Secrets of the Treasure King by Terry Ambrose

Title: Secrets of the Treasure King (A Seaside Cove B&B Mystery #4)

Author: Terry Ambrose

Published on: 29 April 2020

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Secrets of the Treasure King is the fourth book in A Seaside Cove B&B Mystery series. None of the books in this series ends in a cliffhanger but there are recurring characters (apart from the main characters) and the main theme revolves around the sunken Spanish ship San Manuel so if you want to give this book a read, I recommend you to start from book #1.

We have three main characters in this series. Rick Atwood, a former reporter who now owns the Seaside Cove B&B;  his daughter Alex, a snoopy amateur sleuth; Marquetta, the B&B’s cook and Rick’s love interest. In the second book of this series, we were introduced to an archaeologist named Flynn O’Connor – she was one of the suspects in a murder back then and Rick helped in proving her innocence. Flynn makes an appearance in Secrets of the Treasure King.

‘The Treasure King’ is a treasure hunting ship and is currently in Seaside Cove. The ‘inmates’ of the ship are unruly. A tiff in the local restaurant that night leads to Rick not being able to propose to Marquetta. The next day, the captain of the ship is found dead. The shipmates are the prime suspects. Adam Cunningham is now the Chief of Police of Seaside Cove and there’s a new deputy in town. Meet Pamela Baker, Marquetta’s ex-best-friend. Uh-huh! Some nasty sparks flying around here!

Alex, the little packet of unlimited energy, finds herself in a soup. She sneaks into the Treasure King and is caught red-handed. Deputy Baker wants to handcuff Alex. Atrocious!! Rick is now involved! So involved! Unless Rick can solve the case Alex obtained illegally, Alex might be looking at spending some time behind bars. Say whaaaat????

I absolutely adore this series. The Seaside Cove B&B is surely one of my favourite cozy mysteries. Alex, Rick and Marquetta – what a cute family! Aww! Okay, Okay, Marquetta and Rick aren’t married yet, but Alex wants a baby sister. And she wants it yesterday!!!

The mystery behind the captain’s murder does create some tension between Rick and Adam. But if there is one person to be blamed for this, then all fingers point to the grumpy Deputy Baker. Alex’s sleuthing certainly tossed some tables around.


There’s another mystery waiting to be solved since the first book in this series. The ‘mystery’ behind Marquetta’s dad’s death. Neil Weiss was a treasure hunter and Rick’s grandpa Captain Jack funded Weiss’ treasure hunts. Weiss went to the sea in search of San Manuel in the storm and never came back. Was Captain Jack somehow involved in Neil Weiss’s death? Joe Gray (another recurring character) has some secrets to share. Will Rick and Marquetta be able to digest what’s throw at them? The answers are in this book.

We see a lot of closures in this book. This is not the end, for Alex still hasn’t gotten her baby sister. 😉 But Marquetta finally has to decide if she’s ready to face the truth. Rick has to decide if he wants to make a further commitment to his relationship. And as far as San Manuel is concerned, somebody better start searching for the lost treasure!

Wonderful character portrayal, a mystery that keeps the readers hooked on to the story until the end and the search for the lost Spanish ship – you would not want to miss reading Secrets of the Treasure King.

You can read my reviews of the previous books in this series here.

Book #1: A Treasure to Die For

Book #2: Clues in the Sand

Book #3: The Killer Christmas Sweater Club


Ain’t I lucky? I got a chance to review the author of my new favourite cozy mystery series. 🙂

Hello Terry and welcome to my blog The Book Decoder. Could you please tell me and my readers about yourself? 

I started writing many years ago while I was still working. Secrets of the Treasure King is my fifteenth published novel. I also organized an anthology written by bestselling mystery authors to benefit Read Aloud America, an organization that promotes literacy in Hawaii. Like many authors, I have a few ‘trunk novels’ (books that were never published) that were written in my early days as a writer. 

My other interests include photography—I publish a new travel photo each week on my blog—and ballroom dance. When my wife was injured and had to undergo wrist surgery last year, I took over the kitchen duties. I’ve discovered I enjoy cooking and that it provides me with a way to escape from the writer’s time-nemesis, the computer. 


When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I realized in my late thirties how beneficial writing was to my mental health. For me,  it’s a very cathartic process—a way to escape the real world for a short period in time.  After I completed my (absolutely terrible) first book, I decided to eventually make a career switch. This turned out to be a good news/bad news decision. The bad news is this was another of those cases where desire and skill didn’t mesh. I was simply not ready to be a professional writer. The good news is my decision put me on a path to discovering some excellent mentors, who helped me learn so much more about the craft of writing. 

What is the inspiration behind the Seaside Cove B&B mystery series? 

Inspiration is never about just one thing for me. My McKenna Trouble in Paradise mysteries had been gravitating in the cozy mystery direction for several years, but I also wanted to write younger characters. Because most cozies feature a single mom, I chose to go with a single dad. I also chose dual protagonists so that one could tackle the mystery “inside the box” while the other worked it from a very unconventional perspective. The sunken treasure storyline came about because my wife once said, “Everyone loves a good treasure hunt.” That one comment was all it took. I had the other parts, but I didn’t have what turned out to be the glue for the series. 

Alex is a modern-day Nancy Drew. What do you think she would become when she’s all grown up? A reporter like her dad, a cook like Marquetta, a cop like Adam or an archaeologist like Flynn? 

I’m not sure what Alex will become when she grows up. Her career aspirations change almost constantly. The one thing that always grabs her interest, though, is solving a mystery. 

What’s next for Rick, Alex and Marquetta? We do see some closures in book #4. How will things be in the B&B once the search for sunken ship starts?  

Rick and Marquetta are definitely on the track to marriage. That may happen in book 5, but I’m dreading the thought of writing a wedding scene. Still, I do love a challenge (and I have a big one because I need to write a Hawaiian wedding for the McKenna Trouble in Paradise series—it’s taken me ten books to get to that point, so you can see how much I’ve procrastinated! As for the San Mañuel, finding the sunken treasure is only the beginning. You’ll just have to tune in to the next book to see what develops. 

What are you currently working on? A new series? The next book in Seaside Cove B&B? 

Currently, I’m working on the tenth McKenna Trouble in Paradise Mystery. My goal is to have the book out in the fall. I’ve also completed the first in a light PI mystery series. My goal is to have that traditionally published, but with all the turmoil we’re seeing in the world this year, who knows how long that will take

There’s a giveaway for this blog tour. A $10 amazon gift card. Details are here.

Many thanks to Lori for the blog tour invite.

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