The Secret, Book & Scone Society – Book Review

“The books in her shop weren’t merely things. They were gifts wrapped in imagination, inspiration, excitement, pain, and heartache. Gifts given by thousands of writers. Gifts just waiting to be opened.”

I have no idea how The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams came to me! I found it on my Kindle which means that at some point I must have purchased it…but I don’t remember doing so! Am I glad that this book showed up in my to be reads? Well…

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Book cover of The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams. The cover features books and scones on a table with book cases in the background.

The Secret, Book & Scone Society – Book Review

  • Author: Ellery Adams
  • Published: October 31, 2017
  • Type: Fiction
  • Genre: Mystery, Cozy Mystery, Women’s Friendships
  • I read it on Kindle
  • This is the first book in a series

My Thoughts About The Secret, Book, and Scone Society

The Secret, Book, & Scone Society by Ellery Adams is the first book that I have ever read that could fall into the genre of cozy mystery. In fact, I rarely read mysteries at all of either the cozy or the scary variety. It is also the first book I have ever read by this this author.

The book is set in the fictitious town of Miracle Springs in the mountains of North Carolina. The Great Smoky Mountains are one of my favorite places in the world so this immediately appealed to me. Miracle Springs is known for it’s healing springs and spa. In fact, you will find the theme of “healing” throughout the book.

I loved Miracle Springs and, except for the murder, I found myself wishing it were real so that I could go there. Mostly, I found myself drawn to the town because I wanted to visit Miracle Books. The main character, Nora Pennington, owns this bookstore. She is a burn victim and a loner who has a knack for picking out the perfect book for her patrons. Her selections specifically address their needs and ease their pains.

This is Nora’s ever so slightly “magical” gift. I loved the idea that the right choice of books read in the right order could soothe a soul and heal a heart.

Hester, another member of The Secret, Book, and Scone Society, has a similar gift. She is the owner of the local bakery and has the ability to create a “comfort scone” for her customers after meeting and speaking with them for just a minute. These scones are always a different flavor specifically tailored for the individual. They bring a warm and comforting memory to the person who eats them. The author’s description of her scones along with the spices and ingredients will make your mouth water. Ellery Adams is very good at describing food!

These subtle “magical” moments were one of my favorite parts of the book. You see, I preferred books with out and out magic when I was younger such as Edgar Eager’s Half Magic, or E. Nesbit’s, Five Children and It. And as an adult I love books such as Like Water for Chocolate and, of course, Harry Potter.

But don’t worry if that is not your thing. The Secret, Book, and Scone Society is definitely not magical realism! I just enjoyed the very subtle touch of magic that Ellery Adams brings to a couple of the characters.

As I don’t typically enjoy mysteries I was surprised to find myself turning the pages quickly while reading this book. But here’s the thing – this is not just a murder mystery it is also a book about the friendship between four very different, flawed women and I’m a sucker for books about female friendships.

The basic story – without giving away any spoilers is this: One day a gentleman comes by Nora’s book store to request some books, but before he can return to pick them up he is found dead. This is big news in a small town and so the story and the society begin. Nora meets three other women who decide to work together to solve the small town’s mystery, thus is born The Secret, Book, and Scone Society. Each of these four women is a book lover. Each is damaged. Each is lonely. Each has a secret that they must reveal to one another in order to gain trust.

Their stories are woven through the book and the women become the best of friends who are there to help and encourage one another. I will point out that some of the secrets revealed by the women were often heavy and sad. This is an easy read, but not necessarily as light as you might expect.

In addition to mystery and intrigue and sleuthing talk, you will find a plethora of literary quotes scattered throughout and book talk between the women. I loved the way they would describe their ideal man using male characters from books. Avid readers will love this aspect. You could create an excellent “to be read” list just from the books mentioned in the The Secret, Book, and Scone Society.

Ok, so what didn’t I like?

Well, mostly the cozy mystery part! I enjoyed reading about the women’s lives more than reading about their attempts to solve the murder. I will mention that if you are looking for armchair sleuths you won’t find that here. These women are in the thick of things which makes the story line a little less cozy than some readers might prefer.

One other thing that I thought hit a false note was the fact that the only black character in the book was older and worked more menial jobs while the three white characters all owned their own businesses. I don’t know, it felt a little stereotypical to me. Perhaps they all could have been business owners.


If you already love cozy mysteries – I think you will love this book! If this is not your genre but you are a book lover or a sucker for books about friendship then you will still really enjoy this book. I’m tempted to read the next book in the series…If you have read it let me know if you think I will like it!

Official Blurb From Good Reads:

From New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams comes the first in an intriguing new series set within a quirky small-town club where the key to happiness, friendship—or solving a murder—can all be found within the pages of the right book . . .

Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a place of healing. Strangers flock here hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone from the Gingerbread House bakery, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain and lighten their heaviest burden.

When a visiting businessman reaches out to Nora for guidance, she knows exactly which novels will help. But before he can keep their appointment at Miracle Books, he’s found dead on the train tracks.

Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to gain trust and earn redemption by helping others. To join the society, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cramped and cozy bookstore to share stories and trade support. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .

The small mountain town of Bryson City, North Carolina which reminds me of what the fictitious town of Miracle Springs in the book, The Secret, Book & Scone Society might have looked like!

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