First Line: Olivia Limoges rolled the newest edition of Bride magazine into a tight cylinder and brought it down onto the counter with a resounding thwack!
There's a lot going on in Oyster Bay, North Carolina-- like two weddings and the historical society's annual Secret Garden Party fundraiser for starters. Restaurant owner and local resident Olivia Limoges also happens to be at the church when a time capsule is uncovered. The president of the historical society plans to reveal the contents at the Secret Garden Party in order to increase donations. However, when the public unveiling occurs, Olivia notices that one of the items has disappeared-- and she is convinced that the missing item is connected to the death of young Ruthie Holcomb. It's time for the Bayside Book Writers group to uncover some clues and bring a killer to justice.
This is, without doubt, my favorite cozy mystery series, and I always look forward to each new book with great anticipation. Lethal Letters does not disappoint, even though it does have an "end of series" feel to it. Ellery Adams has created an incredible cast of characters that continue to grow and change with each book, and the setting is perfect. Whenever Olivia and her wonderful dog Captain Haviland walk the beach looking for treasures, I can feel the sea breeze in my hair and the shift and crunch of sand between my toes. The mysteries are an integral part of each book, weaving the history of the area into the characters' lives.
Lethal Letters has everything to do with family-- families that have been broken apart and are slowly mending themselves, new families that have just begun to form, and families that are shattered beyond repair. Olivia herself has spent the course of this series making herself whole by finding family she didn't know existed and by forming close and lasting relationships with the friends she has found. She no longer hesitates to reach out to those who need help. Olivia has always been a giving person, but in the past she usually gave by writing a check. Now she gives of her heart. She's no longer a hermit, and her transformation has been an absolute delight.
The family motif continues with the Bayside Book Writers group. All of them are back together here, and it just feels "right." This group has been the icing on the cake of this series, giving real insight into writing and critiquing beginners' novels, and I have to say that I was thrilled with the turn that Olivia's writing takes here.
Lethal Letters, like all the other books in this series, has heartbreak and loss, but there is also compassion, love, and growth. These are grown-up "feel good" novels, and I will never get my fill of them.
Lethal Letters by Ellery Adams
Berkley Prime Crime © 2014
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #6 Books by the Bay mystery
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen