The Whispered Word

The Whispered Word

by Ellery Adams

Hardcover

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Overview

Nora Pennington and her fiction loving friends in small-town Miracle Springs, North Carolina, encounter a young woman desperately in need of a new beginning . . .
 
Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene but won’t reveal much else. And when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a suspect—or another target. After a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . .
 
“A love letter to reading, with sharp characterizations and a smart central mystery.”
Entertainment Weekly

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496712400
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 11/27/2018
Series: Secret, Book & Scone Society Series , #2
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 59,474
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ellery Adams has written over thirty mystery 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, spoils her three cats, and spends far too much time on Pinterest. She lives with her husband and two children (aka the Trolls) in Chapel Hill, NC. For more information, please visit www.elleryadamsmysteries.com.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

Hide until everybody goes home. Hide until everybody forgets about you. Hide until everybody dies.

— Yoko Ono

"That girl's got one foot in the grave."

Nora Pennington, proprietress of the only bookshop in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, glanced from her friend to the empty chair where she expected to find the pale-faced slip of a girl who'd hidden in the stacks until past closing time.

The girl wasn't there.

Recalling the hospital ID bracelet encircling the girl's bony wrist, Nora turned her attention back to her friend. "June, did she say anything to you? Or to Hester or Estella?"

June grunted. "Oh, sure. She told the three of us her whole story. Yes, ma'am. She donated a kidney to the love of her life and the surgery took place without a hitch, but when the sweethearts woke up, Miss Skinny-As-A-Broom-Handle found out that Mister Right was Mister Seriously Wrong. According to a news report, he was an escaped serial killer. No, that wasn't it." June frowned. "He ran a cult. Yeah, one of those brainwashing cults with a male leader and lots of female disciples. When our girl found out, she bolted from the hospital when the nurses weren't watching, snatched a housedress from a clothesline, and hopped a train to Miracle Springs."

Behind June, a woman issued a throaty chuckle.

"June Dixon, I believe you could write fiction if you were so inclined," said Estella Sadler in an exaggerated Southern drawl. She languidly rose from her chair and jerked a thumb toward the back of the bookstore. "Since you're perfectly capable of evicting your bubble-wrap refugee, Nora, I'm calling it a night. I don't need beauty sleep, but I'll take it all the same. Sweet dreams, ladies."

After Estella sauntered out, Nora turned to Hester Winthrop, the fourth member of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society. "Bubble-wrap refugee?" "You'll see," Hester said, picking up her handbag. "I need to get going too. The bread won't knead itself at five in the morning and I have to bake extra loaves for our Secret Kindness bags."

June shook her head. "I don't know many people who can wake up when the stars are still shining and buzz around all day like a bee on crack. But you do it. With your freckles and energy, you remind me of Pippi Longstocking."

Hester shook her head. "Estella's the redhead, not me."

"Estella's not that kind of book character," June said. "She's far more catlike. Who does she remind me of?" She looked thoughtful and then slapped her hands together. "Shere Khan. The tiger from The Jungle Book. That's Estella's literary double."

"And what book character are you?" Nora asked. Though she wanted to check on the strange girl, she was too intrigued by the conversation to move.

June put her hand over her heart. "When I worked at the nursing home, one of my favorite patients called me a Black Mary Poppins. I'm older, darker, and my hair is way curlier than Mary's, but that's what she called me."

Seeing the shock on Hester's face, June burst into laughter. "Honey, it was meant as a compliment. That lady knew how much I tried to put a little magic into the residents' lives."

Hester gestured in the direction of Nora's small stockroom. "I don't think there's been any magic in her life lately. What will you do about her, Nora? She seems ... fragile."

Nora frowned. She'd moved to Miracle Springs in search of peace and privacy. She hadn't wanted a single responsibility beyond her tiny house and her bookstore. She hadn't wanted pets or close friends. She hadn't wanted a lover. She refused to join a place of worship or participate in charity events. She didn't sponsor children's athletic teams, enter bakeoffs, or take sides in local politics. She didn't seek anyone's company.

Despite this, people sought hers.

They came looking for her. People with different backgrounds, different skin colors, and different accents. People from all over the globe brought her their stories. They all carried a burden they couldn't put down, no matter how much they wanted to be free from its weight. These weary souls came to her, the bookseller known to the locals as "the beautiful, burned woman," or "the bibliotherapist with the scars," in search of relief.

