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on November 17, 2012
There are times as I write reviews and tell friends of books that I find one novel that stands towers above the rest. There are as many reasons for this personal reaction, perhaps, the location is familiar and fun to recognize trademarked spots, sometimes, I'm vastly invested in the lives of the characters and truly care about their outcomes and futures, and of course, the story that compels you to continue reading almost non-stop. Then you end the book with a sigh of satisfaction at the completion.

This book, 'Written in Stone' is just the sort of book I'm talking about. The entire series from book one, 'A Killer Plot' until the final word, or in this book's case, a final lullaby, fulfils my expectations and more.

We have a group of friends, that enjoy writing, led by a delightfully complex woman, Olivia Limoges, who are on personal searches as well as come across a series of crimes. In this novel, Olivia is at a stage of personal growth that found me smiling and joyful. She has found love. This is not a simple plot twist by a clever author, oh no. This love has been long coming and is to be rejoiced with. Olivia with her Standard poodle, Captain Haviland, have earned every second as has the man involved, Chief of Police, Rawlings. No, this book is not a Romance, but a murder mystery that has a compelling plot and is cross-storied with life, in this case, a romance and answers to Olivia's life.

An old wise woman, some consider a witch, has summoned Olivia to her for answers about Olivia's Mother who died when Olivia was a child. This opened up so many questions that I was at lost as to how Ms. Adams would manage to solve them all.

When the witch is murdered, Olivia and Rawlings find themselves having to solve the crime. This crime develops and includes even more of the writing group.

The action is almost non-stop and your emotions will be caught. What more can you ask of a novel. I was caught up instantly. Now, I must await for the next novel, "Poisoned Prose."

A Personal note...My husband and I had the privilege of loving a Black Labrador, Princess for almost fourteen years. When I would receive one of Ellery's novels, I would call Princess and I would read the novel aloud. Princess always barked when I announced 'Captain Haviland's' part. I know this sounds silly to many, but it was a joyful time for us two. Princess suffered a stroke on Nov. 16th's (2am) morning. I had just received 'Written in Stone', Princess cried for me to stay with her and I knew this was the ending of our earthly time together. I read aloud all the way until Chapter 17. Princess had the most peaceful passing that you can imagine. As she left our home, after many tears, that still flood me, I read aloud to her 'spirit' or mine, the final pages. This novel surpassed being simply a fantastic murder mystery, the best the author has written yet, this novel became part of a long-loving relationship. Thank you, Ms. Adams for this memory.
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on November 11, 2012
The is the fourth book in the Books by the Bay series and the best one yet! One of the distinctions of this series is the strong and satisfying growth and development of the main character, Olivia, and all of her circle of fellow writers and friends.

When Olivia is summoned by Munin Cooper, a recluse known locally as the witch of Oyster Bay, she is given a memory jug and some very veiled clues regarding another secret from her past and a warning that death is coming. When the first death coming turns out to be Munin's, Olivia realizes that the memory jug will hold clues not just to the secrets of her own past, but also the secrets behind Munin's supposedly accidental death.

With the help of her wonderfully realized group of friends, each coming more and more into his or her own, Olivia and the amazing Captain Haviland sift through the clues to solve two murders and prevent a third.

I love this series and I love Olivia! As she becomes more open to relationships with her friends and family, she becomes stronger and more complete as a person. Ms. Adams has given us a complex and admirable heroine, a well drawn group of friends, and a location that I wish were real.

I can't wait for th next book in this series and hope that there will be many more.
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on April 29, 2017
Love every single one of Ellery's books! I will read everything she writes! This Books by the Bay Series is wonderful! Love ALL of the characters and their very human qualities! Ellery is a fabulous writer and I just can't get enough!! Give me a cup of tea, an Ellery Adams book and a comfy place to sit, and I could stay all day!
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VINE VOICEon November 20, 2012
Olivia Limoges thinks she has finally come to peace with her troubled childhood and past and in fact was thrilled to find that she had a half-brother and has grown close to him and his family. Her peace, however, is shattered when Munin Cooper, known as the Witch of Oyster Bay, gives her a memory jug that may reveal things about Olivia's mother that Olivia would rather not know. Before Olivia can uncover many of the jugs secrets, Munin is found dead. Olivia isn't convinced the death was accidental and when another person dies she is sure there is a killer on the loose. Will Olivia and the rest of the members of the Bayside Book Writers Club ,including police chief Sawyer Rawlings, be able to catch the killer before someone else dies?

