are a lot of scenes that take place at Nora’s bookstore as she recommends and talks books with her customers. These are cozy mysteries and there are always a murder mystery or two to figure out in each book. But, this series of books is so much more than that. They are light, fun reading that makes you laugh, but they also bring up serious subject matters sometimes too. This book series has important messages about deep friendships between women, women as independent business owners, adoption, book censorship, domestic abuse, drug abuse, living with a chronic illness, alcoholism, people’s prejudices, stalking, religion, extra-marital affairs … and many more topics. These books are positive and uplifting, but also sad sometimes too. The author writes all this into her plots so seamlessly that the books just keep you endlessly interested in the unique stories and the multi-layered characters.
Oh Well: The only negative is that I would like to dive deeper into the relationship between Nora and Jed. We know they like eachother. They sleep together and have satisfying sex. That is really all we know about their relationship. I understand that they both have fears, but I think their relationship should be expanded, be deeper, and be written about in more detail.
Opinion: This is the third book in this on-going cozy mystery series. A cozy mystery means that there are murder mysteries to be solved, but they do not have violence, gore, explicit sex scenes, usually take place in a small town, and have amateur sleuths trying to solve the mystery. 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. By this third book, I really feel like I know them, and I know the charming town of Miracle Springs. I liked this book and plan to keep reading the books in this series. Rating 8 out of 10