May. 29, 2018

Death by the Sea, #1 By the Sea Mysteries by Kathleen Bridge

**** 4 stars

Compelling Cast of Characters in Melbourne Beach...

Sometimes the setting of a book is all-important. The fact that Kathleen Bridge set the first book, Death by the Sea, #1 By the Sea Mysteries, in the Melbourne, Florida environs, made me want to try it. Who doesn’t love mid-Florida and Melbourne Beach?

That being said, the idea of an old hotel, the Indiatlantic, with ties to older actors and ghosts of stories of former glory days,...well, surely this is a hotel/emporium worth revering. Liz Holt has returned here, tail between her legs, to live with her father, great-aunt Amelia, and “Grand-Pierre.”

While we wait excruciatingly throughout the book to discover Liz’s past, we get to see the great personality development of Aunt Amelia, (who was a character actress on Dark Shadows in the 1960’s); Pierre, the beloved chef who is slowly losing his mind to Alzheimer’s; and Liz’s dad, who is just wonderful but also interested in the female investigator. The relationships are so warm and caring one could almost wish to meet those three!

Some other characters I loved; some no one is expected to love. Barnacle Bob, the irascible parrot with a pirate’s vocabulary, adds fun and spice. Other animals populate the book, adding enjoyment for an animal lover. Gramps’ grandson, Ryan, is an enigma. Regina Harrington-Worth is just plain insufferably rude. 

The bottom line for me: there was more language than I would like, but I will be back to see what happens next to this compelling cast of characters. I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author and NetGalley. A positive review was not required, and the complimentary aspect in no way influenced my opinions, for which I am solely responsible.