Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Secret, Book, & Scone Society #3

The Book of Candlelight

Rate this book
In the new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel from New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams, the rain in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, has been relentless—and a flood of trouble is about to be unleashed . . .

As the owner of Miracle Books, Nora Pennington figures all the wet weather this spring is at least good for business. The local inns are packed with stranded travelers, and among them Nora finds both new customers and a new friend, the sixtysomething Sheldon, who starts helping out at the store.

Since a little rain never hurt anyone, Nora rides her bike over to the flea market one sodden day and buys a bowl from Danny, a Cherokee potter. It’ll make a great present for Nora’s EMT boyfriend, but the next day, a little rain turns into a lot of rain, and the Miracle River overflows it banks. Amid the wreckage of a collapsed footbridge, a body lies within the churning water.

Nora and the sheriff both doubt the ruling of accidental drowning, and Nora decides it’s time for the Secret, Book, and Scone Society to spring into action. When another body turns up, it becomes clearer that Danny’s death can’t be blamed on a natural disaster. A crucial clue may lie within the stone walls of the Inn of Mist and Roses: a diary, over a century old and spattered with candle wax, that leads Nora and her friends through a maze of intrigue—and onto the trail of a murderer . . .

294 pages, Hardcover

First published January 28, 2020

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Ellery Adams

60 books3,938 followers
USA Today and New York Times bestseller author Ellery Adams has written over forty novels and can’t imagine spending a day away from the keyboard. Ms. Adams, a Native New Yorker, has had a lifelong love affair with stories, food, rescue animals, and large bodies of water. When not working on her next novel, she bakes, gardens, drinks vats of coffee, spoils her three cats, and searches for snacks. She lives with her husband and two children (aka the Trolls) in North Carolina.

Ellery's Series Include: Secret, Book, & Scone Society (Kensington) Book Retreat Mysteries (Kensington) Books By the Bay Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries ((Berkley Prime Crime), Molly Appleby Antiques & Collectibles Mysteries (Beyond the Page), and Hope Street Mysteries (Beyond the Page).

For more information, please visit www.elleryadamsmysteries.com

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
3,194 (39%)
4 stars
3,527 (43%)
3 stars
1,291 (15%)
2 stars
114 (1%)
1 star
23 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 941 reviews
Profile Image for Dawn Michelle.
2,249 reviews
January 13, 2020

I have book hangover.

This is, hands down, my favorite "new" series. I knew from the first book that this was going to be a special series and that feeling grew with book 2, but this book has cemented just how amazing and special this series truly is. While classified a cozy mystery, this for me, is what I call a "borderline cozy" or a more "adult" cozy - it delves into adult themes, adult issues, secrets [and the damage they can and do cause] and more. The books do not shy away from anything and at times, what is going on around the 4 women in these books is almost as, if not more than, important than the murders itself. And these books do what few books have done for me as of late - it makes me want to have a circle of friends like Nora has. What these women have in this book is what many of us dream of - women who love and support and care for us [and vice versa] with no questions [or very few] asked and with so much caring and tenderness. Even a snarky old introvert such as myself craves this. I don't need a huge circle [which is good because I am down to 1 and should she ever take a hike I will be lost], but to have several good, caring people? That is the dream. And that is also what makes these books so appealing - the idea that people ARE caring, WILL work together, DO love each other in spite of the spots, warts and bad tempers. These books give us hope.

I like the respect that these women have for each other, for those they know, and for the local police. They truly don't try to solve mysteries - stuff just happens. And Nora is quick to pass the info on to the police chief [and who doesn't hope that they get together? Don't get me wrong, I like Jed. Think he's a great guy. But he is not for Nora. At all. ] and she does try to walk away.

I like Sheldon. A lot. I was a bit discomfited at how quickly Nora trusted him and brought him into the circle [and still am to be honest. I like Sheldon a lot and think he is a great character, but it was just so uncharacteristic of Nora, that that part felt so off-centering. I am just not 100% sure about that part], but I do like the addition of him and I L O V E that the author is delving into someone who has a chronic pain issue and how that makes it nearly impossible to work a job that doesn't have some leeway. I love how Sheldon is very real about his illness and how cranky he is when he is "down" [and that all felt so very familiar]. It went on to reinforce just how real these books feel - much more than most cozies. To quote my Mom; "It is nice to have a cozy that isn't just so silly". And that is it exactly.

This was a good [and very sad] mystery. I had the "who" figured out before the end, but not the total "why" and so the reveal was very good. And sad. Geesh. The history of this country continues to haunt us and we MUST learn from our past. That is absolutely shown there.

I certainly hope that there are more of these books - I just love the time I spend with these women.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,036 reviews1,500 followers
January 20, 2020
The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams is the third book in the cozy Secret, Book, & Scone Society series. Each book of this series will contain it’s own mystery that is solved so they can each be read as a standalone or in any order. However, those that follow from the beginning will notice some character development carries over from book to book.

