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Publisher's Summary

A magnificent seaside hotel, striped deck chairs, strawberry ice cream...and a rather familiar dead body? Lady Swift is on the case! 

Spring, 1921. Lady Eleanor Swift, explorer extraordinaire and accidental sleuth, hasn’t had a vacation since she arrived in England a year ago. Being an amateur detective can be a rather tiring business, and she is determined to escape any more murder and mysteries. So she books into the Grand Hotel in the fashionable resort of Brighton for some fresh air, fish and chips, and, of course, a dip in the ocean. 

Eleanor is enjoying her view of the waves and trying to find her bathing suit when calamity strikes: A guest has been found dead at her beautiful hotel. The distraught manager, who can’t afford a scandal, asks Eleanor to solve the case as swiftly as possible. Thank goodness she has her partner in crime - Gladstone the bulldog - to help her sniff out the dastardly culprit.

But when Eleanor enters the dead man’s room, she receives a shock big enough to make her forget even the finest ice cream sundae. The body is that of her husband, who supposedly died six years ago on the other side of the world. Has he been alive all these years? Why does he have a copy of their wedding photograph with a cryptic message written on the back? If Eleanor can keep herself safe long enough to find her husband’s killer, she might discover that everything is not quite as it seems beside the seaside....

A warm and witty whodunit! Fans of Agatha Christie, T E Kinsey, and L.B. Hathaway will be utterly charmed. 

©2021 Verity Bright (P)2021 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

What listeners say about Mystery by the Sea

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Fantastic narration

I love this series and have read all the books in it. I thought that the narration on this was especially good because there were quite a lot of different accents to master and the narrator did a good job of them. Lovely book!

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  • Victoria J. Mejia-Gewe
  • 2021-06-09

Another delightful 1920s mystery

Mystery by the Sea by Verity Bright is a fun addition to the Lady Eleanor Swift Mystery series, set in 1921. Eleanor decides to take a seaside vacation at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. When she gets to the Grand, she is just in time to see the EMTs carry out a body. Then the sheet slips off the body, and Eleanor faints. The body belongs to her husband, Hilary Eden, who was supposed to have died in front of a firing squad six years earlier during the Great War for selling arms to the enemy.

The rest of the book follows Eleanor and her butler, Clifford, as they try to track down the truth while a wide range of criminals chases after them, in the belief that Hilary gave Eleanor some unspecified treasure that they all want.

This series is a true delight and wittier than many of the recent historical mysteries set in the Roaring ’20s. This era seems to be the trend for recent historical mysteries, and many have sacrificed quality for the chance to jump on this bandwagon. The Lady Eleanor Swift series does not do that, being witty and full of fun.

I have two favorite characters. First is Clifford, the staid butler, who acts so proper yet secretly has a sense of humor and abets Eleanor’s schemes while appearing to oppose them. My second favorite character is Gladstone, the old bulldog whom Eleanor has inherited from her late great-uncle. He is always full of mischief and is good for a great laugh. One other detail that provides joy is that Eleanor actually pays to bring her staff to Brighton with her, something unheard of. The cook, housekeeper, and 15-year-old ladies’ maid, who is nothing but thumbs, have a delightful time and let down their hair in some terrific scenes of comic relief.

I enjoy the audiobook performance of Karen Cass, who is well suited to read this book. She does good voices and good accents.

I had a truly delightful time listening to this audiobook and award it five stars.