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Retro Reading: A Deadly Cliche' by Ellery Adams

Second installment in the Books by the Bay series

Second installment in the Books by the Bay series

Hurricane Ophelia Should Have Blown This Out To Sea

Seriously, I had high hopes for A Deadly Cliché the second installment in Ellery Adams' series Books by the Bay Mysteries.

The story begins with Olivia Limoges and her poodle, Captain Haviland on their daily walk along the beach. As we were introduced in the first installment, she takes a Bounty Hunter with her hoping to find little trinkets. Instead, this day she came across a decomposing dead naked man buried in the sand. The body had a bucket over its head and I do give Adams credit here for describing the scene. It was pretty impressionable.

While the story unfolds, the residents of Oyster Bay are preparing for Hurricane Ophelia. At first it seems like it won't pose a threat but in the days leading to it hitting land the storm is upgraded with many residents leaving town. Olivia and the dog are staying put in her beach house so she's prepared.

Before the storm hits, she meets up with her fellow writing group member Laurel Hobbs and tells her that the local paper is looking for a reporter and she wants the job, but doesn't know how she's going to impress the editor. Olivia suggests writing about the rash of burglaries that's been hitting the town (and the surrounding area). Laurel loves the idea, but knows that her husband won't let her raise their twins and work.

Olivia then comes up with the idea that Laurel could take cooking "classes" at her restaurant since no one likes her cooking anyway. This is an excellent way to get her out of the house and interview the victims, however, she wants Olivia to come along as moral support (and act as her photographer).

This is where I have to stop on the whole journalism issue. I've interviewed many people in my lifetime for stories and I don't think I've ever had a photographer with me. I'm pretty sure the editor makes that decision when it comes to photos.

Getting back to the third part of the story, Olivia's also received a mysterious letter demanding $1000 in cash to be sent to an anonymous post office box in another city. The letter claims that her father is still alive. Up to this point we've been told that Olivia's been orphaned since the age of 10 (her mother was killed in a hurricane and her father disappeared at sea). It was only natural that her maternal grandmother raised her where she went to the most prestigious boarding schools, etc.

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Romance also tears at her as she wants to end her casual affair with Flynn McNulty, the bookstore proprietor since she has feelings for the police chief, Sawyer Rawlings (and newest member of the writing group).

That's pretty much the story in a nutshell because most of the story centers around the burglaries with no mention of any suspects, really no information about the dead guy and for the most part all of the other action was touched upon.

Olivia is still a character I'm not fond of (although she does have a heart sometimes a little bigger than the Grinch's) but at some point through the remaining part of the series I'm hoping that I can actually sit down and it becomes a page turner.

I can only hope.

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