Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: December 6th 2011 by BerkleyFrom the publisher:
Olivia Limoges and the Bayside Book Writers are excited about Oyster Bay's newest resident: bestselling novelist Nick Plumley, who's come to work on his next book. But when Olivia stops by Plumley's rental she finds that he's been strangled to death. Her instincts tell her that something from the past came back to haunt him, but she never expects that the investigation could spell doom for one of her dearest friends...
My thoughts: What worked so well for me, besides an extremely good mystery plot with some wonderful characters, was the emotional growth in Olivia. It's as if her formerly cold heart has been melted. Meeting the half brother and his family she didn't know existed a while ago, has really changed her. She's not the aloof loner she once was. Finding some family has done Olivia a world of good. It's made her into a very likeable and vulnerable character.
I loved the fact that the author took historical facts from WWII and wove a story around them. During WWII POW camps existed throughout North Carolina. In the author's note, Ellery tells how quickly and easily assimilated the prisoners became to the area even though the camps were very secretive and not a lot of Carolinians knew about them.
Their story comes to life as Ellery's character, Olivia, searches for a reason why the famed author, Nick Plumley, was so interested in the house her friend, Harris Williams was buying. Did Nick have ties to the house or the area? Digging into the house's past and Nick's past leads Olivia in some very interesting and exciting directions while looking for clues to Nick's murder. Even her writer's group is put on hold as Olivia conducts her investigation.
"Talk to the chief." Olivia rose and carefully shouldered the tote bag. "And forget about critiquing my chapter on Saturday. We've got more important things to do."
Harris absently put a hand to his throat. "Like staying alive."
Hmmm... ayup, that could be the tricky part!
This is one of Ellery's best books so far in my opinion. Ellery has developed her characters fully and placed them in a lovely shore setting. Another of the elements I appreciated in the story was the sense of place; Ellery has the beach setting feel down to perfection. Elley Adams, pen name of J.B. Stanley is one of my favorite cozy writers and has been for years with her supper club series but this latest Books by the Bay series is outdoing the supper club. The first book, Killer Plot, set in Oyster Bay was good, but this one tops that by a mile. Well done, Ellery! I can't wait for # 4, Written in Stone. 4****
For more about the author, you can visit her at her website or FB page.
Due to the ever so generous Berkley, I am able to offer a giveaway of one copy of this book. Open to US only with the deadline to enter being Dec 28th at 5 PM (est). Bonus entries are as follows:
+2 for being a follower, old or new. Just remind me how you follow and under what name.
+3 for blogging (sidebar is fine) or tweeting about the giveaway. Leave me a link, please.
If you cannot comment you can still enter by sending me an e mail with Win The Last Word in the subject line. Include your name and e mail and send to florida982002[at]yahoo.com
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Berkley in exchange for my honest opinion.