Review ~ Poisoned Prose by Ellery Adams

proseSeries: A Books by the Bay Mystery (Book 5)

Publisher: Berkley (October 1, 2013)

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

ISBN-10: 0425262952

ISBN-13: 978-0425262955
ASIN: B00BC24M22
Pre-Order: Amazon, Kindle, IndieBound, The Book Depository



When Olivia Limoges and other Oyster Bay patrons of the arts sponsor a retreat for famous storytellers, one of them is going to have a very unhappy ending…

Olivia thought gathering some of the most renowned storytellers in one place would be a nice, simple way for herself and the Bayside Book Writers to appreciate their talents. But things take a dark turn when the most famous storyteller in the nation—the captivating performer Violetta Devereaux—announces onstage that she will meet her end in Oyster Bay.

When Violetta is discovered murdered after the show, everyone involved with the retreat becomes a suspect. There are rumors that Violetta, who grew up in extreme poverty in the Appalachian Mountains, possessed an invaluable treasure. Now Chief Rawlings and the Bayside Book Writers must work at a frenzied pace to solve the crime before someone closes the book on them.

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My thoughts ~ 

It’s summertime and the living is easy.  At least that’s what they say.  But in Oyster Bay, North Carolina that isn’t necessarily the case.  The sand is hot, the atmosphere is dry, the rain nowhere to be found, and murder is in the air.

The members of the Bayside Book Writers group are looking forward to a quiet summer, writing and critiquing each other’s works.   They are thrilled when a retreat for some of the most well renowned storytellers was booked right there in Oyster Bay.  What better way to hone their own craft, than by listening to others spin their tales?

Violetta Devereaux is considered to be, by most, the best storyteller around.  She has a way of captivating her audience with the stories that she tells.  With her words, with her cadence, with the way she draws the listener in just by speaking, Violetta quickly immerses the listener into the heart of the stories she tells.  But Violetta is not without secrets of her own.  Having grown up poor in the Appalachian Mountains, and suffering a heart-breaking loss, she now relates those same tales that were passed down to her from her grandfather and father. And somewhere in those tales lie the clues to where a mighty treasure is hidden.  A treasure that people have died for. 

After her captivating appearance in Oyster Bay, Violetta, who never speaks to anyone outside of her small inner circle, concedes to a rare chat with reporter Laurel, agreeing to meet her at the Lighthouse.  But after an enlightening chat with Olivia Limoges, Violetta turns up dead in the conference room of the library.  Now Chief Rawlings, Olivia, and the rest of the Bayside Book Writers must work together to figure out who would want to silence the stories of Violetta Devereaux forever. 

The mystery of who killed Violetta isn’t the only issue the Bayside Book Writers are dealing with.  They, and those that they love, are experiencing everything from love to break-ups, stalled books to being signed with a literary agent, and moving in together or moving on.   As they have done before, this close circle of friends have rallied to support and stand by each other in both the good times and bad.  And this time, we’re definitely experiencing some bad. 

The people of Oyster Bay have become old friends.  Friends that you look forward to seeing again each year you revisit their little seaside town.  They are warm, welcoming and eager to have you.  They offer up the simple comforts of home, with the ease of a blissful summer vacation. With each passing book (see A Killer Plot, Deadly Cliché) Ellery Adams continues to show how solid her writing is, how she is able to continue to keep her characters fresh, and her great skill for always leaving us wanting more. Poisoned Prose, without a doubt, is now my favorite in the Books By The Bay series.

So pull up a beach chair, dig your toes in the sand and be prepared to get lost in the wonderful storytelling of Ellery Adams.

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elleryEllery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sound. Having spent her adult life in a series of landlocked towns, she cherishes her memories of open water, violent storms, and the smell of the sea. Ms. Adams has held many jobs including caterer, retail clerk, car salesperson, teacher, tutor, and tech writer, all the while penning poems, children’s books, and novels. She now writes full-time from her home in Virginia.

Website/Ellery * Facebook/Ellery * Twitter/Ellery * Goodreads/Ellery * Pinterest/Ellery *  Facebook/JB * Twitter/JB * Goodreads/JB

post-divider rightBooks by the Bay Mysteries


Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries


Supper Club Mysteries
(as JB Stanley)

Collectible Mysteries
(as JB Stanley)


FTC Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me  copy of the book, hoping I would review it.

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  1. You wrote a great review capturing the atmosphere and heart of Poisoned Prose. This was my first time at Oyster Bay and it won't be my last. I think I'll "dig my toes in the sand" (easy to do on Kauai) and start with the first book.

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