The Secret, Book, & Scone Society and The Whispered Word

The Secret, Book, & Scone Society and The Whispered Word
Ellery Adams, 2017, 2018

Premise: Nora loves her bookshop, but doesn't really have many friends until a customer turns up dead.

I have been really into series and cozy mysteries in the last few years, so when this one caught my eye I decided to try it out. The description I got really emphasized that the books are about a group of female friends, and that sounded like something I was in the mood for. Unfortunately, that wasn't really what I got. 

Instead, these are fairly by-the-numbers cozies, with their wacky minor characters and their main character with a crush on someone in law enforcement. The group of friends (the society in the title) become close in the first book because they're all interested in a murder in their town and they're all women with some sort of secret in their past. So they decide to fast-forward their bonding by spilling their backstories one after the other like they're playing an awkward drinking game. And then they're besties forever! I guess?

None of the women get much development except the main character, so it's lacking that group friendship angle I was hoping for. I tried the second book in the series to see if it would be better now that the setup was done, but that just focused even more on Nora's maybe-romance. 

The mystery plots were fine, nothing exceptional. Sometimes people acted entirely nonsensically, which isn't that uncommon in this subgenre. It's sort of the literary equivalent of a middle-of-the-road sitcom - if you don't have anything else to do, it's enjoyable enough, but why would you seek it out over something else?

2 Stars - Okay Books

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