The Seasiders is a light mystery novel written by A. J. Griffiths-Jones in 2016 and published by Creativia, the same press where I’m published. I like to sample different authors’ books throughout the year to see what everyone’s styles are like. I always end up enjoying the books and this was no exception.
At first, the story is very simple. A husband and wife, Dick and Grace, own and operate a small b&b in the UK. Grace’s family originally ran the place, but once they retired the business transferred to their daughter. Dick does very little to help out. He does his best to build the foundation for an outdoor patio, but he breaks the cement all the time. He can’t use the booking system, and he is possibly afraid of the washing machine. Grace loves him, but part of her wants an escape. We meet a few of their guests and neighbors all the while knowing something weird is going on, just never quite certain what it is. By the end, the truth comes out in quite a twist and we are left wondering what really happened along the way. I’m being purposely vague so readers won’t feel any spoils nor try to guess for themselves. It’s a very different kind of mystery book, but still a good one to experience.
Griffiths-Jones relies on typical encounters between a husband and wife, neighbors, and guests at a hotel to tell this story. Through preparing a meal, checking in/out, running errands, or overhearing conversations, the plot unfolds and thickens. A guest goes missing. Money has been stolen. Police are investigating but they won’t say for what. It’s in the hidden details that readers must find the actual events that have occurred. It’s a careful and deliberate writing style to balance facts and missing facts. When a writer can do this and achieve a wonderful ending, it’s a sign of talent.
On the shorter side, probably more of a novella, it’s easy to digest in a couple of hours. Grab a cup of tea, perhaps a tasty snack, and sit by a fire this winter. Immerse yourself in each new character and try to figure out the connection to the plot. Sometimes it’s clear, others it’s not until the end. The author drops several red herrings, but there’s also a few solid clues you might miss. I enjoyed the descriptions as it painted a mostly clear picture of the setting, scenery and characters, but left enough for me to fill in the blanks as I saw fit in my connections to the book. That’s always my favorite style — not too detailed, but not too vague.
A lovely story, a few surprises, a good afternoon read to get familiar with the author’s styles and talents. I’m definitely glad I took this one and look forward to checking out her other books in the upcoming year.
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My stand-alone novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. The debut book, Academic Curveball, in my new mystery series, Braxton Campus Mysteries will fit those who love cozy mysteries and crime investigations. I read, write, and blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge –and multiple Readathons. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.