The Secret, Book, & Scone Society mystery series takes place in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, a small town that is known to be a place of healing. Not only is there a natural hot springs and renowned spa available but many of the shopkeepers in town have their own signature way of healing visitors. Nora Pennington is one of those shopkeepers being the owner of Miracle Books where she considers herself a bit of a bibliotherapist being able to talk with a customer and sense which book would help them with their own problems.

Now in The Book of Candlelight the town has been dealing with a storm that just doesn’t want to leave giving them a lot of flooding. As Nora is making her way around town and through the storms she passes by Miracle River and sees what looks to be a body by the footbridge. After the law arrives Nora discovers she knows the victim, Danny, a Cherokee potter Nora had just made a purchase from so Nora can’t help but bring her Secret, Book, & Scone Society ladies the news and have them help her figure out who could have done such a thing to Danny.

Having read this series from the beginning what immediately stood out to me as a reader was the fact the author has to be an avid reader herself with making Nora a bibliotherapist with her own knowledge of so many different books which makes it fun to see them all mentioned. Then, the next unique thing was all of the characters have their own flaws and pasts that have put them together in this healing town making this one quite the touching and emotional story. Add in a solid mystery and it’s a nice combination.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Sahitya.
1,003 reviews200 followers
December 12, 2019
This is only the third book in the series, but I already want it to continue forever. So, it’s obvious that I have been highly anticipating this book since I came to know the release date, and have since been stalking Netgalley for the ARC. I was ecstatic when I got approved and I knew I had to read it immediately.

This is the kind of book where I know what I’m going to get and that’s exactly why I read it. The writing is fast paced and things keep happening all the time, the mystery is actually pretty interesting and I couldn’t guess anything at all, and it has the beautiful setting of Miracle Springs. I’ve probably mentioned it before on the blog, but the main character’s bookstore called Miracle Books is my favorite fictional bookstore ever and I would give anything to just go and spend a whole day there. Whenever I read this series, I always wish it was a real place. The author creates this soothing atmosphere which is full of books, knickknacks, book lovers and just overall friendly people - so it just feels nice to be back in this world. This time around though, the author managed to show a bit more of the gloomy side of the town and how bad weather can wreak havoc on the lives of the people, and I felt that she captured everyone’s frustrations very well.

This series has one of my most supportive group of women I’ve ever met and I loved being back with them. Everyone is dealing with their own problems, which even leads to some tensions between them - but when tragedy strikes, they are always there for each other. Even all the men in the book, including the sheriff and his deputies are wonderful and I just love it that we have an ensemble cast who are so nice to be around with.

There are also a new group of characters introduced, so it’s natural that some of them end up being suspects but I thought they were all written very well, with clear motivations and backstories. My favorite though would have to be Sheldon, who becomes this instant grandfatherly figure helping out Nora at the bookstore and advising the others too. The changes that he brought to the Miracle Books window displays felt magical (I’m really trying not to spoil them) and I really hope he becomes a permanent fixture in the series going forward.

To conclude, I just want to say that if you love the cozy mystery genre, you can’t miss this series. It has a beautiful small town setting, a wonderful bookstore you’ll wish were real, lots of talk about baked goods that’ll make you hungry, an amazing group of women and an interesting mystery - and last but not the least, lots and lots of book recommendations. The MC calls herself a bibliotherapist, and this book(series) is exactly that for a cold and gloomy winter day.
Profile Image for Chatting About Cozies.
1,116 reviews48 followers
January 15, 2020
Rain, rain, go away. Springtime in Miracle Springs, North Carolina brings flooding rains and a death to solve for the four spirited amateur sleuths who call themselves the Secret, Book, and Scone Society. Author Ellery Adams expertly pens the third story of this series, and I was enthralled from beginning to end.

Protagonist, Nora Pennington, bookshop owner and bibliotherapist has gathered a close group of women around her—June, Hester, and Estella. Each woman shares their special gift of service to others and are inspiring to each other.

Native American folklore plays an intricate role in this plot, especially the red cardinal believed to bring messages from the spirit world. Clues are tucked into practically every chapter keeping the pace lively and the characters busy trying to solve not one, but two murders.

The history mentioned is interesting and blends seamlessly with the murder mystery. New character, Sheldon, is sure to become a favorite for fans of this series. There are shocking scenes, tender scenes, sad scenes, happy scenes, and humor appears in the dialogue. I realized who the murderer was shortly before the author reveal and explanation of motive. The Book of Candlelight is everything this book lover hopes for in a cozy mystery. I highly recommend the Secret, Book, and Scone Society series to mystery fans! NOTE: Contains a bit of bad language.

