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The Last Word
A Book by the Bay Mystery #3
Ellery Adams

Berkley Prime Crime
Dec 2011/978042524503

Reviewed by Barbara Buhrer

Olivia Limoges and the Bayside Book Writers look forward to the arrival of book award winner, author Nick Plumley, who will come to work on the sequel to his book about the POW camp at New Bern, North Carolina. They expect to benefit from his expertise in their literary endeavors. He is more interested in the old bungalow, the home of the Whites. White was the warden of the POW camp. His daughter, Evelyn, took painting lessons from German prisoner, Henrich Kamller. They fell in love and theirs was an ill fated affair. Hamller and a fellow prisoner staged an escape during which a prison guard, James Hatcher, is killed. They escape and are never found. Evelyn always believed in Henry's innocence.

Arriving at Plumley's h ouse one afternoon, Olivia finds him dead, strangled to death. There seems to be no motive for this crime. Why was he so interested in White's house? Why was the watercolor painted by the German prisoner hidden in the staircase? Was there any connection to the love affair between Evelyn and Henry? Where had the POWs vanished?

Olivia must find the answers to these questions to discover the reason for the murder. With her pet poodle, Captain Haviland, and the support of police sheriff, Sawyer Rawlings, she follows the path from the past to the present even though she is in the midst of opening the new Bayside Crab House and is coping with her new half brother's problems.

This is a book filled with intrigue and deep emotion. The author has skillfully evoked a sense of time and place. There is an excellent picture of life in the POW camp and the people in them. The ill fated love affair between Evelyn and Henry (Heimrich) is a poignant one. The author brings the past and the present together with a twist at the surprising end.

Reviewer's Note: For those readers whose interest in the POW camps was stimulated by this book, as mine was, search GOOGLE: World War II POW camps. There were POW camps in every state with the exception of Nevada, North Dakota and Vermont. I was completely unaware of any of this at the time, I was only interested in my husband in the U.S. Army Air Force.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Last Word #3
Written in Stone #4
Poisoned Prose #5
Lethal Letters #6

Reviewed 2012