- Title: The Vanishing Type
- Author: Ellery Adams
- Where to buy: Amazon (affiliate link)
- Genre: Cozy Mystery, Magical Realism
- Would I recommend: Yes!!! Go get the entire series. Right now. Don’t wait. Best cozy mystery series ever.
While January snow falls outside in Miracle Springs, North Carolina, Nora Pennington is encouraging customers to cozy up indoors with a good book. Even though the shop and her bibliotherapy sessions keep Nora busy during the day, her nights are a little too quiet—until Deputy Andrews pulls Nora into the sci-fi section and asks her to help him plan a wedding proposal.
His bride-to-be, Hester, loves Little Women, and Nora sets to work arranging a special screening at the town’s new movie theater. But right before the deputy pops the question, Nora makes an unsettling discovery—someone has mutilated all her store’s copies of The Scarlet Letter, slicing angrily into the pages wherever Hester Prynne’s name is mentioned.
The coincidence disturbs Nora, who’s one of the few in Miracle Springs who knows that Hester gave up a baby for adoption many years ago. Her family heaped shame on her, and Hester still feels so guilty that she hasn’t even told her future husband. But when a dead man is found on a hiking trail just outside town, carrying a rare book, the members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society unearth a connection to Hester’s past. Someone is intent on bringing the past to light, and it’s not just Hester’s relationship at stake, but her life…
Happy book birthday plus a day to Ellery Adams! Y’all may remember, this book made my Can’t-Wait Wednesday list a couple of months back. And now it’s here! It’s here! And it is GLORIOUS.
Nora and Sheldon are busy planning their Blind Date Book Bash when Deputy Jasper Andrews asks Nora to help him create a special moment for him to propose to his beloved Hester. Nora comes up with a great idea – Jasper can pop the question at a special movie screening of Little Women, Hester’s favorite. But when Nora finds that the name “Hester” has been obliterated from all of Miracle Books’ copies of The Scarlet Letter, she’s concerned that Hester may be in danger. That concern only grows when she learns that the dead man found outside of town has a connection with Hester.
Y’all, this book Has. It. All. We’ve got romance with Jasper and Hester, and we also see Nora and the ever delightful Sheriff Grant McCabe growing closer. Jasper and Hester are sweet and all, but I just adore the interactions between Nora and Grant. Please, please, please let there be a wedding for them at some point in the series!
We’ve got tension. Is Hester in danger? From whom? We’ve got mystery. Who is the dead man? Why was there a rare vintage book in his coat pocket, and why do other books in that same rare series keep turning up around Miracle Springs?
And most of all, we’ve got the love of books and story and the wonderful friendships among Nora, Hester, June, and Estella. These ladies are each other’s cheering section and biggest support, and they aren’t afraid to have the hard conversations if it’s called for. Those are the kinds of friendships we could all do with more of. It would be a delight to get to join them for book club!
There are other little treats woven throughout the story. I appreciate how Nora works with Sheldon to keep him working even when his health issues are giving him trouble. When he needs time to rest and recover, she gives it to him, no fuss, no muss. When he’s feeling well and strong, there’s work for him at Miracle Books. All workplaces should be as understanding with physical or mental ailments. The vintage book angle was also fascinating, and I liked that it allowed us to see more of Nora’s dear friend Roberta. She’s an occasional character, but a fun one!
I loved this book, just as I have all the others in the series. We got a fair bit of backstory on Hester and why she’s been estranged from her family, and I enjoyed that. I like getting to know the main characters better as the series goes along. I also didn’t see the big reveal on any of the threads of the mystery coming right away. I had inklings, but I didn’t figure it all out before the end. It tickles me when a mystery can keep me at least a little bit in the dark!
This should surprise exactly no one who’s read along with me here, but I give The Vanishing Type five ginormous book-lovin’ stars. I will gladly be a part of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society for as long as Ellery Adams keeps the series alive. If you’re a lover of mystery and story and wonderful characters, run get yourself this book. Don’t wait. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley and Kensington Books. All opinions here are my own, and I don’t say nice things about books I don’t like.