Book review: Death at the Seaside

Nothing ever happens in August, and tenacious sleuth Kate Shackleton feels like she deserves a break. Heading off for a long-overdue holiday to Whitby, she visits her school friend Alma who works as a fortune teller there.  

Kate had been looking forward to a relaxing seaside sojourn, but upon arrival discovers that Alma’s daughter Felicity has disappeared, leaving her mother a note and the pawn ticket for their only asset: a watch-guard. What makes this more intriguing is the jeweller who advanced Felicity the thirty shillings is Jack Phillips, Alma’s current gentleman friend.

Kate can’t help but become involved, and goes to the jeweller’s shop to get some answers. When she makes a horrifying discovery in the back room, it soon becomes clear that her services are needed. Met by a wall of silence by town officials, keen to maintain Whitby’s idyllic façade, it’s up to Kate – ably assisted by Jim Sykes and Mrs Sugden – to discover the truth behind Felicity’s disappearance.

And they say nothing happens in August . . .

My review: This is the latest in the series of Kate Shackleton mysteries following a female professional sleuth as she gets to the bottom of murders. Set in the late 1920s, I was intrigued to read about a woman investigator of the time and was expecting a Miss Marple or Agatha Raisin type read.

The story itself follows Kate whilst on her holidays in Whitby where she has gone to visit her friend and god-daughter. However when she pays a visit to the jewellers, she finds that the owner has been murdered and so starts the investigation into his death. It seems that there is no rest for detectives, even on a seaside holiday!

I enjoyed the book, although found it very serious and not a cost type mystery like I was expecting. I would recommend to anyone wanting to read a murder mystery but is looking for something a little bit lighter than a crime novel but less frivolous than a cost mystery. I didn’t really warm to Kate, but the book was well written and the mystery was well put together and kept me guessing.

My rating: Three stars as I prefer cosy mysteries 

I received an advance copy of this book from Little, Brown in return for an honest review. This review is part of the blog tour for the book, and the full schedule is below.


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