Writing All Wrongs, the seventh and most recent of Ellery Adams’s Books by the Bay series, sees Olivia and Chief Rawlings leave Oyster Bay for a delayed honeymoon. The other police officers tease Rawlings for spending most of the week at the Coastal Carolina Crime Festival, which the other three members of the Bayside Book Writers will join them in attending. Laughs soon turn to jealousy, though, when the officers learn that the festival will feature Silas Black, the famous novelist who has turned his books about pirates into a pop culture television phenomenon. While on Palmetto Island, Olivia happily runs into an old friend, a professor whose expertise of local history has helped the Bayside Book Writers solve more than one mystery. However, Olivia greets the surprise presence of Charles Wade, her biological father and a successful man of real estate business, with suspicion. Her doubts grow when she finds him to be very chummy with Silas Black, whom the members of the writers group discover to be highly egotistical and a womanizer.
The island has its own drama playing out, with the owner of most of the place planning to sell his land and Black trying to purchase the property to develop it. The head conservationist, who wants the land to remain through forest that it has always been, enlists the high profile help of the 97-year-old oldest man on the island, who can tell many stories about the previous century. Then, on the same evening and day after the announcement that Black has signed the contract to purchase the land, someone recreates local ghost stories and then reenacts a historical death by dressing Black’s girlfriend in 18th century clothing stolen from the island’s history museum and drowning her. When the police take the easy way out and arrest the professor to avoid having to question Silas Black, Olivia and her fellow Bayside Book Writers step in to work to save her friend.
As a huge fan of Ellery Adams and her Books by the Bay series, I appreciated the many strengths of this book. The plot once again contains many interesting angles, with the motive for the crimes unclear and the various characters holding secrets that must gradually be released in order for the team to solve the murder. Speaking of the characters, the ones in this book, highly well-rounded, continue to show depth and create intrigue throughout the course of the book based upon the nature of the characters. Olivia’s difficult relationship with her biological father, whom she has only recently met, goes through further storms of life’s ups and downs. And one highlight of this book is getting to see Millay finally have her first book published, as she holds a book signing.
As in the other books by Ellery Adams, Writing All Wrongs blends genres together to create a well-written and impressive book. Besides being a mystery novel, this book is a drama about friendship and family, as well as a romance. In addition, the details of the local ghost and pirate stories add a touch of fantasy to the novel.
Karen White returns to narrate this book, as with the others in the series. White helps to bring to life the story, leaving the readers hanging on every word.
Writing All Wrongs does not have the same power found in previous books in this series, but one would only notice that if one had recently read the previous books, which glow far brighter than other similar books in their genres. Thus, I happily award it five shining bright stars!