Sometimes, these people liked Nora. Sometimes, they didn't. But they all felt at home in Miracle Books. It was almost impossible not to. Walking through the bookshop was like falling in love for the very first time.

New customers would enter the store and hesitate, fearing the only offerings would be New Age titles and crystals. This was a reasonable concern in a town built upon the premise of healing, but Miracle Books had something for everyone. They just didn't always know how to find it.

Nora had never bathed in the famed mineral baths of Miracle Springs, so she couldn't tell her customers that the waters possessed restorative powers.

She believed books had the power to heal. She believed that carefully chosen words and well-crafted phrases could gift readers with the ability to let a painful past go — to turn the page and start a fresh chapter in their lives.

Because she believed that every story had something to offer, Nora's store was stuffed with books of every format and genre. The latest best-selling novels, in their glossy dust jackets, shared shelf space with dog-eared paperbacks. Other shelves held rare first editions, coveted signed editions, and antique leather-bound books. There were books in all conditions. Books for all ages. Books to satisfy every need. Every wish.

There was much to see in the warren of shelves and the cornucopia of books for sale, so Nora let her customers wander undisturbed. In fact, she encouraged them to become lost in the labyrinth of colorful spines, to pull down books and read blurbs, to touch one of the many shelf enhancers.

Nora had dubbed these knickknacks "shelf enhancers" before Miracle Books was up and running. Back when she was still assembling her initial inventory, she'd been rummaging through a box of books at the flea market when she'd come across a pair of bronze owl bookends. They weren't in perfect shape. There was minor flaking to the bronze, undoubtedly due to age. Nora liked the owls despite their flaws. Their gaze was stern and their sharp talons curled protectively over a stack of thick tomes.

"If you buy the set of Nancy Drews, I'll give you a discount on the owls," the vendor had said to Nora while overtly studying her burn scars.

Nora wasn't used to negotiating, but she knew she had to buy every book at the lowest price if she wanted her business to succeed. She turned the bookends over in her hands and thought of how much more interesting her future store would be if her shelves were enhanced by unique, vintage items. And then, she'd looked the vendor straight in the eye and started haggling.

The shelf enchancers were impulse buys for locals and visitors alike. As Nora moved deeper into the stacks, heading for the stockroom, she noticed some of her recent additions. She walked by a wooden mortar filled with crushed lavender, a marble and brass letter holder, a picture frame in pink Lucite, a Victorian child's porcelain tea set, and an art nouveau trumpet vase. Those were just the treasures in the Contemporary Romance section.

Nora rounded the corner of a bookcase crammed with pulp fiction novels and heard the loud clang of brass bells smacking wood. The bells, which had once been attached to a horse harness, now hung from a strip of leather behind Nora's front door.

The clanging sound meant that her friends had left Miracle Books.

Nora was alone with her books and the strange girl.

She found the girl curled among layers of bubble wrap and packing paper. She looked like an undernourished Goldilocks who'd passed out after partying too hard.

Nora studied the stranger in the dim light of the stockroom's single bulb. Though her slim figure and pallid skin made her seem childlike, Nora guessed that she was closer to twenty than ten.

"What am I supposed to do with you?" she murmured under her breath.

Despite Nora's intention to live an uncomplicated life in Miracle Springs, she'd recently become friends with three remarkable women. Together, they'd formed the Secret, Book, and Scone Society. In the middle of their investigation into the murder of a visiting businessman, Estella, June, and Hester had all shared their deepest secrets with Nora. And eventually, she'd entrusted them with hers — the terrible truth behind the jellyfish burn scar swimming up her right arm and the pod of bubbly octopi scars floating up her shoulder and neck to caress her cheek with their puckered tentacles.

I've already risked enough, Nora thought, staring down at the sleeping girl.

Though the investigation was over, the abrupt closure of the community bank had left Miracle Springs reeling. Dozens of people had lost their jobs. Others had been jailed. The town needed to recover. So did Nora.

Recovery meant peace and calm. Strange girls sleeping in her storeroom did not make Nora feel peaceful or calm.

She was torn.

Part of her wanted to shake the girl awake and tell her to move on.

This is a bookstore, not a hotel, she could hear herself saying.

But another part remembered how the girl had caressed the book spines when she thought no one was watching. There had been such tenderness in that touch. Such longing.

There'd been pain too.

At that moment, Nora had seen herself in the girl. Had seen her own need for stories, for escape, reflected in the girl's hungry eyes and desperate fingers.

