"Heading toward the lighthouse keeper's cottage, Olivia felt a tightness in her chest. Something was wrong.
At the same moment she felt that sharp stab of fear. The beam of the flashlight sought out a darker patch of black in the shadow cast by the cottage.
Olivia's heart nearly stopped. She broke into a run, her legs moving with agonizing slowness over the sand..."
A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams takes us to the small coastal town of Oyster Bay, North Carolina, where the townsfolk are curious, the beaches are beautiful and everyone seems to have an interest in poetry.
Still haunted by her past, Olivia Limoges returns to her hometown of Oyster Bay with her lovingly adorable poodle, Captain Haviland. Although Olivia is considered a mystery to the locals, her family history is well known and Olivia can't seem to get past the gossip that surrounds her family. She's beautiful, wealthy and owns the local five-star restaurant in town, as well as other local properties that have left her the landlord to many of the townsfolk.
While having breakfast at a local diner, she eavesdrops on a conversation being had by a local group of community writers. After discussing her own work in progress with her friend, Dixie, a fun loving waitress on roller skates, Olivia takes a chance and speaks to the leader of the Bayside Book Writers club, the openly flamboyant Camden Ford, and makes plans for the meetings to be held weekly at the lighthouse keeper's cottage on her property.
The group seems to make an instant connection and things seem to be working out well for Olivia until Camden doesn't show for their weekly meeting on the evening they are supposed to be critiquing a chapter in his novel. With his whereabouts known to one of the members, the Bayside Book Writers go out in search of Camden in the hopes of finding out why he has decided to ditch the critique, and more importantly, why he is frequenting the trashiest bar in town.
Not only do they find Camden murdered in the alley behind the bar, they find a haiku poem left with his body. Being familiar with such things, the Bayside Book Writers team up with local law enforcement (sort of), and set out to find the reasons and person(s) responsible for Camden's death. The possibilities seem endless when the Bayside Book Writers discover, individually and collectively, that Camden's novel surrounds the private life of the high-powered Talbot family and that the Talbot family is working very hard to secure a massive piece of property in Oyster Bay. Soon the town of Oyster Bay is besieged with fear when another body is found with a haiku poem and both Olivia and Captain Haviland are being warned to stop their investigation.
That's right; I said Olivia and her poodle, Captain Haviland, are warned to stop their investigation.
A Killer Plot by Ellery Adams is another cozy mystery with a steady pace and lovable characters living in a setting that will leave you breathless. What I loved most about the book was the inside look at the struggles and frustrations writers apparently have while writing novels. Watching this group of writers work together to help everyone succeed in their goals reminded me of my twitter family; a group of authors that I love dearly. It also made me thankful that they have each other to rely on for support and instruction.
Oh, and I also fell in love with Captain Haviland. Captain Haviland is one smart pooch!
A Killer Plot is the first book in the Books By The Bay Mystery series. I will be reviewing the second book in the series, A Deadly Cliché, later this week.
Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia.