about the book
Title: Murder on the Pier
Author: Merryn Allingham
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series/Standalone: Second Book in the Flora Steele Mystery series; Can be read as a standalone
Estimated page count: 270
Formats available: Paperback, Audiobook and eBook. Available on Kindle Unlimited
Publisher: Bookouture (10 Nov. 2021)
Tour organised by: Bookouture
Meet Flora Steele – bookshop owner, bicycle-rider, daydreamer and amateur detective!
Sussex, 1955: When bookshop owner Flora Steele goes for a walk along the pier she isn’t expecting to spot a young woman’s body in the stormy waters below. And she’s shocked to discover the victim is someone she knows…
Convinced the death was not an accident, Flora persuades attractive local crime writer Jack Carrington to help her find out what really happened to poor Polly Dakers, a popular young woman with a complicated love life, who’d been at the heart of village life in Abbeymead.
Jack is reluctant to get involved in another murder case at first but even he can’t deny that Polly’s fall seems fishy. An argument at a party, a missed hairdresser’s appointment and a red woollen bobble found on the wooden boards where Polly last stood provide a trail of clues…
As they grow closer to solving the puzzling mystery, the unlikely pair stumble upon several surprising secrets about those closest to Polly. A number of potential suspects begin to emerge. But who really disliked Polly enough to kill her? Was it Raymond, her jilted first love? Harry, her latest beau? Or Evelyn, Harry’s jealous estranged wife?
As the investigation brings them closer to the truth, Flora is intent on unmasking the killer – but will her stealthy sleuthing lead her down a dangerous path?
An utterly delightful cozy crime novel set in the fictional Sussex village of Abbeymead. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Joy Ellis!
Listen to an audio sample here.
When Flora and Jack are on a day out in Brighton the last thing they expect to find is a body, and it’s someone they both know. Shocked at first, Flora is convinced that it’s not the accident that the police are suggesting. She saw the victim having an argument recently, as well as other suspicious things. Determined to find out the truth, she kicks off her own investigation alongside Jack. But the more they delve into it, the more potential suspects they come up with. And as they start to get closer to the truth, Flora and Jack keep finding themselves in danger. Will they discover who the culprit was before one of them gets hurt?
For me it was fantastic being back with Flora and Jack. They’re both fantastic characters, with some brilliant chemistry. Flora is her usual hardworking, resilient, determined and persistent self. She’s stubborn and when she believes in something, she’ll put her foot down. Jack is wonderful, and I love how he wants to protect Flora and how he cares about Charlie. Watching the two of them starting to realise their feelings is brilliant and I really want them to end up together, they’re perfect for each other! And talking of characters, I love little Charlie. He’s so funny, but a hardworking wonderful boy.
The setting is brilliant. A small, cosy village with a real community spirit. The way Merryn describes it really brings it to life, and you’ll find yourself transported to village life ten years after world war 2. The effects of the war are still evident, and people are still coming to terms with the aftermath. The descriptions of the scenery are wonderful. I could picture the pier and the theatre, and the little river. It all sounds idyllic (apart from the murder!)
Finally, another fantastic storyline that sucked me in. I guessed who the culprit was about 3/4 of the way through and was so happy that I got it, because the book keeps you guessing till the very end. The plot works well, and the writing is a joy to read. The style really does make you feel like you’re in the 1950’s.
So if you’re looking for a super cosy, wonderful mystery set in the 50’s with a couple of fantastic lead characters, a mystery that will keep you turning the pages and a beautiful setting, then this is for you. Highly recommended by me. I’m looking forward to the next one!
about the author
Merryn taught university literature for many years, and it took a while to pluck up the courage to begin writing herself. Bringing the past to life is a passion and her historical fiction includes Regency romances, wartime sagas and timeslip novels, all of which have a mystery at their heart. As the books have grown darker, it was only a matter of time before she plunged into crime with a cosy crime series set in rural Sussex against the fascinating backdrop of the 1950s.
Merryn lives in a beautiful old town in Sussex with her husband and one last cat, Bluebell. When she’s not writing, she tries to keep fit with adult ballet classes and plenty of walking.
follow the tour
Thanks to Merryn, Bookouture and NetGalley for my copy of the book. All views and opinions are my own.
Have a wonderful day lovelies, and I’ll be back again soon.