I have loved all the books in this series but this one is the best so far and brings to light the authors amazing growth as a writer. Ellery Adams takes a little snippet of North Carolina history, unknown to most people, and masterfully weaves a mystery featuring the characters we have gotten to know and love right into that history making it relevant today. It is absolutely brilliant.
The way the mystery unfolds surprised me but it just flowed so naturally it couldnt have played out any other way.
Ellery writes books I really get caught up in, yes to use my tagline, I escape effortlessly into her stories, like I am actually smelling the ocean, feeling the wind and hearing the ocean waves hitting the beach. I used to think it was because the best vacation our family ever had was a week spent at Caswell Beach, North Carolina, several years ago so I already had a picture of this seaside town in my mind, but reading this book I realized it was the authors words taking me there, not some old memory. In fact if we ever returned I wouldnt be surprised to find someone just like Olivia treasure hunting along the beach will her canine friend by her side.
It is always the right time of year to take a mini vacation to Oyster Bay. I promise you will enjoy every minute of your trip.
I have so many good things to say about this series that I'm not sure where to start! I strongly suggest you start with the 1st book & read them in order to get the most from this series. The characters are very believable...including Olivia's dog, Captian Haviland. The mysteries are great & I love the sidebar romance angles too...it gives the characters more depth. What sets this series apart from others I've read is The Bayside Book Writers group aspect. At each meeting, they critique a chapter from one of the members' books. What I love about this series is that you, too, get to read some of the chapter that they'll be critiquing at their next meeting. One member is writing a romance novel whereas another is writing a science fiction novel...and so on. It's almost like reading several books at the same time!!! I just finished reading the third book in this series & I'm counting the days until the 4th book is released!!
First Line: "All houses have secrets."
Olivia Limoges has hired her half-brother and his wife to manage her newest restaurant in Oyster Bay, North Carolina. Opening day is just a few days away, last minute details are piling up, and the last thing she needs is to be drawn into a flap over a famous author moving to town. But drawn in she is when the author seems to be very interested in the house that friend and fellow Books by the Bay Writers group member Harris Williams is determined to buy.
At first it seems that bestselling author Nick Plumley is merely interested in the house and its history because of the new book he's writing. But when he turns up dead, Olivia has to think that there's more to his interest than meets the eye. And if Plumley was interested in the house, does that mean that new homeowner Harris is in danger with a killer on the loose?
Of all the cozy mystery series that I read, this is one of my very favorites. The character of Olivia Limoges just grabs me by the heart and takes off running. Aside from some superficial differences like money, looks, and age, I could almost believe that Olivia is based upon me because so many of our emotional reactions to people and things are the same. From Olivia's feeling like an outsider to her reaction to children to her judging people based on their reactions to her dog, I "get" this woman, and once I'm this emotionally involved in a book it's almost impossible for me not to devour it as quickly as possible.
Yes, the plot is an interesting one, and I loved the tie-in with the actual World War II prisoner of war camp in nearby New Bern. Adams' sense of misdirection was marvelous, and I was kept guessing clear through to the end. But as any connoisseur of cozies knows, it's not the plot that keeps us coming back for more, it's the cast of characters. The spirit of friendship and support that flows through Olivia and her writers group is wonderful, and although each member has flaws, none is from Central Casting. There's no requisite busybody, femme fatale, or bumbling police officer amongst them, and each character gets his or her moment to shine and to develop. What an absolute treat!
In the mood for a cozy that not only will keep you guessing but will give you several new fictional friends? I heartily recommend Ellery Adams' Books by the Bay series.