I honestly reviewed a galley arc provided by Kensington Publishing. Thank you.
Profile Image for Lisa Morin.
1,650 reviews44 followers
December 11, 2019
I stayed up reading this book late into the night. Every time I read a book by this author, I’m transported to a time and a place that seems perfect right at that moment. All the ladies in the society have their own personal stories, have overcome their own tragedies, yet leave a place in their heart to help others.
Nora, owner of miracle books, is still dealing with her own personal demons, yet becomes involved in a mystery that will take the reader back in time.
Her best friends, Estella, June and Hester, the other ladies in their unique society, are quick to become involved, knowing that they could put themselves in harm’s way.
The Book of Candlelight will make you laugh and cry, it will make you angry and sad, but most of all it will make you hopeful.
It will show you how friendship can get you through the toughest times and how new friends can be the best medicine.
Each time I pick up a book by the wonderful Ms. Adams, by the end of the story, I find myself striving to be a better person.
It doesn’t matter what genre of book you prefer, it will touch your heart in the most unexpected ways.
Profile Image for ABookwormWithWine.
1,347 reviews484 followers
July 4, 2022
The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams is the third installment of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society series and is one of my favorite books of the series so far (as of this review there are 5 out). As per usual, Nora takes it upon herself to investigate a local murder alongside her fellow society members, and she ends up finding a lot out about the town's history specifically a certain building and the people who lived there. I like how Adams can take someone who isn't in the previous books and make them the focus of the story, and that is exactly what she did with Danny's murder. The parts where the members visit his wife broke my heart a little each time, and once again Adams managed to have me in tears by the time the book ended.

I love the tenacity of Nora's character, and that she is such a strong female lead along with her friends. They are all the epitome of what I like to see in female characters, and with each book, we get to learn a little bit more about each of them. I loved how the story took a fun turn with the Inn of Mist and Roses which was recently purchased by Lou and Patty who are in the midst of renovating it. I also thought it was helpful that Adams not only included a list of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society members in the beginning but people at the inn as well. This isn't a long list, but it can be helpful to look back at if you need to. There is a lot going on in the story and way more than I could ever list here, but there was never a dull moment that is for sure. Adams does a great job rehashing a bit of what has come in the prior books to make it so the reader isn't necessarily missing anything, but I still highly recommend reading this fun series in order to get the full effect. If you are a fan of cozy mysteries, all things bookish, and stories with a bit of a romance angle, The Book of Candlelight is for you!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Annu.
196 reviews31 followers
March 27, 2021
Well, what a follow-up!! This was even better than the previous installment. I love how Nora and her friends share stories during their book club meeting its so realistic. Just how me and my friends swap stories between us. And Sheldon was such a good addition to this story, loved his idea of how he renovated the bookstore!!. There was a lot of spooky moments in the book and the way it was all tied up in the end was really awesome. Estella cracks me up 😂😂 towards the end, I literally had happy tears. I have to get to the next book ASAP, I can't stay away from these women for too long.
Profile Image for Gail C..
348 reviews
December 19, 2019
This is the third book in the Secret, Book, & Scone Society series by Ellery Adams. The series features four friends, Nora, the owner of a bookstore who specializes in “bibliotherapy” which involves her finding boos that will offer some comfort and possible guidance to an individual who is struggling. She isn’t a trained specialist, and her work involves more intuition than trained psychological ideas. Nora also is the primary character of the book, with strong contributions by the other members of the Society; Hester, an extraordinary baker who can bake “comfort scones that can help a person find healing for a variety of aches, June, who knits comfort socks which she infuses with scents designed to help heal specific problems, and Estella, owner of the local beauty parlor who is dedicated to helping women look and feel their best. The society came into being when these four women realized they each had a secret in their past. They shared their secrets and became a support group for each other. In addition, they started dropping off anonymous comfort gifts to people who were hurting in some way.
In this book, Nora encounters a talented potter, Cherokee Danny, who is later murdered. Because of the pottery she purchased and the relationship she witnessed between the potter and his wife, Nora feels a strong pull to learn more about who killed him and why. Her investigation encompasses two new acquaintances, best friends who have purchased the local Inn and are restoring it into a B&B. As her investigation continues, she discovers the theme of a red bird running through places and things she encounters. The red bird, or cardinal, she learns is of particular significance to Danny’s family and then she finds the same bird painted on a wall in the B&B, connecting it to Danny, although she doesn’t know how.
A side mystery is the appearance of a man in a dirty white t-shirt who Nora sees standing in the rain. June has also seen him, in the rain, and both of them think he wishes them harm. While they report him to the sheriff’s office, nothing can be done as he hasn’t broken any laws. Still, Nora and June believe he is dangerous to them.
Throughout the book, there are references that give a sense of “otherworldly” to the book. Nora has a missing finger which “tingles” when something is dangerous. There is a smell of roses often as they encounter objects and information relating to the original owner of the B&B, “Rose”. These references are enough to give a slight atmosphere of supernatural, but not so much as to be invasive or cause the reader to have to suspend their reality in reading the story.
While the mystery is well plotted and there is a twist at the end, I knew early on identity of the guilty. Still, it was enjoyable to read to the end of the book to confirm my belief and learn how the final reveal would be accomplished.
There are strong themes of family and the importance of family throughout the book, and this adds substance as well as interest to the story. Personal relationships that were begun in earlier books expand, although if this is our first read in the series there is enough information to follow along without feeling lost. The mystery is complete within this novel and does not require a reader to have the previous books in the series to follow the story, however reading the series in order is recommended as it provides the reader to increase their acquaintance with the recurring characters. For readers who enjoy series, this is one I would recommend.
My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Digital Reader copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
Profile Image for Bobbie Kirkland.
580 reviews11 followers
December 10, 2019
I received a free copy of THE BOOK OF CANDLELIGHT (Book 3 of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society Series) by Ellery Adams in exchange for an honest review. It’s raining, it’s pouring, and Nora Pennington’s book & coffee shop business is booming. Nora finds herself so busy that her book, shelf enhancer, and coffee supplies are running low. When Nora ventures through the foul weather to the local flea market to restock her supply of whatnots, she purchases a pottery bowl from “Cherokee Danny” and his young wife. The following day, Nora discovers Danny’s battered corpse amongst the churning flood debris in the swollen local river. Feeling compassion for Danny’s young widow and questioning the circumstances surrounding Danny’s death, Nora persistently works to find answers both for herself and for Danny’s wife. The wet weather and Nora’s need for a shop assistant brings Nora several new friends from the Mist of Roses Inn. As Nora gets better acquainted with her new friends, Nora develops a new worry; her investigation into the murder indicates her new friends may be involved. Meanwhile, someone is terrorizing Nora and her other friends, and one member of the Secret, Book, & Scone Society is struggling to keep her business above water.

