Getting Hit in the Head Would Have Been Less Painful
I'm not sure why I continue to torture myself, but I thought that Ellery Adams' Written in Stone would have been the turning point in the Books by the Bay Mystery series.
As the fourth installment begins, Olivia Limoges is summoned to appear before the witch of Oyster Bay, Munin Cooper. Many people in the town have heard of her but have never seen the woman. Maybe that's because she lives deep in the swamp.
Olivia's not sure why she's being called to appear before Munin, but she decides to go and see what this is all about. Munin tells her that she knew her mother and foretells of an impending death. Little does Olivia know that Munin is about to be murdered, and she's given a handmade memory jug with all types of trinkets imbedded in the clay.
Not only does Olivia not believe in this hocus pocus, she's also busy preparing to be a judge at the Coastal Carolina Food Festival. Her newest restaurant has a booth in the festival and wants to make sure that everything is perfect.
Going for free publicity, she agrees to let a film crew shoot at her other restaurant where Chef Michel is having a conniption fit that his sous-chef, Willis, has attracted the attention of the director. The director wants to do a sidebar interview with him since he is a member of The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.
After performing at the food fest, Willis is talking with Olivia when he suddenly starts to have problems breathing after having a clove cigarette. His sister, Talley, is onstage performing and soon Willis passes out and well, that's the death Munin foresaw.
Later Olivia and the book writers learn that Willis and Talley will become multi-millionaires since they sold their land to make way for a casino. Someone's now after Talley so that she can't collect her money and it's up to the amateur sleuths (along with Olivia's boyfriend Chief Sawyer Rawlings) to figure out who's behind the murders.
Per usual, Adams doesn't make the reader care about any of the characters. With this being the fourth installment I still don't like Olivia. As a barrel heiress and as rich as she is, she seems to buy her friends. Nothing seems genuine about her and all of the supporting characters are just as boring.
There are always too many characters to keep up with, but, on the plus side, Adams does use elements from past novels in order to move the story "forward" as it were. I'm also confused since the last installment took place around Labor Day and its summer again.
I'm just glad this is behind me and I can move on-well after the next installment I can.