Genre cozy mystery
When Olivia Limoges and other Oyster Bay patrons of the arts sponsor a retreat for famous storytellers, one of them is going to have a very unhappy ending...
Olivia thought gathering some of the most renowned storytellers in one place would be a nice, simple way for herself and the Bayside Book Writers to appreciate their talents. But things take a dark turn when the most famous storyteller in the nation - the captivating performer Violetta Devereaux - announces onstage that she will meet her end in Oyster Bay.
When Violetta is discovered murdered after the show, everyone involved with the retreat becomes a suspect. There are rumors that Violetta, who grew up in extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, possessed an invaluable treasure. Now Chief Rawlings and the Bayside Book Writers must work at a frenzied pace to solve the crime before someone closes the book on them.
Good news for the Bayside Book Writers, Millay has finished her book and has found a literary agent who wants to represent her! She is the first of them to take that step, and of course that has to be celebrated. But something is wrong, as she did not share the good news with her boyfriend Harris first. And Olivia just knows that Millay has fallen out of love with him, and doesn’t know how to break up with Harris. After all, he took a bullet for her, he is a local hero. But Harris knows of course that something is wrong between them, even though he is still very much in love with Millay, he knows it is just not enough. So perhaps he should take that job offer and move to Texas for half a year. Some distance between them might be just the thing they both need.
Olivia herself is in a slump with her own book, it has grown boring, and she does not know how to save her heroine. So when Laurel comes up with a solution, to listen to one of the most famous story tellers in the country, who can certainly give them all some new inspiration, she agrees to her ex-boyfriend’s proposition to help fund the retreat he is organizing with the library.
Olivia’s friend Dixie is also excited that the storytellers are coming to Oyster Bay. She has a cousin, who has been in and out of prison, and now he has a job working for Violetta Devereaux, and he seems to be walking the straight and narrow. Her husband Grumpy is really not happy with the fact that Lowell is staying with them, but Dixie is firm about it: he is family.
Violetta was going to be real famous according to Lowell’s mother, as a professor was going to write a book about her and Appalachian folktales. But he died a few months ago. An accident according to the authorities, but Lowell was there, and what he saw scared the tar out of him. He saw the professor being pushed down the cliffs by a ghost.
Then the night of Violetta´s performance is there, and Olivia and the other Bay Side Writers have front row seats. And with just a few words, Violetta completely captivates the audience with her old Appalachian folk tales, and some of her own. But she also predicts that she will die here, and that prediction comes true. To the horror of Olivia, who finds her, and for Laurell who wanted an interview with her. With so many strangers in town, who hated her enough to kill her? Was it one of the other story tellers, or someone she knew when she lived her hard life in the mountains? Someone Olivia knows perhaps?
Chief Rawlings has nothing really to go on, and he actually asks Olivia and the other writers for help. Millay has an excellent position as a bartender to overhear the storytellers, and Harris will be able to dig up more information about Violetta and her past. And Olivia and Havilland will do whatever Olivia can think of.
This series is one of my favourite cozy mysteries. Ellery Adams has such a way with words, I feel myself an eyewitness in the story. I like the fact that the main character, Olivia Limoges, is in her early forties, and has no intention of getting married and have children of her own. She is perfectly content to spoil her half brother’s children. She values her independence, and is having a good relationship with Chief Rawlings, the local police chief. But he is pushing for more …
I also love how Olivia does not hesitate to take action against people driving recklessly or littering or such things. This is not the first time in the series that she does that. She really sees Oyster Bay as her town, hers to protect and help. Like the son of the Captain who provides her restaurants with fish and shellfish.
First, I love to witness the growth in character and personal life for all the main players in this series, but especially Olivia. And second, the mystery is always that surprising, I would not figure it out. Violetta is not the only death in this book though and I wonder how this will continue as Ellery leaves us with some important changes in Olivia´s life.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian