Ink and Shadows (A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel) by Ellery Adams

Nora Pennington, our beloved local Miracle Springs bookstore owner seems to have settled down quite nicely into her new town. Her store, with help from her new employee an older gentleman named Sheldon, is doing a brisk business. Her relationship with Jed seems to be going well and her friends in the Secret, Book and Scone Society are…well, as Sheldon says “the magical women of this town.”

But none of that will last very long.

With Halloween fast approaching, Nora and Sheldon must decide what type of outdoor window display they want to create. Usually the town appreciates the creative displays, but this year one of the mother’s from an organization has decided the display is unacceptable. Her group decides to cause quite a scene in the town by boycotting the bookstore as well as other shops she feels are inappropriate. With ads placed in the newspaper, picketers outside and vandalism, the stores begin to suffer.

One of these businesses is a new shop named Soothe which sells CBD oils and other products, along with many healing herbs. The new shopkeeper Celeste and her teenage daughter Bren have just moved to Miracle Springs. Celeste is hoping to start a new life for them both while Bren unfortunately is only angered by the move and seems to resent her mother.

When Bren dies suddenly on Nora’s property and she finds pages with symbols on them which seem to have been torn out of a very old book left under her doormat, she begins to think this is may not be the accidental death the coroner has claimed.

So as they do, the Secret, Book and Scone Society jumps into action by assisting Celeste in her shop as she grieves for her daughter. But when Nora finds a threatening postcard addressed to Celeste, she realizes Celeste must be hiding secrets from her previous life with Bren from their former town.

As for those pages with symbols, Nora knows someone who could decipher them. But that would mean calling a person from her own past, a past she would rather not revisit, and friends she has had no contact with since she fled her own former life. But Nora feels responsible in some way for Bren’s death and must make peace with the idea of exposing her new present to someone from her past. What could these pages possibly mean? Where is the book they were torn out of? And how do they connect to Celeste and Bren?

In Ink and Shadows there is murder, mystery, mayhem, chaos and wonderfully empowered funny women who have all gone through major life crisis and who have come out on the other end with a great sense of passion for life and sympathy and understanding for others in this wonderful town Ellery Adams has created.

And finally, just another reason to love Adams, throughout the story she places her own book selections with an appendix at the end of the book. So know that while you read this mystery with a town full of loving and caring people…well most of them, you can perhaps find your next read while trying to solve a murder!

Thank you #NetGalley #Kensington #InkandShadows #ElleryAdams for the advanced copy.

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