It was this tenuous connection that had Nora striding to one of the shop's reading nooks, grabbing the throw blanket from the back of the fainting couch, and returning to the stockroom to drape the length of soft cotton over the slumbering girl.

I wish I could sleep that soundly, Nora thought.

She changed her mind almost before this thought was completed. The girl's hospital bracelet and ill-fitting clothing hinted at sleep that was anything but sound. Her sleep was probably deep because she was bone weary. It was the dreamless slumber of someone who'd been running and running until their legs couldn't carry them another step.

Nora lingered long enough to wonder why a person would run away from a hospital. But she didn't want to know the answer to that question. She didn't want to get involved. She'd give the girl food and shelter. That was all.

After writing a brief note to the sleeping stranger, Nora locked the girl in the bookstore and went home.

* * *

The next morning, Nora woke early. She hadn't slept well and her first cohesive thoughts focused on brewing and drinking plenty of strong, dark coffee.

She'd showered, run a brush through her brown hair, dressed in her typical uniform of jeans and a T-shirt, and was well into her second cup of coffee when she remembered her stockroom Goldilocks.

"Damn it," she muttered and hurriedly made a plate of food for the girl.

She walked the short distance from her tiny house, a modified railway car the townsfolk had dubbed the Caboose Cottage, and unlocked the back door to Miracle Books. Nora loved that her bookstore had once been a train station and that her home had once been a train car. The aura of adventure embedded in every board and bolt was almost tangible.

"It's me! Nora!" she called out. She didn't want to scare the girl, especially if she was still asleep.

However, the stockroom was empty.

Nora stood in the doorway and tried to understand what she was seeing. Or more accurately, what she wasn't seeing. The room had been completely altered. Every cardboard box had been flattened and lined up along one wall. There wasn't a shred of bubble wrap or packing paper in sight.

Moving through the store to the ticket agent's booth, Nora glanced around for signs of life. Had the girl used one of the hundred coffee mugs hanging from the pegboard to make herself a cup of coffee or tea? It didn't look like it.

"I have fresh bread. It's toasted and buttered," Nora said, her voice echoing through the stacks. "Hester baked it. You met her last night. She's the one with the freckles and the frizzy blond hair." Nora continued toward the checkout counter. "I also have blackberries. I picked them yesterday. And farmer's cheese. I could make you a cappuccino or a latte. Or just a plain coffee. Whatever you feel like."

By this time, Nora had reached the register. She put the plate of food on the counter and stopped to listen. The girl was here. She could feel her presence. Why was she hiding?

Nora threaded her way to the front of the store and stopped short behind the display window. Something was wrong. The display hadn't looked like this last night.

"What the —?"

Digging out the skeleton key that unlocked the front door, Nora rushed outside to view the window from the sidewalk.

What she saw was magical.

She was facing a scene created entirely of packing materials. The central figure was a woman sculpted out of clear packing tape. The female sculpture held a string fastened to a balloon bouquet made of bubble wrap. Both woman and balloons were surrounded by hundreds of origami birds fashioned from white paper. The birds swayed and spun, coaxed into subtle movement by the air exiting a nearby duct.

For a moment, Nora felt as if she were in motion. She felt as weightless as the paper birds. Like she could float. She almost glanced down, half expecting her feet to be hovering above the sidewalk.

This time, when she looked back at the window, she saw the books. Books with blue covers, and only blue covers, dangled from the ceiling. White string was wedged in their gutters, forcing the books to spread open, and creating an illusion of wings. Nora found herself moving around in an effort to read all the titles.

The girl — for she must be the creator of this masterpiece — had selected books from a variety of genres. There was The Cat in the Hat, Go Set a Watchman, Wonder, All the Light We Cannot See, The Great Gatsby, Eragon, The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion, A Brief History of Time, and a dozen more. On the bottom of the window, a series of cardboard letters spelled out the phrase, MY BLUE HEAVEN.

Nora reentered the store and found the girl standing next to the plate of food. She hadn't touched it, but was leaning so close to it that her hunger was almost palpable.

"It's beautiful." Nora gestured at the window behind her. "Did you spend all night making that?"

The girl took a long time to reply. When she finally spoke, her voice was a faint whisper, like a breeze winding through reeds. "A few hours."

"I think you've earned your breakfast," Nora said, indicating the plate. "Come on. I'll make you a coffee while you eat."

Though the girl said nothing, she picked up the plate and followed Nora to the circle of chairs near the ticket agent's booth.

Nora tapped the chalkboard menu affixed to the wall next to the ticket window and asked, "What would you like?"

The girl stepped up to the menu. Her lips moved as she murmured every word aloud.

The Ernest Hemingway — Dark Roast Louisa May Alcott — Light Roast Dante Alighieri — Decaf The Wilkie Collins — Cappuccino Jack London — Latte Agatha ChrisTEA — Earl Grey
Nora turned away, giving the girl time to make a decision. She occupied herself by searching for the perfect coffee cup for her guest.

The majority of Nora's mugs, which were purchased at yard sales or flea markets, bore book-related sayings or humorous phrases. Glancing at her collection, she decided that none of it was a good fit for this girl. She wished she had one of her handmade pottery mugs from home, especially since the girl seemed to have an affinity for blue. Nora could serve her in one of the mugs she used for children, but her Cookie Monster, Batman, Snoopy, or Harry Potter mugs didn't feel right either.

Nora selected a white mug with a donut covered in pink icing and rainbow sprinkles. The picture of the donut was flanked by the words I and care.

For the first time ever, Nora wished she owned an innocuous kitten or puppy mug.

"Anything tempt you?" she asked the girl.

"A Wilkie Collins, please. I loved his Woman in White."

Nora was impressed. She didn't run across many twenty-somethings familiar with Collins or his work.

"Me too," she said, moving behind the espresso machine. "Even more than The Moonstone, actually."

