Ellery Adams Serves Suspense and Scones in The Vanishing Type

The Vanishing Type by Ellery Adams

The fictional town of Miracle Springs, North Carolina, is a very special place. One can visit Nora Pennington, proprietor of Miracle Books, for a bibliotherapy session. Nora recommends certain books to help her customers solve their problems. At the Gingerbread House Bakery, Hester Winthrop makes a pastry called a Comfort Scone. This custom scone can transport a person straight back to a happy memory.

Friendship, food, and a desire for justice unite the book club members in the Secret, Book, and Scone Society novels. In The Vanishing Type, the four women have coffee and Blueberry–Lemon Curd Scones to celebrate the return of peace to their community.

Blueberry-Lemon Curd Scones from The Vanishing Type by Ellery Adams
Serves: 8 servings
At the Gingerbread House Bakery, Hester Winthrop makes a pastry called a Comfort Scone. This custom scone can transport a person straight back to a happy memory.
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, frozen and cut into small pieces with a knife or grated using a box cheese grater or a food processor
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon buttermilk, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries, frozen
  • Lemon Curd Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add frozen butter, mixing with fingers until mixture is crumbly.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, ½ cup buttermilk, egg, and vanilla until well combined. Add to flour mixture and gently mix until just incorporated (Ellery Adams likes to use her hands. She rinses them in very cold water or sprays them with cooking spray first. That way, the dough won’t stick to her fingers). If your dough is too dry, add more buttermilk. If too wet, add a bit more flour. Dough will be sticky. Gently fold frozen blueberries into dough, being careful not to overmix. (The more you handle the dough, the tougher your scones will be.) Shape dough into a ball.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Use floured hands or a lightly floured rolling pin, shape dough into an 8-inch circle. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough into 8 equal-size wedges. Using a floured spatula, transfer wedges to a prepared baking sheet, placing them at least 2 inches apart.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. (If the baking sheet won’t fit in your fridge, you can chill the dough in a bowl before rolling it out).
  6. Brush scones with remaining 1 tablespoon buttermilk.
  7. Bake scones until light golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Let scones cool completely before drizzling with Lemon Curd Glaze.

Lemon Curd Glaze
Serves: 1¼ Cups
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together sugar and egg until smooth. Whisk in melted butter, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Keep whisking mixture until it thickens, approximately 15 minutes. (It will thicken more as it cools.) Let glaze cool for 20 to 25 minutes before using.


About the Book

Entertainment Weekly hails the Secret, Book, and Scone Society series by New York Times best-selling author Ellery Adams as “a love letter to reading,” and in this fifth installment of Ellery Adams’ A Secret, Book, and Scone Society novels,  a bookshop owner, bibliotherapist, and occasional sleuth Nora Pennington must enlist the help of her brilliant, brassy librarian friend Bobbie to unravel the connection between The Scarlet Letter, an obscure 19th-century writer, and a dead hiker.

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.

The Vanishing Type by Ellery AdamsABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ellery Adams has written dozens of mystery novels and can’t imagine spending a day away from the keyboard. Ms. Adams, a native New Yorker, has had a lifelong love affair with stories, food, rescue animals, and large bodies of water. When not working on her next novel, she reads, bakes, gardens, spoils her three cats, and rearranges her bookshelves. She lives with her husband and two children (aka the Trolls) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For more information and a list of bibliotherapy titles, please visit elleryadamsmysteries.com.  


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