I liked this book and enjoy this series. The theme of secrets persists. I recommend this book to fans of the series, to fans of Ellery Adams, and to fans of cozy mysteries featuring resort towns, small business owners, secrets, books, and small kindnesses.

#TheBookofCandlelight #NetGalley
Profile Image for Kristin.
650 reviews8 followers
December 4, 2019
Wow! Read this in one day. Impossible to put down. Loved, loved, loved this story!
Profile Image for LORI CASWELL.
2,349 reviews269 followers
February 15, 2020
Dollycas’s Thoughts

Secret, Book, and Scone Society Members

Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, tries to heal people woes with a unique set of books she personally selects for them.

Hester runs the Gingerbread House bakery. Customers tell her a little bit about their lives and what brought them to Miracle Springs. Then she bakes them up a “comfort scone”.

June works at the hot springs spa where people come to rejuvenate themselves.

Estella is a beautician who tries to help her clients find their true selves.

The rain keeps falling in Miracle Springs and it is putting a damper on everything, but customers are searching for refuge in the shops, like Miracle Books.

Nora tries to keep up with her errands but the weather sure isn’t conducive to someone with only a bicycle to get her around. I really have to give Nora props through. She dons her rain gear and heads to the local flea market to purchase shelf enhancers. The current crush of buyers is clearing them as well as books from her shelves. There she meets Cherokee Danny, a phenomenal potter and snaps up a bowl that will make a fine present for her boyfriend. She also fills her backpack with a few shelf enhancers too. Sadly she takes a tumble on the way home and the bowl gets chipped. She heads back to the flea market the next day but the potter is absent. On her way home, she travels near a footbridge that has collapsed due to the heavy rains. She peers over the side and finds the missing potter among the footbridge wreckage.

Accident or murder? The Secret, Book, and Scone Society decides to find out. When another body is found there is no doubt the deaths are connected and definitely not accidental. Then an interesting clue is found in a surprising place and the Society steps up their game to solve the mystery before any more bodies spring up.

____

The woman of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society all have their own strengths and come together not only to support each other but to help others too. Ms. Adams has given these women so much depth while allowing the room to grow not only within the book but over the series. They are flawed and realistic. Their friendship and compassion are things to envy. Readers, like me, quickly get invested in their lives and cheer and hope their trials can be conquered. The way they take on trying to find a killer at that same time just shows all the strengths.

I do have to mention a new character, Sheldon Silverstein Vega. He just kinda popped up in this story and stole my heart. He has his own trials, rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia, but he is a jovial man and a perfect addition to this series. I hope we see much more of him in future stories.

In The Book of Candlelight, Native American lore plays a huge part and part of that folklore has become part of my everyday life not knowing where it originated. Cardinals have always been my favorite bird and that is quite evident to anyone looking around our home. I have collected prints, plates, figurines, magnets, etc. my entire adult life. We even had a live pair nest in a tree in the backyard of one of our homes and we have always put out seed to welcome them to our yard wherever that may be. When my son died I was told that the red cardinal is believed to bring messages from our loved one in the spirit world, so I always watch for them. Now I know that belief came from Native American folklore.