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "The Whispered Word"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Ellery Adams.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Whispered Word 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I throughly enjoyed this book and can't wait for the next one in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These+characters+have+so+much+texture+it%27s+hard+to+put+down.+books+are+transformative+and+I+can%27t+wait+for+the+next+story.
Anonymous 5 months ago
good writer and fun to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story captures every emotion- lots of surprises at the end. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fun read. The women are witty, thoughtful, and resourceful. Although they have difficult pasts, they focus on the present and work through each day. The book is light hearted but deals with serious issues. Can’t wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Inspiring, mysterious, delightful. When’s the next one?
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Wow was this a dark second installment. But at the same time, the writing style, the pacing and especially these characters is what makes this series my new favorite right now. Can't wait for the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Whispered Word is the second entry in the Secret, Book and Scone Society series. The main characters' secrets were fully described in the first book but a reader can still enjoy this one as a standalone novel. What I enjoyed most about this book were the characters and the setting. Yes, belief has to be suspended, but I would love to visit and spend time with Nora and her three closest friends. Nora's town, Miracle Springs. attracts people in need of saving and second chances. Nora owns the local bookstore and is a very astute and well-versed bookseller. There are many references to both fiction and non-fiction titles throughout the novel. Nora herself is named for the character in Ibsen's play. Just a few of the titles mentioned in the novel include The Witch of Blackbird Pond, A Doll's House, Harry Potter, One Snowy Day and a number of books on adoption and tidying up. But of course, there is more than just books in this book. Abilene comes to town and is a young girl who has had a difficult life and clearly has secrets of her own. Has she committed crimes including murder? There is also a shop, Virtual Genie that is offering to consign goods for people in the town. It looks like a fantastic service but is there more to it? You can probably answer these questions but finding out the answers is still fun. The Whispered Word is about friendship, relationships, taking risks...and solving mysteries. It is an excellent cozy. Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. I enjoyed my second visit with these characters and am eager for book three.
Chatting-About-Cozies More than 1 year ago
An excellent story! As this superb murder mystery begins to unfold, it’s completely absorbing and hard to put down. The mystery is awesome! Clue after clue is revealed until all the connections are made and readers can understand who all the players are and why they acted as they did. What captures my attention in this story (as it did in the first story) is the generosity of giving that each woman in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society cultivates. Through books, baking, knitting, etc., they all reveal their inner spirits and help each other and those they come across enduring hard situations. The cast of characters is diverse and savvy. Many emotions are experienced during the storytelling. This novel can stand alone, however, I believe it is more enjoyable if you’ve read book 1 first and are familiar with the protagonist, Nora, and the other prominent characters. I highly recommend the Secret, Book, and Scone Society cozy mystery series. Thanks to the author for a galley arc. This review is my honest opinion.
Morticia27 More than 1 year ago
My rating: 5 of 5 stars, it was fantastic! Book 2 in the series. I LOVE this series and this book was possibly even better than the first one. It's got just enough different going on from other cozy mysteries to make it stand out. The main characters, bookstore owner Nora and her friends, are well fleshed out and interesting. They each have secrets and emotions and aren't always likable or smart because of that, just like real people. I read this with a friend and co-worker that I introduced to the first book in the series, and we both spent all our breaks reading, and maybe even accidentally extended our breaks as a result, not wanting to put it down. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series! *I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by the author.*
C_Fowler More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed The Whispered Word, a book that wraps you up in a cozy blanket of friendship, compassion, food, and mystery and holds you within its spell throughout the story. It is the story of Nora, the owner of Miracle Books, who can find just the right books for a customer who may be going through a rough patch or just need a little spark in their lives. To Nora, books are healing, and her bookstore brings in lots of lost souls. She has a special bond with her friends, Estella, Hester, and June, who each have their own special talent/gift along and, like Nora have troubled pasts. Then they meet Abilene Tyler, a waif of a girl with secrets of her own, who will change both them and their town of Miracle Springs, North Carolina. This book is the second in The Secret, Book, and Scone Society series, and while it can stand alone, it makes you want to read the eponymous first book to learn more about the wonderful, yet flawed, characters of The Whispered Word. The Whispered Word is truly a lovely read. I received a copy of this book from the author. All thoughts and opinions are solely my own.
Chewie_the_Mouse More than 1 year ago
"The Whispered Word" by Ellery Adams is an absolutely wonderful second installment in one of my favorite cozy mystery series! The story is centered upon Nora, a woman with scars both physical and emotional. Nora runs a bookshop and often helps customers heal from emotional trauma by suggesting just the right mix of books. In this course of her life in this book, she encounters a mysterious visitor and (or course) murder. The mystery is well-plotted, with enough clues and information provided to the reader to keep things interesting, but never enough to make the answer obvious. Nora thinks things through and takes logical steps to solve the mystery, instead of bumbling around and occasionally coming across a clue (like so many cozy heroines are prone to do). This time around, she has the ear (and possible interest) of Detective McCabe, which makes her search for the truth somewhat easier. The book also shines in the area of characters and their relationships with one another. Nora's friendships within her inner circle are growing and strengthening, and I enjoy learning more about each woman's life and story. I especially love the way that these personal journeys are woven into the mystery plotline, and look forward to watching the friendships deepen even more as the group goes on to solve future crimes (which will undoubtedly occur in their cozy town). Nora's relationship with Jed is explored in more depth this time around, with some wonderful sweet scenes (and one implied steamy one). Honestly, I can't say enough good things about "The Whispered Word". It includes everything a cozy should (including a crew of very oddly-behaving cats), but brings so much more to the table. This is one of those rare cozy series that I would happily read without the mystery. I would enjoy simply reading more about the lives of the characters, and the daily non-murder-related happenings in Nora's business and town. Overall, five out of five slices of delectable provolone!
