Thursday, June 11, 2015
A Killer Plot
Olivia Limoges is a wealthy heiress, the richest woman in Oyster Bay, North Carolina- and happily single. She's solitary, save for her poodle Captain Haviland, and likes it that way- or so she tells herself. When she stumbles upon a writing group in the local diner, and is invited to join by a charismatic gossip columnist Camden Ford, she reluctantly agrees- and soon finds herself enjoying it. She wants nothing more than to finish her novel, and takes an immediate liking to the flamboyant Ford. So when he is found in alley with his throat cut, Olivia and the group are shocked. What's more, a haiku poem is scrawled on the wall behind him.
As Olivia and the other writers dig deeper into the circumstances of Camden's death, and the wealthy family he was doing an expose on, they find some troubling clues- and when more murders rock the little town of Oyster Bay, Olivia will need to watch her step or find herself in trouble. I read this because I loved Murder in the Mystery Suite by the same author. I don't read a lot of cozies, generally speaking, but that one grabbed me, premise and all, so after finishing it I wanted to read more of Ellery Adams. I didn't expect to like this one more, but I may have. The setting is great- Olivia leaves in a beachside house with a bank of windows facing the ocean, and likes to go for walks with her dog and her metal detector. She has personal issues that prevent her from opening up to others, so not only is she trying to solve a mystery, she is also learning how to live again, in a sense. This is where her writing group comes in- I liked all of them, the harried mother of two with a heart of gold, the computer geek with confidence issues, and the snarky bartender chick whose hair is a different color every time they meet. It was fun to read a part of their manuscripts as they got together to critique each other.
The cast and townsfolk are colorful, and the town is a neat place. I really felt a coastal vibe reading this, and Oyster Bay is a place I look forward visiting again. From the diner where every booth has a theme to The Yellow Lady, a delightful bed and breakfast, there's a lot of charm in the locations. And the food sounds delicious! The only issue I have is towards the end- all through the story it's pretty realistic, but at the end it felt like a bit of a stretch, a little implausible. In spite of that I enjoed this a great deal.