The red bird is very important to potter, Cherokee Danny and it plays a significant part in finding his killer. The clues are placed liberally throughout the book but there are also many red herrings too. Like Nora and her friends, I was spinning my wheels for most of the story. There are many events that need to fit into a theory and it wasn’t until an important clue is revealed that things started to fall into place. I really enjoyed the way the author plotted this story in a way that kept me guessing until the very end. Her vivid descriptions really brought the people, times, and places to life.

I loved everything about The Book of Candlelight. Engaging characters and a marvelous mystery. I was anxious to get to the end to find out the guilty party but at the same time didn’t want the story to end. Even with the rain Miracle Springs, North Carolina is a fantastic place to visit.

This is the first book of 2020 to receive my Paradise Rating because I think it deserves more than 5 stars!
Profile Image for sђellΐe.
23 reviews
October 25, 2022
Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.
That is so true and this book captures this quote from Sue Monk Kidd, perfectly.
I loved the new characters and getting to know the town better! My only real problem was in word usage from time to time. Amazing how a single word, even though meaning is correct, simply does not work. With such a perfect and even flow; to be disrupted, was a distraction.
Profile Image for Lisa Leone-campbell.
413 reviews41 followers
February 7, 2020
The Book of Candlelight is the next installment of the Secret, Book & Scone Society series. Adams once again outdoes herself with a great cozy mystery and a subplot of a group of tough women who must deal with their past mistakes, which they do by relying on each other for help.

Our heroine, Nora Pennington who owns the Miracle Books store in Miracle Springs, North Carolina finds the body of a pottery maker, Danny, a Cherokee. Although the death has been classified as accidental, Nora does not think it was. Danny was found near a rock with a painted red bird, a symbol Danny always used on the bottom of his pottery. His wife Marie has no idea why he was at the spot he died.

Meanwhile, with a new inn opening up in town, and a new friend, Sheldon, who has offered to assist Nora at the store, and the Secret, Book & Scone Society seeming to be targeted by someone who has vandalized their property, the town, which has been deluged by rain for weeks, seems a bit unsettled.

The new owner of the Inn of Mist and Roses, Lou and her best friend Pat discover while doing renovations a mysterious diary which had been hidden. Then they find a picture of a red bird on a newly located wall. Could this red bird, the bird on the stone and the one on Danny's pottery be connected? But why?

Then a second body is discovered and this one was no accident. The Society begins to research the diary and the birds. But could their investigating get someone else killed? Or can the strength of some tough, intelligent women take down a murderer?

One thing is for sure. What they find will change many lives in the small town of Miracle Springs.

Thank you #NetGalley #KensingtonBooks #TheBookofCandlelight #ElleryAdam for the advanced copy.
Profile Image for Amy.
946 reviews
January 11, 2020
WOW!! The Book Of Candlelight is the third book in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society by Ellery Adams. I love this series and this book is her best work. Nora and her friends are strong, flawed and relatable. They support each other. I would love to be part of their group, spend time in the town of Miracle Springs and be able to stroll through Miracle Books.
A local artist is found dead and the diary found at the Inn of Mist and Roses is needed to help Nora and her friends find the guilty person or persons.
Love Sheldon and hope he continues to be part of Miracle Springs.
A wonderful read that will not disappoint.

I received an ARC prior to publication and decided to voluntarily review it. Opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Tari.
2,052 reviews66 followers
February 3, 2020
As with the other two books in this series, I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters when it ended. But there were an awesome wrap-up and ending chapters to fill out everything that had happened. I just loved Sheldon, the new employee at Miracle Books! He reminded me of another favorite character named Sheldon only a sixty-something version of him.

I really didn't have any ideas as to who the killer was, so I just read and enjoyed the trail growing hotter as Nora and her friends slowly uncovered pieces of the puzzle. I enjoyed how she and the sheriff's office worked together to get the case solved. The side story of a mysterious man in a white t-shirt was good too. I won't say anything else about that, because it was a real surprise. I'm hoping that Sheldon continues to work at the shop. I thought he was just the perfect addition to Nora and her friends.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book provided by the publisher, and my opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Amy.
492 reviews4 followers
February 6, 2020
In this third installment of the series, the healing waters in the mountain town of Miracle Springs, North Carolina are the setting of a puzzling drowning when the body of local Native American potter known as "Cherokee Danny" is found floating in the river. Nora, the owner of the bookstore, suspects foul play and is determined to discover the truth, even if it means putting her own life at risk.

