Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review and Giveaway: The Last Word

The Last Word (Books by the Bay Mystery - Book 3) by Ellery Adams

Publication Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: Paperback, 312pp
ISBN-13: 978-0425245002
ISBN: 0425245004

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound

Ellery Adams on the WEB: website, facebook, twitter

Books in the series: A Killer Plot (2010), A Deadly Cliche (2011), The Last Word (2011)

CoverArt: Click on the picture for a larger, clearer image of the covers in this series!


Olivia Limoges and the Bayside Book Writers are excited about Oyster Bay's newest resident: bestselling novelist Nick Plumley, who's come to work on his next book, but finds himself caught in a deadly ending...

The arrival of Nick Plumley has sent shivers of excitement throughout Oyster Bay. Especially since rumor has it that the Booker Prize winner is thinking about putting down roots here. No one is more thrilled than Olivia and her fellow members when Plumley drops by the first writer's group meeting at Harris's new house. But why is Plumley more interested in poking around the lovely bungalow than in discussing the craft of fiction?

Not long after, Oliva stops by Plumley's rental - and finds that he's been strangled to death. her instincts tell her that something from the past came back to haunt him, but she never expects that the investigation could spell doom for one of her dearest friends...


The Last Word is the third book in the "Books by the Bay Mystery" series written by Ellery Adams. Readers who are familiar with the series will find this book hard to put down, since it is clearly the best one so far! Adams shows her depth as a writer and growth in her craft with this complex, historically based mystery that will tug at the heart strings of the reader, as well as, their intellect. 

This is a series that has always captivated me. Ellery Adams has a way with words, literally. Her descriptions of the sleepy seaside town on of Oyster Bay are vivid and compelling. I love the way she describes the sea itself, making it seem almost like a living entity. Her characters are well thought out and three dimensional. They are very involved in the mystery of what is going on in each book, yet they have lives of their own and situations that are much more personal going on as well. I think one of Adams' strengths is in building relationships that go beyond just one book. 

The main character in, The Last Word and the series, Olivia has shown a lot of growth throughout the series as well and I felt as if she really came into her own in this book. Not only is she a good at her day job, but her skills as an amateur sleuth have improved as well. She seems more at ease with herself as she searches for a present day killer that in a mystery that is steeped in local history.

I loved the fact that Adams uses little known historical details to bring out in her stories. These are facts that probably only the locals know about. It's obvious that she does her homework and has a great respect for the area and it's people. With Nick Plumley's story, Adams is able to meld mystery and history together creating the perfect balance. The mystery aspect of the book is incredibly interesting and I thought it was original and that readers were not likely to find something like this elsewhere. The motive behind the mystery was very well thought out and executed. I was on the edge of my seat, especially in the last few chapters.

One thing you don't often find is a mystery that might make you draw a tear, but this one may be it. The emotions that course through, The Last Word are gripping and I found myself grabbing a tissue, which rarely ever happens when reading a mystery of all things. Adams was able to bring out the some disturbing situations from the past that led in a way to the latest murder. I certainly wasn't expecting to be moved in that kind of way and it was really refreshing in this genre. Cozy tend to be lighter than main stream mysteries or thrillers and that's part of the draw, but this one carries a different kind of emotional punch. You'll understand when  you read it!

This is an amazing book, easily the best in the series. I'm looking forward to see what Ellery Adams comes up with next and where that will take her audience. I recommend this to cozy fans as well as readers who are looking for a mystery series that is engaging and very intelligent. I love Adams' style and her way of relating to the reader. She doesn't think we're a few fries short of a happy-meal and it shows... LOL!

The Last Word is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

Ellery Adams grew up on a beach near the Long Island Sounds. 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 form her home in Virginia.


The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of The Last Word by Ellery Adams.

~ You must be GFC follower or e-mail subscriber.
~ US addresses only (Publisher Request).
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST January 10th.

1. Please leave a comment of question for Ellery on THIS post.
2. Please fill out the FORM.


Wendy Newcomb said...

Thank you for this review, a good sounding "cozy".

wfnren at aol dot com

Linda Kish said...

Very interesting review. t makes me really want to read this book. I haven't read many mysteries that brought a tear to my eye.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

cyn209 said...

already added to my WishList!!

thank you for the giveaway!!


Renee said...

The first is on my TBR list. It moves to the top as I can't stand to read out of order. This looks great!

lag123 said...

I have not read any of this series, but would love to. A blend of history and mystery sounds perfect.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Unknown said...

Thanks for the great giveaway. I would love to read this series. It sounds very good. Tore923@aol.com

Ellery Adams said...

Dear Deb,

Thanks so much for this stellar review. I haven't shared this with many people, but I was so moved by the fact that you were attuned to the emotional element of the novel that I wanted to tell you that when I was writing this book, our family was going through the fire. My 7-year-old son was unable to do most of his schoolwork and we had daily bouts of screaming matches and tears until we had him tested. Turns out, he had dyslexia and other significant learning disabilities and was going to need lots of tutoring and help. We found that help, but when I was writing the Last Word, my little boy was so sad that it colored my every day life - including my writing. Thanks for saying that it worked in a positive way - that is a gift to me after a tough year! :)

mamabunny13 said...

I want to read this series and I love the book covers!

justpeachy36 said...


Your emotions were really pouring out in this book and I could feel it in the reading.

I liked the book a lot and I'm sorry that you were going through such a tough time, both of my daughters have some minor issues with dyslexia as well, so I understand in a small way what you were going through.

Thanks so much for stopping by, it was a pleasure to review your book!

Martha Lawson said...

Hi! You are a new to me author, which I love finding! I am just now getting into cozy mysteries and yours sound really good. I love the covers. I will be putting yours on the to buy list.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

In Julie's Opinion said...

I read the first book in this series and loved it, and if, as you say, this is the best book yet, I just know I'm going to have to read it!! Thanks for the awesome review and giveaway:)

Theresa N. said...

I love a good cozy mystery.
Theresa N

ann said...

Great interview. I love cozy mysteries the best of all
amhengst at verizon dot net

Carol N Wong said...

I can understand why you gave it five apples, with the details about the local setting, the growth of the main character and it being emotional, it sounds like a big winner.


Dolly said...

I love it when you can give a book five apples! Sea settings always excite me.

Peggy@Peggy Ann's Post said...

I have been wanting to read this series! Thank you so much!
peggyheself at gmail dot com

bn100 said...

This book sounds very interesting. Congratulations on the book!

My Recent Favorite Books said...

This series sounds really good and Im going to add it to my tbr list.
I enjoyed the review!

Sue Farrell said...

I've read other books by Ellery Adams, but have not read this one yet---your review has made me put it on my must read list.

Angela said...

I haven't read any book by Ellery Adams but this one sounds really good and its just the type of cozy mysteries I like!