Smile Beach Murder by Alicia Bessette

In this cozy mystery series kick off, author Alicia Bessette introduces us to the colorful cast of characters living on Cattail Island off the coast of North Carolina in Smile Beach Murder, the first book in the Outer Banks Bookshop Mystery series.  Callie Padget grew up on the island and has now returned from Charlotte after her job writing for a newspaper was eliminated.  As glad as she is to reconnect with her uncle and see long lost friends, the island holds bittersweet memories for her.  Years earlier, her mother fell off the lighthouse deck on Smile Beach and was killed.  It has never been clear to Callie what exactly happened the night her mother fell.  Was it an accident, murder or suicide?

Callie soon finds a job at the local bookstore where she spent many hours after her mother’s death reading everything she could get her hands on.  She also runs into long lost friend Eva Meeks, who runs Meeks Hardware, along with her sister.   Eva shares with Callie that she may have discovered a long lost secret of the island and is on the hunt for a buried treasure. During a late night phone call, Eva begs Callie to meet her at the lighthouse at Smile Beach to find out more about the treasure.  When Callie arrives, she discovers the worst possible scenario – Eva has fallen from the top of the light house in exactly the same way as her mother did 10 years ago!

As Callie begins her amateur investigation, she makes some of the residents angry along the way.  From the remaining family members who run Meeks Hardware to the richest family in town, Callie has a tendency to stir the pot when she uncovers clues that may indicate that Eva did not jump off the lighthouse and was pushed.

Simultaneously investigating her mother’s mysterious fall and the most recent event at the lighthouse, Callie learns the hard way how sticking her nose into the investigation can be risky as she is attacked by a masked perpetrator who she believes was trying to throw her off the trail.  Soon thereafter, she befriends the new martial arts teacher in town, Tony Dodge, and a budding romance ensues after he offers to give her private self defense courses.

As Callie gets nearer to uncovering what truly happened to her mother and to Eva years later, another victim is discovered.  Callie wonders if she will uncover the truth before she becomes the next victim.  Bessette not only has written an engaging mystery, she has also made the setting of the Outer Banks come alive to the reader.  The sand, breeze and salty air are vivid in this debut mystery.  If you are looking for a cozy mystery that has a spectacular setting and memorable characters, pick up Smile Beach Murder, the series launch of the Outer Banks Bookshop Mystery series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bad Behavior has blocked 2122 access attempts in the last 7 days.