This book ties together the storyline and the characters so masterfully, like a beautiful bow on a much-anticipated present. The women who compose the society have all had their share of heartache, loss and tragedy, yet they also show such a strong resilience and bond of sisterhood because of their shared empathy. They are strong characters whose thoughts and actions aren't dictated by what others think. They care for Danny's widow and her unborn child in a way that the other villagers don't provide. While they all have their own businesses to run, they tend to attract people who aren't perfect, have endured suffering but are still willing to face life. And in walks Sheldon, a new character who is part-barista, book seller, and his warm personality is contagious. I look forward to seeing him play a stronger role helping Nora in the bookstore.

The story also includes a historical sub-plot tying together parts of Danny's family, a prominent family and the history of the Lattimer Inn. The book can be read as a standalone but helpful to read the prior books to get a sense of the characters. Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. My review is voluntary.
Profile Image for Patrizia.
1,409 reviews29 followers
August 20, 2021
Adoro questa serie e l'incredibile legame che unisce la protagonista alle sue tre amiche. La storia fila liscia anche se era impossibile, almeno secondo me, capire chi fosse il colpevole. Interessante il rapporto fra la protagonista e lo sceriffo: se lei non avesse di già un boyfriend, penserei che fra loro potrebbe nascere qualcosa, ora spero che l'autrice gli trovi una compagna perché l'uomo lo merita.
Profile Image for Sue Em.
1,132 reviews49 followers
December 22, 2019
Another winner from Ellery Adams, the third in the Secret, Book, & and Scone series. Nora Pennington runs Miracle Books and always finds the right book to help her customers and friends. But the rain, a constant rain finds her store benefits the bottom line for her bookstore, but leaves her worn out and the shelves at Miracle Books sadly depleted. While investigating the death of a potter she met at a flea market, new folks and new problems add to the confusion. You will leave this book wanting more as the joys of friendship and trust are integral to the plot, and the many books cited will balloon your TBR. I'm already waiting for the next book, I hated for it to be over. Highly recommended! Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
1,444 reviews24 followers
December 10, 2019
Nora Pennington owns the local book store, Miracle Books, and also has a small book club of close friends that call themselves the Secret Book & Scone Society. The society members know each other’s darkest secrets and they also secretly help people in their community who need some support…oh and they help solve local murders. So it’s not any surprise that Nora asks the group to help a young widow who has lost her husband and is newly pregnant. Little did the society know that it would turn into a murder investigation as well.

I won’t recap the story as you can read what the publisher has shared. What really made an impression on me is that the author touched on several topics that we don’t often want to address, or at least not in politely company. One was a racial slur word painted on one of the women’s house. The way the author had the characters address it showed the hurt not only for the victim, but her friends and local law enforcement as well. None of them was going to just paint it over and let it go. But the one that really warmed my heart was how she addressed the chronic illness of Sheldon, a new character who has Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Having both of these condition myself, I know just how painful they can be and the characters not only showed empathy, but strove to understand how it impacts Sheldon’s day to day life. Bravo!

