Sunday, February 23, 2014

A KILLER PLOT by Ellery Adams

Publisher:  Berkley
Published:   June 1, 2010
Genre:   Cozy Mystery
Book format:  Paperback
Obtained via:  Publisher   
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina


As a young child, after the death of her parents, Olivia Limoges was spirited away from Oyster Bay, North Carolina.  Now she has returned and is a rather wealthy woman.  She owns several pieces of prime property in town and owns a successful five-star restaurant.  For the most part Olivia keeps to herself and prefers her standard poodle, Havilland for company.  Despite having her own eatery Olivia patronizes the rest of the town’s businesses, especially Grumpy’s Diner.  While she is there one morning one of the members of a local writer’s group approaches her and invites her to join.  Since she’s been struggling with her own book she agrees to join the group.  She goes a step further and offers one of her properties, a lighthouse cottage, to the group to meet.  Before the group can begin their week’s critiques Camden Ford, the very person who invited her to join, turns up dead.  Horrified and saddened Olivia is at a loss as to who would kill such a sweet man.  What makes the death even stranger is a Haiku is found by his body. 

Not long after another visitor to the community is found dead and he too has a Haiku left near his body.  Two men who are worlds apart, unknown to each other, both dead mere days apart from each other.  Can Olivia find the killer before a third victim is found?

There were parts of Ellery Adams’ A KILLER PLOT that I really enjoyed and parts that I found myself shaking my head.  I adored Olivia’s dog, Havilland.  While he was at time amorthropized, I kinda like a dog who smiles.  I liked how his innate intelligence came out in the story. 

Dixie, one of the owners of Grumpy’s was a hoot.  I wasn’t sure why she was always in roller-skates, even outside her waitressing, but there was such great energy about her.  Sheriff Rawlings was a wonderful, solid character. 

The town of Oyster Bay has much to recommend it.  With its quaint shops and variety of restaurants and entertainments it has something for everyone.  I wouldn’t mind having some of the dishes served a Olivia’s restaurant, The Boot Top.

I didn’t much care for Olivia parking in the handicapped parking places and at times is seemed as if she thought she could buy her way into anything.  Conversely, she did care very much about her town.

No reason was given why she returned to Oyster Bay or how she came into her money.  They might be revealed in a future story along with a well done mystery behind them.

The book had what have become the usual clichés – the gay couple, the differently abled person, the put upon young mother with children who are just too cute for words.  The only missing was an interracial couple but they may turn up in a future book.  There’s nothing wrong with including these elements but they seem to be put in as a way to gain readership rather than something to move the story along.

Still, the whole plot line of using the Haiku was refreshing to read.  Very novel idea!  And the reason behind the murders kept me guessing until the very end.  I plan on continuing the series just to see what comes next.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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