Death at Castle Cove by Mary Grand

It’s my stop today on the blog tour for Death at Castle Cove by Mary Grand. Many thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite.

Title: Death at Castle Cove

Author: Mary Grand

Published on: 8 March 2023

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy on Amazon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Island life suits Susan and she cannot think about moving away from the Isle of Wright. She has a group of friends here – fellow dog walkers who meet at the beach often. Susan’s friends include Nikki and Nathan, owners of the hotel, The Glanville, chefs at the hotel – Trystan and Torri, Robert – a retired police officer and Beatrice, a retired jeweler.

Susan is well-known for taking ‘strays’ as her daughter Zoe likes to say. Colette moved to the island after the death of her grandmother. Colette’s gran, Pam, was in a nursing home on the island. Colette claims one of the former employees at the nursing home (Nikki, Nathan, Trystan, Torri and Beatrice) stole her grandmother’s valuables.

Soon after talking about the valuables with her dog walking friends, Colette receives a call from the nursing home saying her grandmother’s locket was found in the garden. Colette is pretty certain one of the dog walkers are guilty of theft. She confronts them at a beach party hosted to celebrate Nikki and Nathan’s engagement. Hours later, Colette is found dead.

The local police close the case stating Colette ingested something containing shellfish. It was a well-known fact that Colette was allergic to shellfish. Susan is not convinced this was an accident. She believes someone killed Colette. She decides to dig deeper into the case and puts herself in harm’s way.

Death at Castle Cove by Mary Grand is an intriguing, engrossing and entertaining cozy mystery. I loved the setting, the plot-to-story development, multiple red herrings, twists and turns, and the characters. Almost every character in this story owns a dog or two – dog lovers might love this particular inclusion.

Even before Colette was found dead at the beach, it is made clear to the readers as to who the murder victim might be. Colette’s told everyone about her shellfish allergy. She’s found snooping at the hotel by her employers. She tells her dog walking friends that she’s aware one of them stole her gran’s jewelry. Confronting and challenging a killer comes at a cost, innit? In Colette’s case, it was a deadly affair.

The only niggle I had with this story was that Susan was too trusting. She openly tells her dog walking friends about her suspicions (that Colette’s death was no accident) and evidence she’s gathered along the way. Her house is broken into not once but twice. When it happens for the first time, she doesn’t change the key code. When it happens again, she’s worried.

It’s not until the latter half of the story (almost at the end) that Susan realizes her dog walking friends aren’t as innocent as they seem to be. Also, Susan doesn’t think twice before confronting the suspects. A daredevil act which backfired at times.

I loved the murder mystery. The police aren’t looking into the case, but Susan is sure Colette was murdered. As she digs deeper, the killer knows she’s onto them. They threaten her, not once or twice, but many times. Still, Susan doesn’t take no for an answer.

I couldn’t identify the killer before Susan did. The clues were all there but hidden under multiple red herrings. Twists and turns were plenty – some of which were shocking and unexpected. I loved the side stories of the characters. I also loved Susan’s side of the story – her personal life, her struggles with separation, and much more.

Excellent storytelling. Likable characters. A murder mystery to keep one guessing till the end. I enjoyed reading Death at Castle Cove by Mary Grand. If you are looking for a cozy read with a charming setting and a charming main character, I recommend Death at Castle Cove by Mary Grand.

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