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The Good Byline (A Riley Ellison Mystery #1)
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The Good Byline

(Riley Ellison Mystery #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,746 ratings  ·  239 reviews
Riley Ellison, quirky young library assistant in hometown of Tuttle Corner, Virginia, is asked to write an obituary for childhood best friend Jordan James. A paranoid reporter convinces her the death is murder. He leads her down a dangerous path to organized crime, secret lovers, and suspicious taco trucks.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published April 11th 2017 by Prospect Park Books (first published March 20th 2017)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,746 ratings  ·  239 reviews

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Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Here is a book that makes you start looking for the release date of book #2. Riley is a fun character who is relatable and easy to connect with. I wasn't even trying to figure out the mystery of the story; instead, it was more enjoyable to read along and get lost in the smart and witty writing. Such an impressive debut. Ready to see Riley return!
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun, quirky, mystery! This was exactly what I needed to comfort me during these uncertain times. Riley is a library assistant who has a fascination with obituaries. When Riley's best friend, Jordan, dies her parents ask her to write the obituary. The one snag is that Riley thinks there's something fishy surrounding the circumstances of Jordan's death. In addition to playing detective, Riley has been dumped by her high school sweetheart and decides to give online dating a try. Hilarity ens ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I normally don't read "mystery-lite"-type books, but after hearing the author speak I decided to give this one a try. I'm glad I did. It was a great weekend read--would be perfect on a beach or a plane (well assuming your seat mates didn't mind hearing the occasional burst of laughter). I laughed a lot. And I enjoyed the mystery, which reminded me a bit of something out of Murder She Wrote in terms of the amount of actual danger our heroine is in. I also loved all the library humor. Go figure! T ...more
Lindsey Rowe
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I picked up an early release copy of this book, and it was such a fun ride! Riley is the 20-something protagonist in whom we can all recall a bit of ourselves: young, newly single, and ambivalent about her future. When she decides to reconnect with an old best friend, only to learn that she died the day before, Riley goes on a mission to uncover the truth of what really happened.
Full of laughs, quirky characters, suspense, and a little love triangle (and who doesn't love a good love triangle!?)
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jill Orr's first novel "The Good Byline" was a great read. The book flowed from beginning to end. The only negative I have (and it's a very small one) is that I got tired of the obituary history. The book was quick read.
I'm hoping Ms. Orr continues the series because I can't wait to see what kind of trouble Riley and Holman get into and I'm also rooting for Riley to get together with Ajay.
Jillian Frasher
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: funny, mystery, adult
Guys, I read an adult book! GO ME! A funny mystery that had me literally laughing out loud at points, as well as drawing me into the story. I was trying to solve the mystery the whole time. Riley is a great protagonist. I can't wait to read future books in this series!
Susan Krich
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is another Goodreads book that kept me up late until I finished it.
From the lightheartedness of the first page, I knew I would enjoy it. The three legged races and the library book sale, which my library still has and at the same prices for the books, were all familiar scenes to me.
Besides the smiles there is plenty of action as you keep guessing who the bad guys are.
The asides from were very funny and sort of true.
I especially liked the last 2 pages.
I hope there will be more Rile
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a fun, quick read with tons of humor and a side of suspense. Since I'm horrible at plot synopsis, I'll simply say the small-town charms on display here remind me of Adriana Trigiani's Big Stone Gap. Any well-written book that finds a way to creatively insert library scenes gets bonus points from me. I'll be ready to revisit Tuttle Corner, Virginia, and Riley "Bless-Her-Heart" Ellison if there's ever a sequel. ...more
DNF page 200. I thought this was quirky and fun, but it did not hold my attention. I liked that the main character worked in a library and wanted to be a reporter, but I had troubles dispelling my annoyance for typical tropes present in cozy mysteries. I think this genre is just not for me: three romantic choices in the picture, bad things happening and yet everyone is clueless, and ridiculous situations the main character is placed in. I tried, though.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure-- I'm the book's editor. And I chose this book for a reason. It's one of the most fun mysteries I've read in a very long time. Cleverly plotted, funny, engaging characters.... a highly entertaining read!
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fun read! Loved it from being to end. Riley is a relatable character that you can not help but love. Once you start this book, you will not be able to put it down.
Feb 16, 2017 rated it really liked it

Who knew that writing the obituary of an estranged friend could change your life - and lead you to uncover murder?  Since Riley’s fiancé left her to find himself, she has done little other than go to her job at the local library.  Chance leads her to try reconnecting with a former friend - Jordan.  Riley is shocked when Jordan's mother tells her that Jordan passed away the night before and it looks like suicide.  That doesn't mesh with Riley’s memories of Jordan, so when Jordan's mother asks her
Ericka N.Blackwell
Ugh - the great deception!

