A Debut Mystery Rich with Charm, Humor, Romance, and Danger

Meet Riley Ellison, a smart, quirky young heroine with Southern charm to boot. Riley feels adrift in her small hometown of Tuttle Corner, Virginia, newly single and bemoaning the decline of print journalism, which has dashed her long-held dream of succeeding her grandfather as an obituary writer at the local newspaper. When her childhood best friend commits suicide with no warning, the grieving family asks Riley to write her obituary. As she investigates why such an ambitious young woman might want to end her life, Riley begins to consider that her friend Jordan may have actually been murdered. In the meantime, her love life becomes complicated when her ex Ryan returns to town just as things are heating up with a hot newcomer—who may have had something to do with Jordan’s death.

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What Critics Are Saying About The Good Byline

“Orr’s debut mystery is a fun romp populated with peculiar characters. Recommend to new adult fans or admirers of Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” capers.”
 Library Journal 

“Full of heart…this career of Riley’s could certainly have her solving crimes for years to come. For now, Jill Orr has put pure joy on the page with The Good Byline.”
— BOLO Books

“For a small-town girl in over her head, finding love is hard enough without having to find a murderer…Orr is #soclose with her debut mystery, with interspersed emails from’s Personal Romance Concierge as the #cherryontop.”
 Kirkus Reviews

“While Ellison, a recently dumped, obituary loving, pseudo-librarian is an unlikely heroine, the character is brilliantly written.”
 Inside Columbia Magazine

“Who knew obituaries could be this much fun?”
 Gretchen ArcherUSA TODAY–bestselling author of the Davis Way Crime Caper series

“Jill Orr’s delightful, laugh-out-loud debut is the perfect mix of mystery, humor, and romance, anchored by an endearing heroine you can’t help but root for. A fun, fast-paced read with a satisfying mystery at its heart. Perfect for fans of Janet Evanovich.”
 Laura McHugh, award-winning author of Arrowood and The Weight of Blood

“An extremely fun read! Regina H., Personal Romance Concierge, may be my favorite new literary character of the decade.”
 Anne Flett-Giordano, author of Marry, Kiss, Kill and Emmy-winning writer of the TV shows Mom, Frasier, and Desperate Housewives

“This laugh-out-loud debut cozy features broken-hearted wannabe obituary writer Riley Ellison. She works in the local library by day, and tries out a dating service in her off-hours in an effort to move on with her life after her long-time sweetheart leaves her in Tuttle Corner, Virginia for greener pastures in Colorado. Riley has a reputation as a bit of a troublemaker after her grandfather (an obituary writer) died under mysterious circumstances and she pressed the town to look into his “suicide.” So when her high school friend, Jordan James “commits suicide,” Riley doesn’t believe it for a moment and begins to look into her death when she agrees to write Jordan’s obituary. All of these plot lines are wrapped around some humorous moments and some great quotes about writing obituaries. For those looking for a new cozy heroine to root for, give Jill and Riley a try.”
 Terry Gilman,owner of Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego and a prominent book-event manager

“This was a delightfully amusing adventure in the life of Riley Ellison who tickled my funny bone with her internal obit-type dialogue.”
 Dru’s Book Musings

“The Good Byline” is a blast of fresh air. It arrives just in time to live out its destiny as a pitch-perfect summer read.”
 Columbia Daily Tribune

“Fresh and funny, romantic and sunny, Orr’s book checked three genre boxes for me: a smart cozy series, a Southern small town setting, and, my favorite, a newspaper mystery… I loved the hilarious emails the author interjects into the narrative from Riley’s “Personal Romance Concierge” at”
— Carole Barrowman from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Riley ‘Bless-Her-Heart’ Ellison is a breath of fresh air—a funny, empathic, Millennial heroine. She kept me turning the pages well into the night.”
 Susan M. BoyerUSA TODAY–bestselling author of the Liz Talbot mystery series

“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 ensues! I can’t wait to give this to all my girlfriends for their beach vacations.”
 Whitney Berger, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City

“Jill Orr will make you laugh, make you think, and steam up your reading glasses with this funny, smart, and romantic mystery debut. The Good Byline is an engaging story that will keep readers wondering whodunit and how’d-they-do-it until the very end.”
 Diane Kelly, award-winning author of the Death & Taxes and Paw Enforcement mysteries

“In this irresistible page-turner, Jill Orr delivers a funny, smartly written mystery featuring a charming heroine and appealing setting. I can’t wait to join Millennial Riley Ellison on future adventures—and misadventures!”
 Ellen Byron, author of Body on the Bayou and Plantation Shudders

“Jill Orr’s Tuttle Corner is absolutely charming, and you’ll want to hang out more in this Virginian small town with Riley and her cast of friends. The methodical local reporter, Will Holman, is a standout, and here’s hoping he will appear in more of Riley’s mystery adventures. Fans of Hannah Dennison’s Vicky Hill series will devour this debut!”
 Naomi Hirahara, Edgar Award–winning author of the Mas Arai and Ellie Rush mystery series