Writing All Wrongs
A Books by the Bay Mystery #7
By Ellery Adams
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
After Olivia and Chief Rawlings enjoy a brief honeymoon on Palmetto Island, they’re joined by the rest of the Bayside Book Writers for the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival. The festival’s highlight is Silas Black, celebrity screenwriter and television producer, who is currently working on a popular television show in North Carolina.
As the festival gets under way, a trickster seems to be bringing famous local ghost stories to life. But when the body of a woman close to Black is found on the beach, Olivia and her friends must deduce who on the island could resort to murder—before the sands of time run out for someone else… (Goodreads)
Ellery Adams continues to impress me with her complex characters and smart mystery puzzles. Everything is right about Writing all Wrongs.
Olivia and Chief Rawlings have plans to take a belated honeymoon to Palmetto Island, NC, and then enjoy the Legends of Coastal Carolina Festival with their fellow Bayside Book Writers group. Silas Black is a writer and television producer who is headlining the festival. He is also financing the recovery of a shipwreck just off the coast. There is also a land deal in the works that has local conservationists on edge. It promises to be an action packed few days because in addition to the festival they will be “sharing the island with television people, underwater archeologists, pirate reenactors, novelists, fans of the crime genre, and [their] friends.” (page7)
Things take a strange turn when the local legends highlighted at the festival come to life and then a decidedly dangerous turn when Silas’s girlfriend Leigh turns up dead on the beach dressed as Theodosia Burr, one of the subjects of the local legends. Not only does Olivia find herself involved because she found Leigh and the local law enforcement is looking to the chief for advice, but her professor friend Emmett appears to be the prime suspect. With the help of her writer friends, they untangle a scheme tightly woven with Silas at its center.
Writing All Wrongs is the fantastic seventh entry in one of my favorite series. I really enjoy the North Carolina setting, which feels like its own character, but the finely drawn characters keep me anticipating the next installment. Ms. Adams has created a group of varied, realistic people with real problems and flaws. They have grown over the course of the series, especially Olivia, who was initially quite standoffish. I appreciate how she has overcome her troubled past and embraced her group of friends. Of course, I want Olivia and Chief to have a happy ending, but I like that they have striven to adapt to married life together and are comfortable with their own kind of normal. Also, Olivia’s struggle to accept her birth father added to the story.
The local legends are interesting in their own right, but the way they are central to the plot of the mystery made them all the more intriguing. I guessed, and second guessed, throughout the book the motivation behind Leigh’s murder and the perpetrator. The resolution was well done, and I did not see it coming until right before all was revealed. What a multifaceted ride to the end.
Writing All Wrongs will probably find a spot on my list of favorite reads of the year, and I recommend this wonderful mystery to fans of meatier cozies and the North Carolina setting.