Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Deadly Cliche

'As good as it gets' is the appropriate cliche for 'A Deadly Cliche' by Ellery Adams. This the second book in the Bay Mystery series, but the first read by this author for me. When I met the main character, Olivia Limoges, I was less than impressed. Too rich, too pretty, too spoiled, too perfect - until the chinks began to show. Olivia is more than she seems to be on the surface. There is a reason for her tough exterior.

A Deadly Cliche is more of a book about character than crime although there is enough mystery and untimely death to make the plot spin. The author's rich portrayal of people in Oyster Bay from the roller skating dwarf at Bagels 'n' Beans, to the sassy 'goth' barmaid who writes fantasy fiction, the reader is sure to identify with, or admire, at least one of the quirky, endearing creations by Adams.

Deciphering the cryptic meaning behind hints at cliches left behind at crime scenes occupies Olivia and her Bayside Book Writers group as they come to the aid of Chief Sawyer Rawlings; detective, artist, writer and maybe someone special.

Deadly Cliche is a book within a book.The reader is privileged with brief samples of the Bayside writer's creative endeavors. They are offered an emotional view of Olivia's past and present. Family secrets, friendships, love interests, this book has it all. And did I mention one of the most beloved characters? Captain Haviland is a standard size black poodle who is Olivia's constant companion. He plays his part in the capture of the criminals and not without peril. An effective scene for anyone who has cared deeply for a pet. 

Plus a wonderful 'feel good' ending that makes you want to revisit Oyster Bay again and again.

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