We had the great good fortune of having some extended “family” spend most of the last two weeks with us. While not technically part of our family, they are what I would consider part of the family you make, which often happens if you move around the country or if your children get particularly close to other children as they get involved in school and other activities.
That latter is how we came to know this family. The dad was best friends with our son from elementary school until our son died from cancer at age seventeen. His wife is new to us, but equally important as it feels as if she is somewhat of a daughter-in-law, although we did try not to overwhelm her as in-laws can do from time to time. They brought their adorable 9 month old son on this visit, which added so much to the visit I can’t even begin to describe it.
It was so special to sit and reminisce about the early days when the two boys were virtually inseparable. An added bonus was meeting the new best friend for our “almost” son. He is both charming and entertaining, and we feel blessed to have expanded our circle of friend/family even more.
While they were visiting, I continued my habit of getting up before anyone else in the house and indulging my reading habit for a quiet hour or so. It was interesting that the book I was reading happened to be The Book of Candlelight by Ellery Adams. which has a strong family and ancestry running through the story. It’s a well plotted cozy mystery with a story of family history and ancestry running through it which was enhanced because our house was full of family while I was reading. If you’re looking for a new series, I can recommend this one. Here’s my review for this one, which is the third in the series.
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.
Our extended family have all gone now, and we’re back to a more regular routine, which also has it’s positive aspects. I finished the book and was satisfied with the outcome of both the mystery and the family’s path for the future. All in all, a positive result for here at the end of the year. Hope the same is happening for you. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading.