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Cozy-style murder mysteries aren’t something I’ve ever read, even as little a time as a month ago, but it’s about the only genre I can read at the moment. I’m eating them up like there’s no tomorrow. I used to love Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, Jonathan Creek, Rosemary and Thyme, Murder She Wrote… you get it, there’s a really long list when you start thinking…
So, back to Murder at the Seaview Hotel by Glenda Young. Two things about it grabbed me. First, it’s set in Scarborough, which is one of my favourite places in the world and second, it features a rescue greyhound called Suki. The writer definitely has similar tastes. And in fact, my only niggle about the entire book is that even after conferring with my husband, we cannot work out how the Seaview Hotel is supposed to fit into the landscape with the descriptions given. Artistic license, perhaps?
As with most ‘cozies’, this is part of a series and I’m very happy to see that there’s a publication date for book two. I really got into the characters and happenings and it’s one of the most well-rounded books I’ve read in a long time in terms of those characters and events.
It’s a very contemporary piece, compared with Miss Marple, say, but not at the lightweight end of cozy mysteries, which although pleasurable to read, are the difference between a quick but tasty midweek dinner and a three-course meal eaten at leisure at the weekend. Yes, that’s a terrible analogy but it’s my blog, okay?
I made the connection with who the murderer probably was but that was later on in the book, with plenty of detail and ideas to distract me in the meantime. There weren’t a huge number of twists, turns and red herrings, in my opinion, but I liked it better for that as I could sink into the narrative and laugh at the Elvises, Suki’s obsession with shoes and find real empathy for Helen who’d floundered after losing her husband, and loving her support crew for being realistic and with their own issues.
Please note: I am using the Americanised spelling of ‘cozy’ as this appears to be the standard in publishing.
Publication Title: Murder at the Seaview Hotel Series: Helen Dexter Cosy Crime Mystery #1 Author: Glenda Young Publisher: Headline Publication Date: 5th August, 2021 Synopsis:
In the charming Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, a murder is nothing to sing about . . .
After the death of her husband Tom, Helen Dexter is contemplating her future as the now-sole proprietor of the Seaview Hotel.
There's an offer from a hotel chain developer to consider, but also a booking from a group of twelve Elvis impersonators, a singing troupe called Twelvis. Tom loved Elvis and for Helen this is a sign that she should stay.
But the series of mysterious events which follow, suggests that the developer is not going to give up easily. Then, shortly after Twelvis arrive, one of the group disappears. His body is found floating in a lake, with his blue suede shoes missing. Could the two be connected?
With the reputation of the Seaview on the line, Helen isn't going to wait for the murderer to strike again. With her trusty greyhound Suki by her side, she decides to find out more about her guests and who wanted to make sure this Elvis never sang again.