Secret, Book & Scone Society is a wonderful cozy mystery series. If you like cozy mysteries set in or around bookstores, you will love this series. If you enjoy protagonists with interesting jobs or interests, you will love meeting Nora Pennington, a self-styled bibliotherapist. If you enjoy small town stories with some quirky or wounded characters, then I recommend this series.

The Book of Candlelight (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #3) by Ellery Adams, Cris Dukehart (Narrator)

Published January 28th 2020 by Dreamscape Media, Kensington

4.5 Stars:

The Book of Candlelight is the third book in the Secret, Book & Scone Society cozy mystery series. Nora Pennington is the owner of Miracle Books. Nora has a skill, she does book therapy, recommending books to her patrons that they need at the time for whatever is going on in their lives. In this outing, she meets Sheldon, a stranded traveler, who ends up being a new friend. With a rain storm hitting Miracle Springs, the Miracle River overflows and spills out a body on it’s banks amidst the ruins of a footbridge. The body is that of local Cherokee potter, Danny, a gentleman that Nora recently met and made a purchase from. Both Nora and the Sheriff are sure this is not an accident and the Secret, Book and Scone Society begin their own investigation. When a second body turns up, the investigation picks up in a sense of urgency.

I really enjoy this series. The idea of a bibliotherapist is really interesting and I love seeing what Nora will recommend next. I also love the idea of the town of Miracle Springs healing those who end up there. The characters all have secrets, things that happened to them in the past and baggage, but they find solace, welcome and healing in this small town. The newest inhabitants are Lou and her friend Pat, the owners of the new inn, Inn of Mist and Roses. When they renovate they find a mysterious diary and a the drawing of a red bird that might help solve the murders. With the ladies finding themselves in danger, not a lot of suspects and some new and interesting characters, the story and mystery kept me reading and listening until I finally found out who the culprit is and how the discoveries will change several lives in Miracle Springs. Cris Dukehart narrates this book and I continue to enjoy her narration. Her voices, emotion and expression made this book a delight to listen to.

Ink and Shadows (Secret, Book, & Scone Society #4) by Ellery Adams, Cris Dukehart (Narrator)

Published January 28th 2021 by Dreamscape Media, Kensington

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

With all the book banning going on in the world, especially the US, right now, this is a very timely premise for a story. Nora Pennington, the owner of Miracle Books, has decorated her store windows with fictional heroines like Roald Dahl’s Matilda and Madeline Miller’s Circe. There is a new family-values group in town that object to the magical themes in the books. Nora tries to explain it is to empower girls to no avail. Her store becomes a target of vandalism and they also scare off potential customers. They are also targeting other stores they object to, such as the new store selling CBD oil and products owned by Celeste. When Celeste’s daughter is found dead, it is originally thought it was an accidental overdose, but Celeste asks Nora for help. Can the Secret, Book & Scone Society find out what is really going on? What does the death have to do with the old book page covered with strange symbols and disturbing drawings left under Nora’s doormat? Does any of this explain the stalker like postcard that Nora finds addressed to Celeste?

I really enjoyed the themes in this book. The book banning, forgery, drug addiction and recovery are all themes that interest me and are very timely and realistic. Nora has now hired Sheldon (we met him in the last book) and he fits in well. He picks up the slack while Nora is busy investigating. Celeste is the center of this mystery. She has a lot of secrets from her past that Nora must uncover to solve the mystery. The mystery is very well plotted with some interesting suspects, but not a lot of clues. I love how this series empowers women and places them front and center. The town of Miracle Springs fits this series perfectly with its healing powers, quirky and interesting characters and a lot of caring for one another. I definitely recommend this book and series. I don’t read a lot of Halloween books, but this one certainly fit the bill for this October holiday. Once again I listened to Cris Dukehart narrate this story and do a wonderful job. I recommend either format, but if you enjoy audiobooks, pick this one up, you might find another narrator that you enjoy.