Today, I reached the end of a mystery series by Ellery Adams called the Books by the Bay mysteries. Killer Characters is the eighth and final book in the series. I don’t think I have ever read all the books in a cozy mystery series so wasn’t sure how an author would finish it up.
The series focuses on a group of friends in a small coastal North Carolina town. Olivia Limoges, the main character, was born in Oyster Bay but after her mother dies and her father disappears, she spends many years living with a wealthy aunt and traveling the world. She has returned to the town as a business owner and a member of the Bayside Writers Book Group. The group includes the town’s police chief, and they work together to solve the mysteries, each bringing different strengths to the problem. Olivia’s smart and obedient standard poodle Captain Haviland often plays a role as well.
I really enjoyed the series. I often vacation on the Outer Banks of North Carolina so love the setting and have been to many of the locations. Adams uses the setting to form the basis of many of the stories with plots revolving around Native American, seafaring, and Appalachian communities.
Adams has created characters that grow and change with each book. She explores their relationships within the group and with others outside the group. In Oyster Bay, she has created a rich community with few of the sometimes flat characters that can populate mysteries. Even peripheral characters have a bit of a back story.
And while I will miss it, I think Ellery Adams made the right decision. We had grown with this group of writers in Oyster Bay, NC, as far as we all could go together. It was time to let them all go. And, as she had with the whole series, Adams didn’t provide the perfect happy ending you might expect.
This was the first book in the series that I read rather than listed to as I accidentally ordered the Kindle version. I read it in a day and cried at the end and then even re-read the first chapter of the first book that was included with the digital version. Adams had created a wonderfully rich character in Olivia Limoges, and I will miss her.