There’s just nothing like a great cozy mystery in my opinion, and if it includes a small-town beach setting with nostalgic vacation vibes I’m hooked!
I was lucky enough to be able to read the first book in Alicia Bessette’s Outer Banks Bookshop mystery series, SMILE BEACH MURDER, and really enjoyed it so I was thrilled to be offered the chance to read and review book 2 for GLOSS. Cozies are always the perfect books to pick up when I want a quick read or to clean my reading palette between other genres, and this one was fantastic!
The story takes us back to Cattail Island in the Outer Banks, where we continue getting to know Callie Padget, a prior reporter turned bookseller whose boyfriend Toby becomes the prime suspect in the town’s latest murder. After solving the island’s only recent murder nearly a year ago, Callie suddenly finds herself even more invested in finding out who killed the newlywed male who ends up dead at Toby’s place of business, Cattail Family Martial Arts. Her faith in him not being the killer, despite the evidence makes for an endearing, engaging story, the perfect complement to the first book in the series. As he’s forced to temporarily close the martial arts location, the clues left behind are just enough to get Callie started in the right direction to discover the truth.
“Besides– you can’t not teach. It’s what you do. It’s who you are. Cattail needs you, because it needs to learn to protect itself. Now more than ever.”
I love that we see the relationship between Toby + Callie grow from book one, as she works to solve the mystery of who the murderer is, and how it ties into the pregnant mare from the mustang herd turning up missing as well. Bessette introduces new characters in the town in such a way that you feel a part of the town, in this book I really enjoyed getting to know Geri-Lynn, the caretaker of the wild horses, and how she and Callie find a friendship in one another. There’s something sweet about small-town relationships of all kinds that keeps you invested in what will happen to each of them, wanting to keep them safe and defending them from outsiders and any harm.
For me, not knowing a ton about horses or the Outer Banks, I found it fascinating how the horses were woven into the story, I wanted to know more! The fact that it also tied in with the history found in a book available at Callie’s work just felt so well thought out and unique, I would highly recommend this series for anyone who loves a cozy mystery with plenty of detail and Easter eggs throughout the story.
Did you like this book?
Click on a heart to rate it!
GBC Reader Reviews