Seashells and Christmas Bells is the second book in the Shipwreck Cafe Series. I really enjoyed the first book in this series – Death by Chowder.
Seashells and Christmas Bells starts with Jay sending a letter to the selectmen stating that he would be taking back the privately-owned beach and its parking lot from town use. But one of the selectmen, Sid Swann, is not happy with Jay’s decision. He warns Jay in public and in return Jay warns him too, saying that he might regret his decision later on.
The next day, Sid is found murdered in his office and Jay is suspect number one. The day of the fight, Sid’s wife comes over to Jay and warns him about her husband. Now the widow doesn’t seem to mourn her husband’s death.
Meanwhile, Colleen is still making appearances on the beach. Jay’s decision to turn the tunnel into a museum is approved by Rowland. But as the works start in the tunnel, Jay hears a woman cry for help. is it possible that the cry is that of Colleen’s mother? Jay has two mysteries to solve before it is too late.
I had some trouble with the dialogues in the first book but I see a lot of improvement in this story. 🙂 Can I say that I liked this one better than the debut?
Before you ask me who Rowland and Colleen are, let me tell you – they are ghosts. Yes, you read it right. Rowland and Jay’s friendship starts on a rough note at the beginning of the story but soon turn out to be friends. Rowland likes to talk to Martha (Jay’s mother). Robbie, Jay’s little brother, still hasn’t seen Rowland but he’s in a shock for a shock when he finally gets to see the translucent-y Rowland.
I cannot say much about the story and make this review a spoiler. Jay being a suspect in Sid’s murder is something that I did not expect. Although it did make sense – Jay threatened Sid in public. Colleen’s part in the story was really good. Finally, the poor little girl seemed happy.
Jay is still searching for the treasure that Rowland buried a hundred years ago. Rowland doesn’t want anybody to find it but Jay is adamant. I am really curious to know if this is going to affect the friendship between Jay and Rowland in the next book. It was charming to read that Jay finally met someone with whom he could be ‘happily ever after’.
This is far different from the cozy mysteries I have read so far. The story is engrossing and entertaining. If you like cozy mysteries with a ‘ghostly’ twist, then do give this series a try. The first book might be a tad slow but it picks up pace from book #2 onwards.
Writing Style: 4/5
Character Development: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Title: Seashells and Christmas Bells (Shipwreck Cafe #2)
Author: Donna Walo Clancy
Published on: 21st January 2019
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Featured Image Credits: Goodreads