Often while reading a cozy mystery series I can tell when an author finally feels totally comfortable with her characters and "Written in Stone", the fourth book in Ellery Adams's Books by the Bay cozy mystery series is one of those books. Olivia has been a complex and fascinating character from the beginning and has grown with each book but in this book I felt she grew the most. Once prickly around people, she has finally learned to accept friendship and love and, while she'll never totally be a soft person, she is definitely less rough around the edges than in the first book. Adams continues to reveal secrets from Olivia's past (some of which she herself didn't know) and Adams reveals a doozy in this book (I'm still debating how I feel about Olivia's decision at the end of the book). Other characters are equally well done - in this book it is Millay who shines the most. And I can't forget Olivia's dog Captain. Haviland who is more human than some of the minor characters. As for the mystery itself, it was well plotted and I kept changing my mind as to who the killer was. There is a sense of real danger towards the end of the book. The only thing I missed in the book were the excerpts from the books being written by the members of the Bayside Book Writers Club - I hope they reappear in the next book in the series.

"Written in Stone" is another great book in a cozy mystery series that gets better with each book.
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on September 2, 2014
While still enjoyable, the tone of Written in Stone is somehow different than the earlier books in this series. With the emotional depth of the last one still lingering with me, I dove into this book with much anticipation.
The story itself was interesting, but there were differences that somehow didn't feel 'right'. The progression of the relationship between Olivia and her fellow writers seemed off kilter. I like how there is a time lapse between the books instead of one just picking up right where the other left off, but I find it a bit odd that there is little forward movement in some of the character relationships in the interim.
Also, the character of Millay has had an odd turn in this book. She has always been portrayed as tough and rather closed off, but she comes across as very unpleasant this time around. She has such a hard time showing genuine, caring emotion to her close friends but seems to have no such problem with newcomer, Talley. Her attitude comes off as having a chip on her shoulder, which is not attractive.

I look forward to seeing where the series is heading.
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on December 15, 2014
I love the Books by the Bay Mystery series. The main character is very nontraditional. In the beginning, I was sure I liked her because she appeared closed off even to readers but you soon realize she is one of the most wonderfully complicated characters in your library. I also love an eclectic mix of characters and this writers group definitely has that! The premise to each book is the same – The characters solve a mystery or mysteries while deadline with their own personal challenges. However, the characters are so unique that it really makes the series stand apart. Also, every book incorporates a bit a of local history into the novel which, as a history major, I really appreciate. I do recommend reading the books in order – it really helps from a character development perspective.
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on February 24, 2017
I love, Love this series. I can't get enough. Each story is a page-turner and I have a hard time putting it down. I can't wait to read more.
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on October 14, 2015
I love a mystery that is more than just solving a puzzle. I love getting to know the characters and they are like real people I'm getting to know, a little at a time. I look forward to many more books in this series!
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on June 1, 2014
The "Books by the Bay" mystery series is fabulous. I wish the author would write faster! Can't get enough of these.

The characters are well rounded, quirky and enjoyable. In fact, you would like to live in the same town with these people just so you can hang out with them and get to know them even better.

Well written and descriptive, I feel that I can picture the town and its people almost as though I live there. The mysteries are well crafted and keep one wondering where the tale is leading.

Ellery - we need more!
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on December 9, 2012
I have read all the Books by the Bay series and in each one the main character becomes more interesting. The evolution of Olivia and her relationship with her writer friends and the man she is dating shows a depth of character that is believable. I want to move to Oyster Bay and open a shop so I can eat at The Boot Top, Olivia's restaurant or at the diner with the roller-skating owner. Let's see Oyster Bay needs a tea shoppe, right? I want to join the Bayside Writer's Group, I think I would totally fit in. In any case, read the series from the beginning and enjoy the mystery. This one is different and I liked to see the research the author did to incorporate real historical events into this fictional town. Great read!
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