So this author thinks she wrote a book centered on a young woman - but she didn't! The main character is a meeting, whiny man-dependent waste. My greatest frustration was that at every possible opportunity to step up, be brave, grow up the author wrapped this young woman around a man, man's ideas, theories, feelings. She NEVER came to realize her own sanity to have a coherent thought. Right up until the very end. She's no Jessica Fletcher. Would I want to read another -
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book! Fun characters, good story line, and funny too!
Despina Karras
May 20, 2018 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Dolan
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Romantic, funny, thrilling, perfect. Her voice is a refreshing blast of fresh air. I can't wait for more!
Shauna Henson
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was fantastic! It was funny, suspenseful, and so much more. I didn't want it to end. Can't wait for Jill Orr's next book.
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny funny, with some cool weird science.
Chris Conley
Apr 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent start to what I hope is a long-lived series. Riley is a hoot and gave me several laugh-out-loud moments in what is a terrific mystery/romance.
Nikki Berman
Dec 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Good ByLine is A light, quirky, funny mystery!

Perfect for this time of year. I’ll go right to reading the second one! I’d like to hang out with Jill Orr!
Jessi ♡
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
i really disliked the mc and the “humor” seemed super forced idk
Lis Carey
Riley Ellison and Jordan James used to be best friends. They even had a column in their high school newspaper, writing "obituaries" of over used phrases, unwise fashion trends, etc., inspired by Riley's grandfather, a famous obituary writer.

Then life moved on. They graduated. Their friendship broke up over a guy, Ryan, who became Riley's long-term boyfriend and whom she expected to marry. Riley is 24, and works in the local library as a library assistant. Jordan is a reporter at the local newspa
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Star rating: 3 Stars

Riley Ellison's life has hit the snooze button. After her boyfriend of 7 years dumps her to 'find himself' in Colorado, Riley is just managing to tread water hoping he'll change his mind and come back home. But after her childhood friend, Jordan James, commits suicide Riley's life is thrown into turmoil. When Jordan's mother asks Riley to write her obituary, Riley reluctantly accepts and is quickly confronted with a former colleague of Jordan's who is convinced that Jordan's
Barbara Hackel
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard about this book, I had the same thought you probably did. Obituaries? Why would anyone write about obits? Won't that be depressing? Well in a word-NO! I turns out that the viewpoint of the main character, Riley, and the author is that obits tell a story about the life of the person. They are beautiful reminders of all that the person shared. They are not about the death of the person. Certainly this book has convinced me of the truth in this premise.

When Riley refuses to belie
James Weaver
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was only about a quarter of the way through Jill Orr’s first Riley Ellison Mystery, The Good Byline, when I knew I was going to read the second…and the third when it comes out in June.

The Good Byline introduces us to Riley Ellison, a library assistant in her hometown of Tuttle Corner, Virginia who is trying in vain to overcome the emotional valley she’s in from being dumped by her longtime ex. When she’s asked to write the obituary for her childhood best friend Jordan after her supposed suicid
Apr 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Riley and her friend Jordan wrote obituaries for fun while in high school. Not the kind you find in the local news section of your newspaper, they wrote obits for failed hairstyles, last years fashion trends, etc. Now Jordan is dead, a supposed suicide. Riley doesn't believe it, but then, she never believed that her beloved grandfather's death was a suicide. Now she is assisting a eccentric reporter investigate Jordan's death.

Riley works a
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Seriously funny. And while a murder is not something to laugh about, solving the mystery can
involve some hilarious situations. And when it is a Librarian [ not really a librarian because she doesn't have a degree in library science], well, that makes for more humor. Yes, I laughed out loud reading parts of the book.

I have to admit that I used to be somewhat of an habitual Obituary reader myself, so I didn't see anything quirky in that. Frequently, obituaries would name people I knew, or the dec
Christa Van
Riley Ellison is 24, a library assistant in her hometown of Tuttle Corner, VA. Her grand plan was to marry her perfect boyfriend and live happily-ever after but instead, Ryan had a "mid 20's crisis" and left town. Now everyone feels sorry for Riley. She is still trying to get over the big breakup when one of her childhood friends commits suicide. The friend's mom asks Riley to writ the obituary, something her journalist grand-father was famous for doing. In fact, Riley is somewhat of an obit obs ...more
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
2 stars = it was ok.

Humor, romance and mystery are all great genres. I thought the author tried too hard to fit all 3 in when 2 might have been a better choice in this case. Especially humor is very hard to write and she tried a bit too hard to force it in. I got this book mainly for the mystery aspect of the book but this part was slow to develop - it read like a Life of Riley Ellison book until the latter half of the book.

So thank goodness the author seemed to abandon the humor and the plot b
Katherine Cummins
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a fun read! Blew through this in one sitting; I liked the characters, enjoyed the world she put together, and had fun following Riley's adventures and misadventures as she went about solving her first mystery. I also really loved the concept of obituary writing as an art form -- it reminded me of my days in journalism school and assignments to write "Life Stories" (we didn't call them obituaries at the Missourian). I wanted to shake our protagonist a couple of times, but mostly because she ...more
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