28 November, 2017

#BookReview :: The Secret, Book & Scone Society (Miracle Springs, North Carolina #1) by Ellery Adams

The story is set in Miracle Springs, North Carolina which is a place to heal. With natural hot springs, luxurious spa, soul stirring scones and a miracle bibliotherapy, this town attracts people from around the country. People come, relax and heal themselves before heading back to their lives. Nora owns a bookshop in the town where she ‘prescribes’ books to her clients based on their experiences and needs. When an out-of-town businessman fails to keep his appointment with Nora and then turns up dead, Nora smells something fishy. She enlists the help of her friends to look into the matter.

Nora and her friends are a lovely group of people who help people while each of them try to overcome their past. Being a bookworm, I loved the fact that the protagonist was a bookshop owner which lead to the inclusion of quite a few literary references in the book. It took me a while to actually warm up to Nora, but eventually she did live up to my expectations. I think the way the author has built up her character is quite commendable and her back story helped me sympathize with her. Nora’s friends each have their own back stories (which I am hoping will be explored more in the coming installments) and unique sets of personalities. But what they all have in common is their helping nature. I loved the relationship dynamics portrayed between them. The plot of the book turned out to be more interesting than my initial expectations. For a mystery buff, there were very few surprises for me in the book, but the author has certainly tried to put in quite a few twists and turns.

A good first impression of the first book in the series and I would certainly love to continue reading them as and when they release.

Still scanning the park square, Nora wondered where the trolley passengers had gone. The lodge’s green trolley was parked in its usual place, but no lodge guests strolled the sidewalks or meandered from the row of quaint shops on Bath Street to the Pink Lady Grill or the Gingerbread House.
            Just then, a flash of red caught Nora’s eye and she groaned inwardly as a tall, shapely woman passed in front of the bookshop window. The woman yanked the door open, ignoring the riotous clanging of the sleigh bells, and settled into the closest chair like a queen awaiting the adulation of her subjects. Her pouty lips curved into a cat-with-the-cream grin. “Consider your next bibliotherapy session canceled.”
            “Hello to you too, Estella.” Nora picked up the stray paperbacks a customer had left on the table next to Estella’s chair. “I assume you’re referring to the man I met on the park bench. Why isn’t he coming? Did you scare him off?”
            “Me?” Estella pretended to be affronted, but Nora wasn’t falling for the act. “I didn’t even get a chance to meet him. I was up at the lodge wasting my time on a man I thought had some potential, but he’s already making payments to an ex-wife and needs to send three kids to college. There’d be nothing left for me.” She waved a manicured hand in dismissal.
            Nora was itching to reshelve the books and check on the coffee. Though she didn’t dislike Estella, she was rarely at ease in her company.
            Recalling the strange sensation she’d experienced as the second train whistle blew, Nora felt an inexplicable prickle of dread. She jerked a thumb toward the window. “Where is everyone?”
            Estella’s grin returned. “At the train station. They’ve been drawn there like flies to sugar. The sheriff rolled in a few seconds ago, and since he and I have never gotten along, I made myself scarce.”
            Nora, who made it a point not to look people directly in the eye, forgot her rule and gave Estella an impatient stare. “What happened? Just spit it out.”
            Crossing her arms in disappointment, Estella murmured something about no one being any fun, but eventually complied with Nora’s request. “When your man on the bench placed an order for one of Hester’s comfort scones, he asked her to box it because he was heading over here to see you. He left the bakery, box in hand, but he never made it to Miracle Books.” Estella leaned back in the chair and smoothed the skirt of her white sundress. “I’m sure he’d rather be sitting in this comfy chair than where he is now.”
            Nora knew she wasn’t going to like the answer to her question, but it had to be asked. “Which is?”
            “On the tracks,” Estella declared breathlessly. “Someone pushed him in front of the three o’clock train.”

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