Today is my stop on the blog tour for Murder By The Seaside by Jackie Baldwin, and I am excited to be sharing my review with you all.
A massive thank you to @Lovebookstours and @Stormbooks_co for allowing me to be a part of the tour.
Title: Murder By The Seaside
Author: Jackie Baldwin
Release Date: 18th May 2023
Age Group: Adult
Page Count: 350
Buy It Here (affiliate link): Amazon UK
As dawn breaks over the empty beaches of Portobello, Grace McKenna emerges from the icy water after her daily swim, her loyal dog Harvey by her side. Little does she know, in the shadows, a cold-blooded killer is plotting his next move…
Edinburgh, Scotland. After the toughest year of her life, Detective Grace McKenna is grateful for her job running the fledgling Portobello Detective Agency… though another client or two would certainly help keep the wolf from the door. So when the glamourous widow of renowned psychic Paul Gordon entreats her to investigate his suspicious death, Grace sees a unique opportunity to make a name for the agency.
Joining forces with Tobias Sloan – a dapper investigative reporter seeking answers about his wife’s tragic passing – their search takes a dark turn when the body of a beautiful young woman is found at a nearby elite golf club. The evidence leads them straight to Merchiston College of Psychic Studies – the very place where Paul Gordon met his grisly end.
Uncovering a shocking secret linking the two murders, Grace finds her professional and personal boundaries are beginning to blur. She is left to face not only the ghosts of her own past, but also the prospect of a hardened killer stalking the quiet lanes of Edinburgh. With time running out and the lives of her team hanging in the balance, can Grace McKenna solve the murders, and save herself from the same deadly fate?
A gripping Scottish mystery with a sprinkle of small-town charm, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Clare Chase and Frances Evesham.
The story begins with an unknown character, following what is assumed to be their partner, hoping to catch them out in an affair, but instead witnesses an argument with someone unexpected. This is all we get in the first chapter, leaving you questioning what was going on, before we move on to Grace and her colleagues. When a woman walks in to Portobello Detective Agency and claims that her recently deceased husband was murdered, despite the police investigation concluding suicide, Grace is unsure what to think and where this case will take her and her team. She could never have imagined at the time that it would lead where it did.
There were a real mix of different characters in this story, and definitely some interesting ones. I liked Grace’s character. She was of course the fighting force, but behind closed doors she was struggling more than anyone could know. She dived in to her work, and always gave it 110%, and always put others safety before her own. I was particularly interested in the character of Xander Croft, mainly because of the psychic element. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of mediums/psychics being able to contact spirits, and it’s personally something that I do believe in so it was interesting to see the different opinions within this story.
Grace’s grief from the death of her son, and the way it was effecting her mentally was at times rather difficult to read, as it was all too realistic. I can’t imagine how devastating it must be to lose your child, and I hope it’s something that I never have to experience. I loved the way that the author made Harvey Grace’s reason to keep going. Animals, especially dogs, can be such a huge support in times of crisis, and clearly that was the case for Grace. She needed Harvey just as much, if not more than he needed her.
There were so many aspects to this story and the investigation, and so much going on that it certainly keeps you on your toes. Every piece of the investigation seemed to open up more problems to deal with, and other areas to look in to. It also meant that the suspect list was much longer than originally anticipated, and things became much more dangerous for the team the deeper they dived. But in the end, everything ties together in a perfect bow, leaving no loose ends. The way everything came together was extremely satisfying, and very well written.
The last chapter of the story was especially hard hitting, but the last few lines of the book completely threw me! I certainly hadn’t seen that revelation coming, but I hope that it’s what Grace needed to help move forward with her life. What a fantastic way to conclude the book.
I give Murder By The Seaside a 4 star rating!
*Thank you to Love Books Tours and Storm Books for my e-copy of the book, in exchange for an honest review*
About The Author:
Married, with two grown up children, Jackie lives with her husband and dog Lucy in a village in East Lothian. She worked as a solicitor specialising in criminal and Family law for a number of years before retraining as a hypnotherapist.
When not working, she enjoys long walks along the beautiful coastline and woodlands of East Lothian and having fun with her little grandson.
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