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Jill Orr Books In Order

Publication Order of Riley Ellison Mystery Books

The Good Byline (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bad Break (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ugly Truth (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Jill Orr is an American author of chick-lit, mystery, humor, and comedy novels. She is the author of Riley Ellison mystery series which has been termed as highly amusing and delightfully comic by Publishers Weekly. According to Booklist in their starred review, Ellison series is perfect for the fans of Kyra Davis Sophie Katz and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books. Before switching to book writing, Jill was a columnist in COMO magazine for more than a decade. Her work has been featured in National Horseman, Waterways Magazine, and the Columbia Business Times. The author is a proud member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.

Originally a Chicago resident, Jill moved to Columbia to study at the University of Missouri where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and Masters in Social Work. She now lives in Missouri with her husband and their two daughters.

The Good Byline

The Good Byline is the first book in Riley Ellison Mystery series by Jill Orr. We are introduced to Jordan James and Riley Ellison. The two used to be best friends, and they even had a column for writing “obituaries” for unwise fashion trends and overused phrases in their high school newspaper which was inspired by Riley’s grandfather, a renowned obituary writer.

Their lives move on, they graduated, and their friendship was torn apart because of their fight over a boy named Ryan who became Riley’s boyfriend and who she expected to marry later. Riley is 24 years and works in the local library as an assistant librarian. On the other hand, Jordan works as a reporter for a local newspaper, the Tuttle Times.

Then Riley’s grandfather kills himself, and Ryan breaks up with her and moves to Colorado where he starts a new life with a new girlfriend. The residents of Tuttle feel affection for Riley and also pity her. She decides to start all over again and signs up for a dating service and also try to reconnect with Jordan but she’s shocked when she also discovers that Jordan has also committed suicide. But she suspects foul play because the suicide note that Jordan left behind doesn’t sound anything like her. It’s not long before Riley finds herself investigating her friend’s death.

What follows next is a strange adventure for Riley. Ryan also returns to Tuttle Corner, and Riley meets a handsome man, AJ through online dating service which is sweet even though their first date turns out to be a total disaster. An investigative reporter has his questions regarding Jordan’s death, and he teams up with Riley to discover the truth. It turns out that there’s awful going on in the small town of Tuttle Corner that she never suspected. The Taco trucks roaming around aren’t just selling tacos. Besides there’s something off in the police department and Jordan may have been investigating it before her death. Someone is also sending threats to the head librarian, trying to force him to accept bookmobile vehicles that will be fully catered for by the donor and is willing to do whatever it takes until the librarian agrees.

Who knew that obituary writing of an estranged best friend could transform your life around and lead to uncovering murder mystery? After a series of events happens in Riley’s life, a chance of reconnecting with her former friend turns her into an investigator. So when Jordan’s mother request Riley to write her daughter’s obituary, she starts investigating into what Jordan was doing before her death. There’s nothing like trying to solve a murder mystery to crack open your cocoon and encourage you to make new friends. The first book in Riley Ellison has fantastic and memorable characters including Riley’s love interest Ajay, Will, the geeky investigative reporter, and Ryan, her ex-boyfriend who wants her back even though he’s about to become a father. The Good Byline features all the elements that make for a satisfying cozy, and each chapter opens up with a quote about the obituaries and their consequences. Readers won’t ever look at the obituary page same again after reading this book.

The Bad Break

When a fun-loving but flawed obituary author probes her subject, she discovers that his death wasn’t straightforward as she thought and foul play may have been involved. The first person that Tabitha phones when she discovers the body of her father in law, Dr. Arthur is Riley Ellison, her former co-worker at the newspaper firm. Tabitha is less concerned with what Riley will writer than what the obituary writer might do for her. She has seen Riley undertake some informal investigations and she is certain that Riley is capable of clearing her fiancé, Thad as a suspect in Dr. Arthur.

Riley isn’t closer with Tabitha, but she knows that if she wants to give Arthur’s the thought and time it deserves, she should first learn everything about him, especially when that might promote her story to the front page. She welcomes the distraction from her personal life. She is known in town as the girl who Ryan left behind to start a new life with another girl named Ridley- and now the couple are back in town. Ridley is about to give birth, and Ryan claims that she was a blip and that he’s ready to settle down with Riley. However, Riley isn’t interested in giving her ex-boyfriend a second chance, because she can’t believe that anyone would break up with the perfect Ridley and also because she is in a relationship thanks to Click.com.

Riley is also desperate to prove to everyone that she can handle the pressures of her new job. Despite the warnings from her new boyfriend, Riley blurs the thin line between investigator and reporter. Will her rookie mistakes lead her to more than she had bargained for? The Bad Break plot falls into place not because of the heroine but because of the small-town murder mystery that surrounds the character and the supporting characters that help the reader get a better understanding of the story.

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