Happy Book Release Day! Cut to the Chaise by Karen Rose Smith, The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams, The Body in the Attic by Judi Lynn, The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis, Eggs on Ice by Laura Childs, How to Knit a Murder by Sally Goldenbaum and Violet Tendencies by Kate Dyer-Seeley are some of the new books out today. I will be sharing my review of each book soon.
The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams is the second A Secret, Book and Scone Society Novel. Nora Pennington owns Miracle Books in Miracle Springs, North Carolina. A thin young woman with a hospital bracelet on her wrist, bruises on her body and in ill-fitting clothes was found hiding in the store after closing, and she later falls asleep on a mound of bubble wrap in the back room. Abilene (doubt it is her real name) is keeping her secrets to herself. Nora, Hester, Estella and June offer Abilene a place to live, work and assure her that they are willing to listen. The four women are making and delivering kindness tote bags to those in need and their first stop is Amanda Frye. Unfortunately, Amanda is no longer in need because they find her floating in the algae filled pond near her home. It appears to be a suicide, but Nora has her doubts. Virtual Genie is the new shop in town run by Griffin Kinsley and his associate, Tamara Beacham. They buy peoples belongings for cash which is just what some people need during the current economic downturn. When rumors begin to circulate about Virtual Genie, Nora finds herself looking into their business practices. Nora soon finds clues that link her three mysteries. Nora needs Abilene to open up so she can fill in the missing blanks. When a second person is found dead, Nora and her friends must work quickly to identify the killer before he strikes again.
The Whispered Word can be read as a standalone if you have not picked up The Secret, Book and Scone Society. Everything a reader needs to know about Nora and her friends is included (but you are missing out on a good cozy mystery). I thought The Whispered Word was well-written. My attention was captured right away and was held throughout the book. The pacing is gentle as the story unfolds and picks up near the ends. The story is rich in details that allowed me to visualize the scenes. I like Nora who operates Miracle Books in an old train station and lives in a tiny home constructed from a train caboose. I like how the four women have grown since The Secret, Book and Scone Society. They have shared their secrets and it has drawn them closer together. Their friendship will be tested, though, in The Whispered Word when Nora pressures Abilene for answers and one of the ladies feels protective. The mystery is complex and multilayered. It is woven masterfully throughout the story with twists that will surprise readers (I always love a good twist). I like how Nora’s one finger tingles at just the right moment. The Whispered Word is not a light cozy mystery. It deals with some disturbing issues, but the author addresses them carefully and respectfully. I was surprised at how Nora approached Abilene with her questions. Knowing that Abilene has suffered, I thought she could have handled it differently (a gentler approach). There is also some foul language. Nora’s romance with Jedediah Craig is progressing nicely. He cares for her and wants to protect her. While I do not feel that Jedediah is the right man for Nora, it is a step forward for her. I would like to see Nora end up with Sheriff Grant McCabe. I am giving The Whispered Word 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). The Whispered Word contains humor, romance, secrets, good characters, a charming small town, mysteries, book recommendations, and delectable baked goods.