bookwomen37 More than 1 year ago
This is the second book in the series and it begins right where the first book ended. Nora and her friends find another body and set out to solve the murder. The stranger who showed up at Nora's bookstore has some connection to the dead woman. I did not like this book as much as the first. I have a hard time warming up the main characters, everyone is depressing. The mystery was only OK, there were not many suspects and it was easy to solve. I do like the town and the bookstore and I find the idea of a bibliotherapist interesting. The writing is good and it was a quick easy read. This series should be read in order
RobynKFLNJ More than 1 year ago
Nora and her friends have each experienced events in their lives that have made them who they are, and with each other, they find inner strength. They accept and support each other, and help their community the best way they can. I wish there really was a Miracle Springs, because I would love to visit. Nora and her friends are people I wish I knew in real life. Ellery Adams is a phenomenal author, and I could not stop reading this book. The story flowed, and I didn't want it to end. The Whispered Word is an absolute must read, and I highly recommend this book!
AnneABookReviewer More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved everything about this book. In fact, I read it without having read the 1st in the series, which I will now promptly go out and purchase. Ellery Adams is one of the most gifted writers of the genre, and this one takes it to another level!! I don't even know where to begin - the writing itself is beautiful, masterful, and poetic. The literary references abound and add layers of depth to the tale. Everything has both surface and underlying/ deeper meanings (from the characters' names to the symbols the author incorporates, not to mention the literary titles cited by the protagonist). Hidden chambers, keys, clocks, Aladdin's lamp, cats, books, and secret identities -- a gorgeous, intricately crafted tale that is a love letter to writers and book lovers alike. I could not put this down once I began reading, and am left with the sense that I saw myself in this book, as will any true lover of reading, literature, and art. This is what it is all about, the magical ways all of our stories are woven together and yet one and the same. This book is a masterpiece, one to linger over, and reflect upon with dear friends. 5 stars truly aren't enough. Ms.Adams deserves all the awards for creating this gift of a novel.
SunnyCarolinaGirl More than 1 year ago
After reading the first book in this series, The Secret, Book & Scone Society, I was enamored by the characters and the setting of Miracle Springs. I wished that this was a place that I could visit in real life. While that is not possible, I was able to visit in this second book in the series and it was just as wonderful as the first time! I was immediately drawn into the story and was reluctant to put it down. I love all the references to other books that are mentioned and the book quotes at the top of each chapter and have added many of the titles to my TBR list. Ellery Adams is a very talented writer and I can't wait for the next book in this series. You should read this book, and this series, as soon as you can! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
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. Working together they try to help people, like Abilene, a young woman that has found her way to Nora’s shop wearing a dress that is way to big for her, a hospital ID bracelet and visible bruises. The ladies try to take her under their wing by offering a job and finding her a place to stay. Abilene has secrets and she is nowhere close to being reading to share them. Nora has a feeling one of her secrets connects her to a woman found dead from an apparent suicide. There is also a new business in Miracle Springs. A business that helps customers sell their collectibles and other goods online. The grand opening had people lined up and down the street. The shop seems to be on the up and up but Nora is keeping an eye on the place. She doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the new sheriff, and she has no trouble barging into any of his investigations, especially after another body is found. As in the first book another victim of an apparent suicide until The Secret, Book, and Scone Society digs deeper. Until my son took his life I never realized how many deaths in mysteries are first categorized as probable suicides. Each time I come across this now in a book I have to pause and tell myself that 99% of the time, that is not the case and to keep reading. I don’t want to spoil anything but the woman did not take her own life. In fact, what unfolds is a well-plotted mystery that tangles around and around and around again before the real culprit becomes clear. And again, like in the first book, the wonderful core characters of The Secret, Book, and Scone Society grow and learn more about themselves in the process. I love the compassion these women have for almost everyone they meet. People in Miracle Springs are struggling due to the poor economy and immediately they try to do something to help. They have come up with a nice little idea to help some folks a bit. Also, the way they opened their hearts to a complete stranger in Abilene was so telling and heartwarming. These are flawed characters, with their own issues, yet they can set them aside for others in need. Miracle Springs sounds like a perfect place to visit. A town based on healing the body, soul, and mind. It also a perfect place to set a cozy mystery series because there is always a new batch of people coming to town. Our family’s best vacation ever was to North Carolina, days spent by the ocean had their own healing effect, so I can totally understand why Ms. Adams has chosen this locale for this story and others. Another great read from this author. It can be read all on its own too!
rokinrev More than 1 year ago
