Secret, Book, & Scone Society series by Ellery Adams. Released 27th Nov 2018 by Kensington, it's 224 pages and available in hardcover, paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats.
This is a comfortable cozy mystery series set in a fictitious small town in North Carolina. The town is renowned for its therapeutic healing, both physical and mental. There is a very slightly magical 'vibe' to the healing, with sort-of magical baked & knitted goods and book therapy as an integral part of the deal.
The book is sweetly written and the secret society spends a fair bit of time making anonymous gifts to distribute to sad/lonely/needy people they know. As they're delivering one of these "secret kindness tote bags" to a local woman, they discover her face down in a pond. That's the first murder. There are a few more in the course of the book.
As my late grandmother would've said, 'There's nothing here to shock a parson'... There is very mild language (a 'sh*t' and a couple of 'd*mn's). There is also some mild sexual content (straight, and consensual). All of the above are in context in the story and not gratuitous.
There is a fair bit of description integral to the plot of abuse of a child and imprisonment. I found it somewhat difficult to read in places. It's -not- specifically graphic, but it is there and it is quite distressing.
The story as presented is self contained and any necessary back story and characterizations are included in the narrative, so it works well as a standalone novel. I hadn't read the first book, and I had no trouble following the plot or keeping the characters separate.
It's a good, warm, comfortable, cozy series with a mostly female cast and a good denouement.
Four stars, recommended to fans of very lightly paranormal cozy mysteries. It would make a good book-club read and in fact, there is an included reader's question guide to help along a discussion group.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.