Ellery Adams is one of my go to authors and I never miss a new release from her. As with Sheldon, I read a few books as well, “Books push my pain into the background.” I hope Sheldon is here to stay because he gives me hope and a voice.
Profile Image for Valerie.
577 reviews6 followers
December 6, 2019
This is a really enjoyable book. I really liked the characters. The story line is really touching, whether about Danny's murder and the aftermath with his wife, the book club's support for each other or the story about Rose and the history of the inn. I enjoyed every minute of this book. #TheBookofCandlelight #NetGalley
Profile Image for Jessi Bone.
259 reviews6 followers
January 28, 2020
In the latest installment of the A Secret, Book and Scone Society novel, The Book of Candlelight Nora stumbles upon a secret that kills. Spring comes in like a lion and brings torrential rain, death, secrets, and mayhem because sometimes the past will not stay buried, and with new people, old secrets, and the new inn someone wants to be the last one standing. Nora finds a body in the river, June son comes back to punish his mother for a past she could not control, a new friend is found, Estelle business is failing and Hester is fighting for a future with Jasper against the demons of her past. The ladies have their hands full and only each other to stand and help them fight for some secrets will not stay buried.
I have had the privilege to read all three of the Society books and the relationships have gone beyond what you would expect the strong female characters for she writes them not to be in competition but a complement of each other with their strength and weaknesses and allow a real growth in the story-line and character growth. Ellery has written a group of relationships not just of romance but of friendship and companionship similar to what you see in relationships all around you. The strong characters and their each individual complex story lead an enjoyable and complex book that is far bigger than one single character and allows you to see the world of Miracle Springs through multiple lenses, not just one. This is beyond the traditional cozy mystery, it has the depth of traditional fiction and all the mystery and relationships of an Agatha Christie mystery. I felt that her latest villain definitely had read Then There Are None and thought it was a wonderful idea. You will not be disappointed by this reading I do advise to start from the beginning because it will help you understand the background of characters and Miracle Springs but if you can not help yourself you could pick it up and devour this book then grab the other two.
Profile Image for Taryn.
799 reviews19 followers
January 27, 2020
Things are dreary in Miracle Springs with all the rain that has been relentlessly falling for days in end. Nora isn't letting it get her down though because business has been great. With a lot of her filler pieces selling out its decides a trip to the flea market is in order. She loves to find just the right items to sell in her shop, things that will fit in well with all the books. She ends up buying a lovely bowl from a local potter named Danny, hoping to make it a gift to her boyfriend. While on her way to the store the next day she sees the local footbridge being washed away down stream, all the rain has caused floodwaters. Looking at the debris from the footbridge, Nora sees something among the wreckage that definitely shouldn't be there. It is a body, she soon realizes that it is Danny, the potter from the flea market. The police think it was an accident but Nora was sure it has to be murder. She gets the ladies together to discuss and come up with a plan to investigate. Finding the clues that they need to prove the death was murder aren't easy to come by and when another person is killed Nora worries that there will be more deaths to come. Will the ladies be able to come up with the truth or will a murderer get away with the killing of innocent people. I love this series!!! With each new book you truly get a feel for who each of the characters are, flaws and all. It's not just a cozy mystery but a look into the lives of each of these women and what makes them who they are. I like that each one feels like a real person, someone that you may know from your everyday life.
Profile Image for Micky Cox.
1,562 reviews16 followers
February 6, 2020
I absolutely love the characters of this series! While Nora is the main character, her close group of three friends that make up the book club with her are integral to the plot and overall feel of the story. You have 4 extremely strong women who have each endured a terrible secret and/or treatment from others and have traveled through life on their own until they found each other. The 4 women and the sidekicks that make up their individual circles, whether it be June's cats or significant others, really bring the plot to life and make you feel connected to the people involved. Each woman has an individual intuition that makes them great business owners/employees, but also excellent amateur sleuths! This was one book that I didn't have the killer pegged from the first page and that made it all the more interesting to me. I can't wait to read the next adventure that the ladies find themselves involved in!
Profile Image for ShannaBanana✨.
479 reviews28 followers
June 17, 2022
So good and hard as hell to put down. Not one mystery but two to make it even more entertaining and left you guessing at who the suspects were!
Profile Image for Mystereity Reviews.
778 reviews43 followers
February 25, 2021
This is a series that continues to grow as it goes on. I don't mean character or plot development (there's plenty of that) what I mean is each book is more intricate and surprising than the last. I was just commenting on the r/CozyMystery reddit that I thought cozy mysteries were evolving to focus more on the "feeling" of a cozy and leaving out the "mystery" part of a cozy. That is, it seems like a lot of cozy mysteries are just chick lit with a predicatble murder plot thrown in as an afterthought and to me, that's not a true cozy mystery. While Chick Lit has its place, and I'm not knocking it, I read cozy mysteries for the mystery not so much the cozy

This is probably the only series to blow that assumption out of the water. True, there's a lot of "chick lit-y" type stuff in these - women's issues, the tight bond of close girl friends and the power and strength of women. But what this series gets right is the powerful plots that dominate the story, keeping the reader in the dark until the last page. While this doesn't sound like something extraordinary, let me tell you, as someone who primarly reads cozy mysteries; it is extraordinary.

Take this book; Nora is at the flea market picking up new knickknacks to use in her book shop when she buys a bowl from a local Cherokee artisan potter named Danny. Nora is struck by the obvious love Danny and his wife share, as well as the beautiful work he creates. When Danny is found dead in an overflowing creek, Nora puts the Secret, Book and Scone Society on the case. So while putting her heart and soul into finding out who killed Danny, Nora also puts her energies into helping Danny's grieving widow, who is pregnant with their child. Along the way, Nora puts her heart to work to help a man suffering from a long-term ailment who has come to Miracle Springs in the hopes of finding healing, plus consoling and empowering her friends who are dealing with their own crises.

While it sounds like there's a lot going on, this book (and this series for that matter) does a great job of blending the lives and personalities of the women with a taut, intricate mystery and the beautiful pacing slowly winds you into the world of Miracle Springs until you find yourself unable to put it down. The end result is a wickedly complex and tangled web of a story that traps you in its pages.

The only knock I have against this book (well, it's not much of one) is

Also, I'm 3 books into this series and it wasn't until this one that I realized my "mental image" of Nora was wrong. I had her visualized as a small, skinny waif like woman with short dark hair, so I was shook when she "put her blond hair into french braids" like WHOA, seriously? So wrong.
Profile Image for Peggy R.
1,012 reviews64 followers
January 27, 2020
This is the third book in the series and I am completely hooked. Author Ellery Adams has penned what I consider to be more of a women's fiction series than a cozy mystery series. No matter what genre you consider the series, the story is a terrific read that will transport readers to Miracle Springs, and continue the journey of four amazing women as they pick up the pieces of their lives and build strong relationships and new beginnings. Nora, June, Estella, and Hester are all different women but their strong connection and friendship are at the heart of this series and these stories. Their stories seamlessly intertwine and their connection makes the story engaging, inviting the reader to sit and get to know each of them as they blossom in their new lives. There are some new characters that I hope will stay around for more books in the series because I think they add to the overall richness of the secondary cast of characters.

