In her sixth book in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society series, cozy mystery author Ellery Adams returns to Miracle Springs, N.C., and bookstore owner and bibliotherapist Nora Pennington. She and her friends Hester Winthrop, Estella Sadler, and June Dixon, business women who became a family of sorts several years ago when a murder drew them together, still regularly meet at Nora’s bookstore, Miracle Books, to discuss books, share their secrets, and support each other.
Nora’s life is stable ten years after the tragic incident of her own making that scarred her body and spirit. But when a desperately ill woman named Kelly and her ten-year-old son Tucker come to Miracle Springs to find respite and make amends for a past sin, Nora’s life is upended. When Kelly is murdered, Nora is horrified to learn that she is a person of interest in the case.
As Nora grapples with her new reality, she leans on her resourceful, empathetic friends and on Sheriff Grant McCabe, the love of her life. Her compassion and affection for Tucker, a neurodiverse child, intensify as she witnesses his sorrow at his mother’s death, his anxiety when other encounters go awry, his attention to detail, and his giftedness in creating origami masterpieces.
As details about how the murder unfolded come to light, Nora reflects on the ways paper can be used for good or ill: “At the outset, things made of paper seemed so fragile. They could be ruined by fire or water. They could be torn, bent, or stained. Yet paper held such power. A single sheaf could be transformed into a crane, a fortune teller, or an airplane. Decorated with words, it could tell a story, represent ownership, seduce or repel, bind or separate.”
Background to each of the books in the series is provided so readers need not have read all of them to relish Paper Cuts. Includes some offensive language. (Kensington)