Ellery Adams, who also publishes as J. B. Stanley and Jennifer Stanley, has published two books in the Books by the Bay series so far. I read the first last year, and honestly, I wasn’t sure about it. Nonetheless, I just picked up the second, and I liked it–really liked it.
Product Description: In the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, you’ll find plenty of characters, ne’er-do-wells, and even a few celebs trying to duck the paparazzi. But when murder joins this curious community, the Bayside Book Writers are there to get the story…
Olivia Limoges is the subject of constant gossip. Ever since she came back to town-a return as mysterious as her departure-Olivia has kept to herself, her dog, and her unfinished novel. With a little cajoling from the eminently charming writer Camden Ford, she agrees to join the Bayside Book Writers, break her writer’s block, and even make a few friends…
But when townspeople start turning up dead with haiku poems left by the bodies, anyone with a flair for language is suddenly suspect. And it’s up to Olivia to catch the killer before she meets her own surprise ending.
A Deadly Cliche (2011)
Product Description: While walking her poodle, Olivia Limoges discovers a dead body buried in the sand. Could it be connected to the bizarre burglaries plaguing Oyster Bay, North Carolina? At every crime scene, the thieves set up odd tableaus: a stick of butter with a knife through it, dolls with silver spoons in their mouths, a deck of cards with a missing queen. Olivia realizes each setup represents a cliché. And who better to decode the cliché clues than her Bayside Book Writers group?
What I don’t like: I don’t like the long passages from the books Olivia is writing and critiquing for her writer’s group; I don’t want to read partial books. I don’t like that Olivia is seen as a benevolent benefactor (when she could be seen / developed as a hard-working woman with incredible business sense). I don’t like the lack of colors (as detail; they feel missing).
What I like: I like how complicated Olivia is. I like that Olivia is friends with people she doesn’t quite understand. I like that she is attracted to someone without completely understanding why. I like that Olivia’s best friend is a dog. I like that the mysteries are not too easy to figure out. I love the ocean-side setting. I love the wrath of mother nature in the second book. I love the way the second book introduces a serious complication that can be developed in future books.
I like more than I don’t! I think you will too. Happy Reading!