The second in The Secret Book and Scone Society series proves what we knew all along, that Ellery Adams can outdo even herself. “The Whispered Word” enables us to be in on each members’ backstory just a bit more, and helps readers to understand the depth and breadth of these four hurting people in search of trust and love as they help an even more traumatized woman running from abuse to freedom, and tripping over bodies the whole way. Ellery Adams is a gem of a writer, challenging what we know, what we think we know, and how we use that knowledge. Highly recommended. 5/5
GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
“The Whispered Word” the second book in The Secret Book and Scone Society was another winner for me. Nora happily runs Miracle Books in Miracle Springs, North Carolina and her friends Hester, June and Estella all own or run other local businesses. When they discover a sickly looking girl with bruises, wearing clothes that clearly did not belong to her and a medical I.D. bracelet hiding amongst the shelves in Miracle Books, the group quickly come to the girl’s aid. They are trying to find out more about her, when a local woman is found dead in the pond on her property. Is there a connection between this newcomer, Abilene, and the murdered woman? Although this series is a cozy mystery one, there is a lot more to it than just a mystery to solve. I love the setting of Miracle Springs. The characters in the story have all ended up in Miracle Springs looking for healing. They all have very emotional pasts with stories that have not all been told. We learn a bit more of Nora's story as well as the paramedic who is becoming special to Nora. Abilene also has a very sad past and when she finally shared it with the ladies, I had a tough time not crying along with the characters. Ellery Adams weaves a tale so realistic, you will feel like you are in Miracle Springs. Along with the healing theme of the books, I enjoyed the setting of Nora's bookstore, the customers she helped and the various references to books that I have loved. As I said at the beginning this is a cozy mystery, but it is very unique and one that I would definitely recommend. The publisher, Kensington Publishing, generously provided me with a copy of this book. The rating, opinions and ideas shared are my own.
Tehlanna More than 1 year ago
In this second installation of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society series, we meet old friends Nora, June, Hester, and Estella as they help a newcomer to Miracle Springs. Abilene enters their lives unceremoniously as she escapes a life devoid of love. Neglected and abused, she finds her way to Miracle Springs and into the perfect circle of friends who can help her heal old wounds and build a new life. With other, new strangers in town, the women find themselves in the middle of murder and intrigue once again. Fighting for themselves, their quiet town, and their new friend, they take on danger the only way they know how: grit, determination, good food, books, and a deep friendship.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I loved the first book but felt book 2 just didn't have the excitement that the first one had. I had trouble getting into the book because I felt like it was not as interesting as the first book. Ellery Adams is a fantastic author but this book just did not make the grade for me. Hopefully you will enjoy it more.
Shelly9677 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading cozy mysteries to relax and unwind. I particularly enjoy reading cozy mysteries in the autumn. I was very pleased with my most recent choice of books, “The Whispered Word.” The Secret Bone and Scone Society are a group of fiction-loving bibliophiles in Miracle Springs, NC. Nora happily runs Miracle Books and her friend Hester owns the local bakery. When they discover a frail girl with bruises and a medical I.D. bracelet stowed amongst the shelves in Miracle Books, the group quickly come to the girl’s aid. When a customer is found dead the group begin to wonder if the secretive girl has something to do with the tragedy. When another body is found they become determined to get to the bottom of the alarming and unfortunate events before someone becomes the next victim. This is a talented author. I hope there will be many more books in this series!
dnw23233DW More than 1 year ago
"Books had the power to make difficult things better. Books were magical medicine. They were a soft blanket, a cup of hot tea, and a strong hug bound between sturdy covers." Ellery Adams "The Whispered Word" 'Whispered Word' is the second book in Ellery Adams "The Secret, Book, and Scone Society" series. It does not disappoint. I love Mrs. Adams writing style. She can easily draw you into the story. It's almost as if you personally know the characters she has created. The four main characters in this series are back and ready to help a troubled young lady who has many secrets much like Nora, June, Hester, and Estella. The book highlights friendships, trust, and the love of books. And how they impact our daily lives in many ways. But, make no mistake, this is a murder mystery! With many twist and turns. Have fun reading this new addition to this wonderful series. Enjoy!!
dnw23233DW More than 1 year ago
"Books had the power to make difficult things better. Books were magical medicine. They were a soft blanket, a cup of hot tea, and a strong hug bound between sturdy covers." Ellery Adams "The Whispered Word" 'Whispered Word' is the second book in Ellery Adams "The Secret, Book, and Scone Society" series. It does not disappoint. I love Mrs. Adams writing style. She can easily draw you into the story. It's almost as if you personally know the characters she has created. The four main characters in this series are back and ready to help a troubled young lady who has many secrets much like Nora, June, Hester, and Estella. The book highlights friendships, trust, and the love of books. And how they impact our daily lives in many ways. But, make no mistake, this is a murder mystery! With many twist and turns. Have fun reading this new addition to this wonderful series. Enjoy!!
anneinaz More than 1 year ago
The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams is the second in the Secret, Book and Scone Society. It is a story about four women: Nora, Hester, June, and Estella, who live in Miracle Springs, North Carolina. Nora is a book store owns who doubles as the local bibliotherapist; Hester is a baker who owns her own bakery/coffee shop; Estella is a beautician who owns her own salon; and June works at a local spa. They have discovered their friendship through shared, but different life experiences and have given one another strength and support during their friendship. One day Nora discovers a young woman sleeping in her shop and there our story begins. This is a gently written book with good characters that continue to reveal themselves to the reader. The plot is unexpected and there are plenty of twists and turns and red herrings, all the while dealing with different personal problems. More importantly, the characters show growth. Adams treats real life issues with kindness and understanding and there will be more as this series progresses. I highly recommend The Whispered Word, it ends well. I received a free ARCC of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. #netgalley #thewhisperedword