Strangers flock to Miracle Springs hoping the natural hot springs, five-star cuisine, and renowned spa can cure their ills. If none of that works, they often find their way to Miracle Books, where, over a fresh-baked “comfort” scone, they exchange their stories with owner Nora Pennington in return for a carefully chosen book. That’s Nora’s special talent—prescribing the perfect novel to ease a person’s deepest pain. So when a visiting businessman reaches out for guidance, Nora knows exactly how to help. But before he can keep their appointment, he’s found dead on the train tracks . . .
Stunned, Nora forms the Secret, Book, and Scone Society, a group of damaged souls yearning to earn redemption by helping others. To join, members must divulge their darkest secret—the terrible truth that brought each of them to Miracle Springs in the first place. Now, determined to uncover the truth behind the businessman’s demise, the women meet in Nora’s cozy bookstore. And as they untangle a web of corruption, they also discover their own courage, purpose, and a sisterhood that will carry them through every challenge—proving it’s never too late to turn the page and start over . . .
When Nora Pennington came to Miracle Springs, she was looking for a place to hide as well as a fresh start. Her past is her own and it is a guilt and shame that she may never get over, but Miracle Springs has, at least, helped her find some measure of peace. Though she owns a book shop and constantly interacts with the public, Nora mostly keeps to herself lest her past become public knowledge.
In addition to owning a bookshop, Nora also has a knack for knowing exactly which books a person needs to help them heal. Her insight was gained through a horrifying experience, but she and her little shop have become known for her abilities. Nora isn’t the only one in Miracle Springs with a gift, or a secret and it is because of secrets and couple nasty murders that Nora begins to come out of self-imposed shell and really begin to trust and make good and true friends.
On the morning of the first murder, Nora was all set to work with a troubled man and help him find the healing he had come to Miracle Springs seeking. Unfortunately, before she could meet with the man, he is pushed in front of a train and killed. As one thing leads to another, Nora finds herself surrounded by three women, June, Estelle, and Hester, all of whom have a vested interest in finding the answers to the mystery of the dead man. Each of the women has her own secret, her own reason for generally keeping to herself, but the shared goal of solving a mystery brings them together in a most unexpected way.
For the women to even consider working together in such a dangerous way, they have to trust one another, and trust isn’t something that comes easy to any of them. In a moment of bravery, Nora suggests that if they are to work together and trust one another, they are going to have to share their stories. Each woman’s story is truly tragic, but as they grow closer, each feels comfortable enough to share and to commit a few minor crimes in the name of justice 😊 As the plot unfolds, the four women are shocked at what they discover and know that it is going to take all the courage and trust they can possibly muster to bring the culprits to justice.
The Bottom Line: What an excellent start to a new-to-me series and author! I found this book to be fascinating in both the mystery and friendship aspects. The mystery is twisty and turny, but just right for the cozy mystery genre and the friendship among the four women is beautiful. I really do like broken soul stories and this book has four such souls who are each unknowingly looking for the other to help them heal and move forward with their lives. Each of the four women is a unique character and voice that adds her own spice and flavor to the overall story. Above all else, this is a story about friendship, acceptance, trust, and love that is brought to you by four fierce women looking to grow and become stronger and that is certainly accomplished through their friendship. Add in the bonus of a fine mystery and one has the recipe for a fine read.