From the back of the book: While walking her poodle, Olivia Limoges discovers a dead body buried in the sand. Could it be connected to the bizarre burglaries plaguing Oyster Bay, North Carolina? The Bayside Book Writers prick up ther ears and pick up their pens to get the story...
The thieves have a distinct MO. At every crime scene, they set up odd tabeleaus: a stick of butter with a knife through it, dolls with silver spoons in their mouths, a deck of cards with a missing queen. Olivia realizes each setup represents a cliche.
Who better to decode the cliche clues than the Bayside Book Writers group, especially since their newest memer is Police Chief Rawlings? As the investigation proceeds, Olivia is surprised to find herself falling for the widowed policeman. But an even greater surprise is in store. Her father ---lost at sea thirty years ago---may still be alive....
Nothing against any of the other cozy/amateur sleuth mysteries I've read this year (or even last year), but this is the best one I've read in a really long while. I have my favorites, yes, but I was completely taken by surprise at how much I enjoyed reading this second in the Books by the Bay series. I started reading it when I saw a post on Cozy Chicks blog on 3 Mar by Ellery Adams about rewarding readers/reviewers of cozies, especially the Cozy Chick author cozies. The first ten would win some DEADLY CLICHE schtuff and I immediately set KING OF PLAGUES: Joe Ledger #3 - Jonathan Maberry aside as my bedside book (I know, not typical bedtime reading, but that's me) and picked up DEADLY CLICHE from the stack on the nightstand.
I knew I didn't stand a chance to get in on the prezzies, but once I got into the story of Olivia Limoges, both her present and past stories, I didn't care about missing out on the treat bag....I just cared about this tight, well written mystery.
Two main stories going on: the mystery of the break-ins and murders and the mystery of Olivia's father, along with how Olivia handled both mysteries.
Olivia has been used to being removed from people, handling things from behind the scenes and now she finds herself cautiously making friends as well as helping bring Oyster Bay new life with renovations and jobs.
Nothing seemed forced or made to happen. The mystery was well done, the scenes and dialogue not even relating to the two mysteries were smooth and a nice interlude. I cried at times towards the end of the book, sad and happy. I love when I care about the characters.
And I want a dog like Captain Haviland. He and Olivia are a good team and good for each other.
I can't wait to read the third in the series, THE LAST WORD, whenever it comes out. Thankfully, I have the first in the series, A KILLER PLOT, on the nightstand to keep me until then.
Five I want to live in Oyster Bay sparkling diamonds....