Unfortunately, Nora is once again pulled into a murder mystery after finding the body of a local artist whom she recently met. I love Nora's character; she has a strong sense of self and in this case a strong sense of gaining justice for this victim. There are several instances, including some vandalism and another murder and Nora tries to figure out if or how they are connected. The mystery is well done and has its roots steeped in the genealogy of a local family and an inn located in Miracle Springs. I was surprised at the identity of the suspects and liked how the author tied up the murders and acts of vandalism.

This is a terrific series and if I didn't have a day job it probably would have been a one day read for me. Whenever I pick up a book in this series I become emersed in the story and lost in the characters. Definitely a sign of a series and author I want to read. I will be back for as many more books and this author writes about these women and this town.

I voluntarily read a digital ARC provided to me by the publisher through Netgalley.
Profile Image for The Cozy Review.
499 reviews31 followers
January 15, 2020
The latest addition to what is a book lover cozy series “Secret, Book & Scone Society” by Ellery Adams and published by Kensington Books will thrill readers with its intricate design and flawless writing, and a mystery that will have them reeling.

At first, it seems like a tragic accident, but after looking at it again, Nora knows it’s murder. The question of who, and why, need to be answered. These are questions that book three in this book lover cozy needs resolved, and they are, with skill, intrigue, and excitement. Many answers to these questions reside in the past. The murder of Danny finds Nora and company drawn into a past fraught with secrets and love.

Characters in this story are lovely in mind and spirit, compassionate and honest. They draw a reader in and make us want to have them as friends and neighbors. Nora is intelligent and sensitive; she is the kind of friend we all want and need. The addition of Sheldon to the series is marvelous. He is a fantastic worker and keeps Nora on the straight and narrow. He adds humor and depth to an already impressive series. This book is a book lover cozy, meaning Nora’s book shop features prominently throughout.

The suspects are intriguing, and none seem to be overly harsh or hateful. The interactions between the female characters are heartwarming in a world where women are pitted against each other for no apparent reason. Their friendship becomes more profound and more loving. They are more like a family who truly cares about each other than just friends and neighbors.

The Book Of Candlelight is a wonderful story, and readers who enjoy cozies set mainly in a bookstore will love this new addition to the series. Even if they haven’t read any of the other books, readers will have a difficult time putting this one down.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,473 reviews3 followers
February 12, 2020
4.5 stars
This is the first book I've read in this series, but it certainly won't be the last. I love when an author can write a series with such well developed characters and a vibrant setting, that you can jump right in.  I didn't feel like I needed the previous books to connect with this town and Nora and her friends (though I definitely want to go back and read them!)  Ellery Adams has a delightful cozy writing style that sweeps you away and doesn't let go.
_
I loved the literary theme of this book.  Nora's bibliotherapy is such a delight to read about, because the description about how powerful a book can be in someone's life resonated so much with me.  I would visit Miracle Books in a heartbeat if I could.  Partly, it would also be to meet Sheldon who is such a fun and interesting character.  I love how all the characters in this book are flawed and have their own backgrounds and hurts, but are still extremely lovable, strong people.  The friendships in this book, even the brand new ones, brought tears to my eyes at certain points because they were written so well.
_
The murder absolutely surprised me.  I felt the punch in the gut that Nora must have felt when she figured it out.  What a waste of beautiful life because the murderer only cared about them-self.  The shock of finding out who was behind everything happening in town.  I just love when a mystery can surprise me like that!
_
Thank you to the publisher for a free copy of this book.  I am delighted to give my honest thoughts and cannot wait to continue this series!
Profile Image for marita lazarus.
203 reviews28 followers
December 11, 2019
Okay. Wow. Thank you Netgalley thank you thank you and thank you wonderful publishing house Kensington books

There has always been something that attracted me to the secret, book and scone society but I never committed to buying it cause with that name I thought how good can that book really be.

I just bought the book!!! This book that I received as an ARC was great. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. I love all the ladies. I love Nora and June and Hester and Estella. They are all perfectly flawed, strong, amazing women that help and support each other and their community. Their characters are amazing, Together the ladies solve mysteries - and each has their super power . I would love to meet them if they were real.

In this book Nora and the gal pals help solve the murder of Cherokee Danny and Micah and prevent another murder all while helping heal wounds and bring families together We also learn the story of rose lattimer and her descendentes She owned the inn of mist and rose. Her story is just beautiful

I so enjoyed this book and I can’t wait to read all the books in the series.

I highly recommend this series
Displaying 1 - 30 of 941 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.