Mystery by the Sea by Verity Bright
Book Review - Blog Tour

Publication Date: March 11th, 2021
Publisher: Bookouture
Series: A Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery, Book 5
Format: ebook, 276 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction


A magnificent seaside hotel, striped deckchairs, strawberry ice cream… and a rather familiar dead body? Lady Swift is on the case!

Spring, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, explorer extraordinaire and accidental sleuth, hasn’t had a vacation since she arrived in England a year ago. Being an amateur detective can be a rather tiring business and she is determined to escape any more murder and mysteries. So she books into the Grand Hotel in the fashionable resort of Brighton for some fresh air, fish and chips and, of course, a dip in the ocean.

Eleanor is enjoying her view of the waves and trying to find her bathing suit when calamity strikes: a guest has been found dead at her beautiful hotel. The distraught manager, who can’t afford a scandal, asks Eleanor to solve the case as swiftly as possible. Thank goodness she has her partner in crime – Gladstone the bulldog – to help her sniff out the dastardly culprit.

But when Eleanor enters the dead man’s room, she receives a shock big enough to make her forget even the finest ice cream sundae. The body is that of her husband, who supposedly died six years ago on the other side of the world. Has he been alive all these years? Why does he have a copy of their wedding photograph with a cryptic message written on the back? If Eleanor can keep herself safe long enough to find her husband’s killer, she might discover that everything is not quite as it seems beside the seaside…

A warm and witty whodunnit! Fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey and L.B. Hathaway will be utterly charmed by this addictive and absolutely gripping page-turner.

My Thoughts

Lady Eleanor Swift takes her loyal family retainers: Clifford, the butler; Mrs. Butters, the housekeeper; Mrs. Trotman, the cook; young Polly, the maid; and, of course, Gladstone, the bulldog, to Brighton. A holiday by the sea is just what they all need to recover from the harrowing events that marred Eleanor's first Christmas as lady of the manor.

Eleanor is excited by her first ever holiday to the English seaside, but when she and Clifford arrive at the Grand Hotel they find it unusually quiet due to the presence of the police investigating a murder. Her excitement turns to shock when she discovers that the victim is her husband, who died six years ago.

Eleanor and Clifford once again join forces to catch a murderer. Their task is not easy for there are a number of suspects and the only clue is a cryptic message on the back of Eleanor's wedding photograph. So as not to spoil their holiday, they keep what they are doing a secret from Mrs. Butters, Mrs. Trotman and Polly.

Mystery by the Sea is another charming instalment of this highly entertaining series filled with a host of quirky, but very loveable characters. Eleanor and Clifford are in fine form with their witty banter. Mrs. Butters, Mrs. Trotman and Polly are delightful behaving as giggly and unruly schoolgirls as they enjoy the holiday treats that Brighton has to offer. There are even some amusing moments when Clifford relaxes his strong sense of propriety and shows he also as a sense of fun. And Gladstone, too, gets into plenty of mischief.

DCI Hugh Seldon puts in an appearance, both professionally and romantically, which augurs well for his continuing relationship with Eleanor.

The mystery element kept me guessing. While I followed and enjoyed Eleanor and Clifford's analysis of the information they gathered, the identity of the murderer eluded me and was a total surprise when revealed.

I'm definitely a fan of this series and eagerly await book six.

Meet the Author

Verity Bright is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing partnership that has spanned a quarter of a century. Starting out writing high-end travel articles and books, they published everything from self-improvement to humour, before embarking on their first historical mystery. They are the authors of the fabulous Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in the 1920s.


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