Maple-Oatmeal Bread for The Vanishing Type

Here’s the latest TLC Book Tour stop for The Vanishing Type by Ellery Adams.

You can see all my TLC reviews here.

About the book:

Publisher: Kensington Cozies (April 26, 2022)

Hardcover: 304 pages

Entertainment Weekly hails the Secret, Book, and Scone Society series by New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams as “a love letter to reading,” and in this fifth installment, 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. . .

About the author:

New York Times bestseller author, Ellery Adams, has written over thirty 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 bakes, gardens, spoils her three cats, and wastes far too much time on Pinterest. She lives with her husband and two children (aka the Trolls) in central North Carolina.


What I thought…

Even though I rated this book a three on GoodReads, I still love Nora and her life of books.

I’ve had more honest satisfaction and happiness collecting books than anything else I’ve ever done in life.
—Peter Ruber, The Last Bookman

This quote (along with many other great literary gems) begins one of the chapters.  I want to get this quote framed for my overflowing library.

I love Nora’s knowledge of books and her whole take on bibliotherapy.  She’s a “compassionate purveyor of books.”  Her vast knowledge is reinforced by the literary quote that accompanies each chapter.  First of all, these are just great quotes but they also help the plot along.

I read the first book in this series The Secret, Book and Scone Society back in 2020; it was a Cook the Books selection for NovemberHere’s my review of that book (and some lemon scones).  The Vanishing Type is the fifth book in the series but Adams puts enough supporting details in that I don’t think I was too lost.   I definitely did need the character background from the first book, however.

Nora has had some hard knocks in life (like the rest of her “society”) but her business and her books keep her going.

It was when she was feeling her worst that a book would come along to remind her that she was perfectly fine.  As long as she kept learning and growing as a human being, she was exactly where she was meant to be, doing exactly what she was meant to do. (64-65).

Adams creates the perfect little community (even with all the murders and mayhem).  I want to visit all the little businesses in Miracle Springs, the bakery, the bookshop, the renovated theater….  I still love the town of Miracle Springs and it seems even more eclectic and quaint (and totally inclusive).

While I thought the mystery with the book angle was inventive I sometimes felt like it was a  bit of a reach and maybe just a bit too convoluted.  There was a lot going on.  Sometimes the dialogue was a bit too contrived, too.

The food:

When one of the member’s of the Secret, Book and Scone Society owns the town bakery, you know there’s going to be a lot of good food.  The members also like to nosh and imbibe during their “meetings.”  Here’s what I spotted.

  • hot chocolate w/whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles (1)
  • coffee w/a shot or whiskey (6)
  • Champagne (7)
  • Cheesy Chicken Casserole and green salad (8)
  • Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Salted Shortbread Crust (8)
  • Nutella (16)
  • Pizza (19)
  • Salad and grilled chicken (25)
  • Milk Duds, Sno-Caps, Reese’s Pieces (26)
  • Double-fudge Brownies (29)
  • Cider Donuts (38)
  • Book Pocket Pastry (48)
  • Maple Oatmeal Bread (49)
  • Apple & Fig, Apple & Currant, and Apple-Cherry Pies (50)
  • Salami Sandwich (57)
  • Jambalaya (74)
  • Duckling Gets a Cookie cake (79)
  • Black Cherry Martini (88)
  • Charcuterie Board (119)
  • Chicken and Lime Tortilla Soup and honey-drizzled corn bread (173)
  • malai kofta curry, chana saag, and vegtable vindaloow (200)
  • Chicken salad (204)
  • Breakfast quiche and cucumber salad (205)
  • Italian Breakfast Cookies (259)
  • Lemon scone with blueberry glaze (278)

With so many options, what should I make?  I thought about the cheesy chicken casserole, but I have a similar recipe to post soon for a cookbook review.   The Chocolate Hazelnut Tart was also a possibility but I have made something similar and I really did not want to just go back to the archives for this post.  And, the cherry martini sounded interesting but I vowed not to do another cocktail for a quick post.  So, instead I went with the maple-oatmeal bread.     (But the Italian Breakfast Cookies were a close second.)

Maple-Oatmeal Bread

From King Arthur (with a few minor changes)

This is a great bread for breakfast toast but it’s also great for turkey sandwiches.


  • 3/4 c plus 2 T. hot water
  • 1/2 c.  old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 c. real maple syrup
  • 1/2 t. maple flavor
  • 4 T. butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 t. instant yeast
  • more oatmeal for sprinkling


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water, oats, maple syrup, maple flavor, butter, salt, and cinnamon.  Stir together.  (Mixture will cool as you stir.
  2. Add the flour and yeast.  Attach dough hook and knead (about 7-10 minutes).
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl  or large (8-cup) measuring cup, cover the bowl or cup with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 60 to 90 minutes. It should become very puffy, and just about double in bulk.
  4. Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8″ log. Place it in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan. Cover the pan, and set the loaf aside to rise till it’s crowned about 1″ over the rim of the pan, about 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350° F.
  5. Gently brush the top of the risen loaf with water, and sprinkle with a bit of oatmeal.
  6. Bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes.  If you feel the bread is getting too brown, tent with foil for the remainder of the baking time. The interior of the fully baked loaf should read 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.
  7. Remove the bread from the oven, and after 5 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Allow it to cool fully before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 10 (ish) mins.

Cook time: 35-55 mins.

Total time: 65 mins.

This bread smells delicious baking and is perfect warm from the oven with just a pat of butter.

Please check out what others thought:

Wednesday, June 1st: @literannie

Thursday, June 2nd: @milesofpages

Thursday, June 2nd: Laura’s Reviews and @laurasreviews_1

Monday, June 6th: @createexploreread

Tuesday, June 7th: @cmtloveswineandbooks

Wednesday, June 8th: @bibliovino

Thursday, June 9th: @bookstasamm

Friday, June 10th: @robyn_reads1

Monday, June 13th: @that.bookmom

Wednesday, June 15th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Friday, June 17th: @kristens.reading.nook

Monday, June 20th: @abookwormwithwine

Wednesday, June 22nd: @groundedinreads

Thursday, June 23rd: Kahakai Kitchen

Friday, June 24th: @just_another_mother_with_books

Friday, June 24th: @thebookishalix

Monday, June 27th: @the.caffeinated.reader

Thursday, June 30th: Eliot’s Eats

TBD: Thursday, June 16th: @readingwithmrsleaf


I do like Adams’ delivery even if I felt the mystery was a little convoluted this go ’round.  I’ll leave you with this tidbit:

A person’s library is like a fingerprint.  The books on their shelves are a collection of memories and wishes.  They’re as unique as a snowflake. (68)

What does your library say about you?


Also linking up with Foodies Read.

5 comments to Maple-Oatmeal Bread for The Vanishing Type