Review: Once Upon a Seaside Murder by Maggie Blackburn
Once Upon a Seaside Murder
Beach Reads Mystery Series, Book 2
There’s no place like home for the holidays, even if home is sleepy, beachside Brigid’s Island, NC. During this season for giving, the town wakes up to a welcome throng of shoppers–and Beach Reads is no exception. But bookseller Summer Merriwether’s Christmas cheer turns to cringing fear when she uncovers a deadly secret about her late mother–a secret someone will kill to keep.
When the local library hosts a cozy mystery panel discussion, Summer learns that one of the authors on the panel based her book on an actual murder that shook Brigid’s Island thirty-five years before. Worse, she soon learns that her dearly missed mother, Hildy, took a disturbingly deep interest in the case, going so far as to collect clippings and keep a journal of the dark doings. This doesn’t jibe with Summer’s memories of her usually cheery mother at all.
Tidings get worse when Summer learns of her long-lost biological family’s involvement in the crime…and still worse when the life of the book’s author is threatened. With the help of Hildy’s plucky book club, Summer puts her scholarly smarts to work on protecting the cozy author and solving the decades-old murder.
But this ghost from Christmas past may still be deadly in the present, and if she can’t find the killer, Summer’s future will be brief.
As the holidays are getting into full swing in the cozy coastal town of Brigid Island. Summer Meeriwether is all geared for a holiday cozy mystery signing event. When Summer discovers one of the featured authors has written a book about a murder that happened many years ago in Summer’s own town, questions pop up faster than answers can be sought out. The Christmas season is bringing up ghosts from the past. Beach Reads is knee deep mystery and secrets this merry season.
Once Upon a Seaside Murder is a fantastic reads. Piled to the brim with everything that cozy mystery lovers love. You’ve got a great atmosphere and cozy little town. The characters are filled with personality and charisma. The setting is a bookstore, how can a reader not love that. The mystery is quite twisty and many secrets are revealed throughout the pages. Maggie Blackburn really gave it all in this book and it really shows. Summer has grown so much between the first and second book. Once Upon a Seaside Murder Summer discovers her own mystery in conjunction with what’s going on with the cozy mystery event. So many secrets are found and the answers are jaw dropping. Summer is on A mental and at times physical roller coaster ride. I love how she goes from being uncertain about certain things, having all this craziness happen to realize the things that she really needs are the things that are right in front of her. Summers’ personal struggles tie into the craziness surrounding the cozy mystery event. Along the way there are some shocking moments, truths you didn’t see coming, a group of friends that have become family and many laugh out loud moments.
Once Upon a Seaside Murder is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable read.
Review: Little Bookshop of Murder by Maggie Blackburn
Little Bookshop of Murder
A Beach Reads Mystery, Book 1
A Shakespearean scholar inherits a beachside bookshop–and a murder mystery–in this delightful new cozy series for fans of Kate Carlisle and Ellery Adams.
Summer Merriweather’s career as a Shakespeare professor hangs by a bookbinder’s thread. Academic life at her Virginia university is a viper’s pit, so Summer spends her summer in England, researching a scholarly paper that, with any luck, will finally get her published, impress the Dean, and save her job. But her English idyll ends when her mother, Hildy, shuffles off her mortal coil from an apparent heart attack.
Returning to Brigid’s Island, NC, for the funeral, Summer is impatient to settle the estate, sell her mom’s embarrassingly romance-themed bookstore, Beach Reads, and go home. But as she drops by Beach Reads, Summer finds threatening notes addressed to Hildy: “Sell the bookstore or die.”
Clearly, something is rotten on Brigid’s Island. What method is behind the madness? Was Hildy murdered? The police insist there’s not enough evidence to launch a murder investigation. Instead, Summer and her Aunt Agatha screw their courage to the sticking place and start sleuthing, with the help of Hildy’s beloved book club. But there are more suspects on Brigid’s Island than are dreamt of in the Bard’s darkest philosophizing. And if Summer can’t find the villain, the town will be littered with a Shakespearean tragedy’s worth of corpses–including her own.
Little Bookshop of Murder is a light and easy cozy mystery read that is more than fitting for beach reading.
Summer Merriweather is having a time of it. A Shakespeare Professor researching a paper in England to try to save her career when the unexpected death of her very healthy mother brings her back to her childhood home. Upon return she realizes things are not as they seem. Summer decides that if the local law won’t listen she will have to figure out this one herself.
There are many things I enjoyed about Little Bookshop of Murder. First and foremost the store, Beach Reads! The Idea of this store is a reader stream on the beach. From its name to its beach themed decor, It’s a place that I wouldn’t mind spending an afternoon or two enjoying reading by the sea. Second small towns whether I’m reading cozies or romance are always a favorite. This one has a vast array of quirky characters that make up a very fun and interesting town. Next the family dynamic within the story is priceless. I love the inner jokes and squabbling that goes back-and-forth between them. Summer it’s an interesting main character. She may have left a few ill feelings when she left home yet it’s still her home and has a love for it even if she didn’t realize how deep it goes. The mystery of the story itself was rather easy to figure out but the why was a bit off for me. However I enjoy this little town and these crazy characters enough that it will make me read the next book in the series.