The Good Byline by Jill Orr is the first book in the NEW “Riley Ellison” mystery series. Publisher: Prospect Park Books, April 11, 2017
Meet Riley Ellison, a quirky young library assistant who has become known in her hometown of Tuttle Corner, Virginia, as Riley Bless-Her-Heart. Riley’s odd habit of living vicariously through people she reads about in the obituary pages hits a little too close to home when she is asked to write one for her childhood best friend, Jordan James. Jordan’s unexpected suicide has left Riley desperate to understand why a young woman with so much to live for would suddenly opt out, so she steps out of her comfort zone and into the role of obituary writer.
Things get messy, however, when Jordan’s co-worker, a paranoid reporter with a penchant for conspiracy theories, convinces Riley that Jordan’s death was no suicide. He leads her down a dangerous path toward organized crime, secret lovers, and suspicious taco trucks. Eventually, Riley’s serpentine hunt for the truth leads to a discovery that puts everything she holds dear—her job, the people she loves, and even her life—in danger. Will writing this obituary be the death of her?
A new girl is in town and her name if Riley otherwise known as the obit girl. When she learned of her friend’s death, her parents wanted Riley to write her obit, but Riley feels something is amiss in her death and when she teams up with newspaper reporter, look out because Riley is on a mission to “write” a wrong.
This was a fun read that was hard to put down, quickly becoming a page turner. The narrative was nicely done putting me in the middle of all the action as I rooted for Riley with each step she took to uncover the truth. The mystery was strategically set-up to increase the suspense factor and kept me intrigued in all that was happening in Tuttle Corner. Her friend’s death, the mobsters, the newspaper reporter and her personal life all played pivotal roles in the outcome of this engaging tale. This was a delightfully amusing adventure in the life of Riley Ellison who tickled my funny bone with her internal obit-type dialogue. I look forward to the next book in this wonderfully humorous debut series.
FTC Full Disclosure – I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from the publisher.