Death at Neptune Yard by Jan Durham

Title: Death at Neptune Yard (Kipper Cottage Mystery #2)

Author: Jan Durham

Published on: 27 February 2022

Genre: Cozy Mystery

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Halloween is coming to North Yorkshire and the seaside town of Whitby is gearing up for the Annual Goth festival. Spooky fun for people of all ages is the theme of the festival. But…

Iris, a Whitby local and Liz McLuckie’s friend has an encounter with a Barghest – Yorkshire’s legendary dog of death. Liz does not believe in ghosts or paranormal but soon a dead body is found – by Liz and her dog Nelson. This is followed by a series of mysterious fatalities and that gets Liz thinking. Who is causing havoc in the quaint seaside town of Whitby and why?

Death at Neptune Yard is the second book in Jan Durham’s Kipper Cottage Mystery series.

Liz McLuckie has finally finished the renovations in Kipper Cottage and has moved to the cottage next door – Gull Cottage – along with her dog Nelson. Niall, a young lad of 20-something whom we first met in Death at the Abbey also lives with Liz. Liz and her late husband Mark could not have any children and when Liz first met Niall, she felt a wave of motherly instinct flowing through her veins. When she learned Niall has nowhere to live, she asked him to stay with her and in exchange for the comfy stay, Niall helped her renovate Kipper Cottage.

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The Annual Goth Festival has begun in Whitby and travelers from all across the country are arriving. Kipper Cottage is going to have its first set of paying guests and Liz is excited about it. When she visits her best friend Tilly’s Full Moon café, she learns of Iris’ encounter with a Barghest, also known as the dog of death. Liz visits Iris at the hospital; Donnie Satterwhite, a local reporter is also at the hospital, wanting an ‘eye-witness report’ from Iris.

The next day, Donnie Satterwhite is found dead in his house. There’s a huge bloody paw print on the wall of his room – indicating the Barghest has claimed its first victim. The Full Moon cafe’s new server’s twin boys are up to some mischief. Liz happens to learn of a secret involving Donnie and the boys’ mother. The next day, Constable Bill Williams (also known as double Bill) asks Liz to help him rescue a bird from Donnie’s fireplace and in the process, Liz learns of Donnie’s secret.

Gossip, goth, paranormal activity, love and broken hearts, blackmail and a whole lot of spooky fun are the themes of this engrossing cozy mystery. I have read the first book in the series and was looking forward to catching up with Liz’s adventures. Liz once again finds herself involved in a murder mystery. But this time, her life is at stake. The ‘killer’ knows Liz is poking her nose where it does not belong and threatens Liz – the bodily harm causing type of threat.

Speaking of love and broken hearts, it’s been five years since Liz’s husband Mark passed away. Liz never thought of her Mah-Jong friend Benedict as more than just a friend. But, when Liz gets involved in the mystery surrounding the body found at the Whitby Abbey (book #1), she realizes she wants more than just friendship with Ben. But, Benedict and the local reverend – Gillian – have a thing for each other. Liz feels a little sad knowing she might not get another chance at love. But in this book, we see things come to a standstill between Ben and Gillian (happens in the latter half of the story; sorry about the spoiler!) and Liz almost blurts out her feelings to Ben. Almost! Phew! Liz couldn’t imagine what would have happened, had she professed her feelings to Ben. Absolute nightmare, perhaps! If you ask me, I would say I love to see Liz get another chance at love – Ben and Liz make a good pair.

Consider me impressed. I am in awe of Jan Durham’s storytelling. As I was reading through, it felt like a movie playing in the head. Be it the Goth festival or the mystery surrounding the legendary dog of death or the murder(s), this story kept me guessing till the end. Not to forget, the ending is simply mind-blowing! Like, MIND-BLOWING! Woah! I never saw that twist coming. Uh-huh.

Set in the picturesque seaside town of Whitby in North Yorkshire, Death at Neptune Yard by Jan Durham is a marvelous, engrossing and completely entertaining cozy mystery.


I received an ARC from Inkubator Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion.

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