It’s the season, for both kindness and, maybe, a little magic. Sure, we get all caught up in the rush of the season, although this year the rush may be a bit muted as we deal with COVID-19. Still, there are magical stories around if you look for them that will warm your heart.
One such story, not really mine to tell, is about a family who were in substantial need on Christmas Eve. Friends stepped up and provided the means to help; but that was only half the battle. They then needed help procuring an item and getting it into their home.
How likely was that to happen, on Christmas Eve when people are wrapped up in their own family plans, or preparations, or last minute errands. Then again, maybe the help came in part because it was Christmas Eve. That alone doesn’t make it particularly memorable. Many of us have friends who would step up and help us out in a pinch. No, this becomes a memorable Christmas Eve story because a man they didn’t know added the unexpected gift. With no delivery available, this man, a stranger to them, stepped up to offer his truck and his brawn for transportation and delivery. Two hours later, when he finished his shift, he made the delivery and then was off. Why? It was just kindness for the sake of being kind.
Maybe we could all do with a little bit of that right now. What are our talents? How can we put them to use to brighten someone’s day? I read a book recently about a group of women who have banded together in a similar way. Sure, what brought them together was that each of them had a secret. What keeps them together, in addition to solving the occasional murder (yes, it’s another of my favorite mysteries), is their unique talents. Each of them has one and they use them to help people who are in need or in pain in their community. Interested in knowing more? Let me recommend the book Ink and Shadows by Ellery Adams. Here’s an abbreviated review of the book.
I absolutely loved this book. It was like reading a well-crafted, beautifully plotted mystery that is swirled through both a love of books and an appreciation for what kindness and caring toward others, particularly those who are lonely or in pain, can accomplish. This is an excellent continuation of a series that stands out in the cozy genre.
In this book, the primary mystery has to do with two newcomers to the town of Miracle Springs, Celeste and her daughter, Bren. Celeste has opened a new store that features products designed to aid in relaxation. Nora,, the proprietor of the local bookshop and creator of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society pays a visit to the shop and happily welcomes them to town. She and the other women of the society plan a more in-depth welcome, however before are able to really make their welcome known, Celeste’s and Nora’s shop are targeted by a group of women who object to them as threatening family values. As things escalate, Brin is murdered and Nora becomes determined to learn if it is related to this new protest group or something from Brin and Celeste’s past.
Things get much worse before they get better. There is a second murder, Nora and her steady beau hit a rough patch, and Nora feels the awakening of an interest in the sheriff. The investigation also has the sheriff involving a book expert from out of town who turns out to be a close friend from Nora’s former life, a life Nora left without warning when she suffered her own tragedy. Where would having this old and dear friend suddenly re-enter Nora’s life lead and would she understand why Nora ran away, would she be able to forgive Nora for all her perceived sins?
For a more in-depth review of this book follow the link below. My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for making this advance copy available for review. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. https://www.mysteryandsuspense.com/review-ink-and-shadows/