This is the first book by Ellery Adams that I experienced. I liked it, well enough to check out some of her other series. I have to say I enjoyed this much more than some of her other works. There’s a light touch of magic that’s not too much, and it doesn’t take over the story.
Nora – owns Miracle Books, a bookshop in the small town of Miracle Springs, North Carolina. She sells new books, used books, coffee, random chotskies (that she labels as “shelf enhancers”) and a form of therapy. Well, she doesn’t charge for the last one. Nora offers bibliotherapy, where she recommends books that she thinks will help a person with whatever is troubling them. Nora has burn scars from a fire, and she is very conscious of them.
Hester – owns The Gingerbread House, a cafe. Hester is the youngest of the group. She is an amazing baker, and specializes in what she calls Comfort Scones. If someone goes to her, she will make them a custom scone that will bring hopefully happy memories to the customer. (Note – this appears to be a very toned down version of what Ella Mae does in the Charmed Pie Shoppe series.)
Estella – owns a salon. She is a huge flirt and has a certain reputation in town.
June – works in the thermal pools. She is the oldest of the group.
Each of the four women is lonely, and each has a secret. They work together to try to solve the murder that happened in their small town, a mystery that turns out to be more than just a murder.
I feel like there was a lot of unnecessary description in some places. (After reading other books by this author, I can sense that this is a trend.)
You as the reader figure out what Nora’s “secret” is fairly early in the book, so it’s kind of annoying how she tiptoes around it the rest of the book. (And spoiler alert – it’s not as bad as you think it is.)
You have a lot of people afraid to do the right thing in fear of losing their jobs, Jedidiah and Deputy Andrews for example. And even then, the ‘right thing’ isn’t as black and white as it seems. Those two will be coming back, I’m sure!
The identity of the killer did surprise me, and I was honestly a little disappointed in the character. Their choices made me sad. I hadn’t thought of them in relation to the murders.
I kind of hope we follow through with Hester or June’s stories in the next book(s). And Estella too, but Hester and June have better storylines, I feel.