“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!