Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Book Review: A Treasure to Die For by Terry Ambrose (Seaside Cove Bed and Breakfast Mysteries #1)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong mystery, interesting main characters
Cons: A few things early on that I got used to as the book progressed
The Bottom Line:
Dead guest on the rocks
Rick must sift through lies for truth
Interesting start

Finding the Truth in a Hunt Filled with Lies

Try as I might, I don’t hear about every series that comes out, which is why Terry Ambrose’s A Treasure to Die For just cross my radar last year.  The story and the characters had to grow on me a bit, but I was definitely enjoying the book by the end.

When Rick Atwood inherits the Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast from his grandfather, he is looking to start his life over, so relocating to the town on the California coast with his ten-year-old daughter, Alex, seems like a great idea.  He’s still learning the business with the help of Marquetta, who used to work for his grandfather, when a group of treasure hunters book a weekend stay.  They are there to try to find a long sunken ship, but something seems off about the group.  They are constantly fighting for starters, so Rick wonders just how good a team they will wind up being.

His questions appear to be answered when one of the members of the group is found dead on the rocks near the B&B.  The local police are not used to handling a murder, and the mayor asks Rick to brush off his reporter skills and help with the investigation.  Even Alex gets into the mix, much to Rick’s dismay.  His guests seem to lie to him every time they open their mouths.  Will Rick figure out what is really going on?

Rick and Alex are both central viewpoint characters in this book.  Most of the book is written from Rick’s third person viewpoint, but we get some chapters from Alex, either writing in her diary or in first person present narration.  These changes happen at chapter breaks, and it is always clear who we are following for that chapter.  I’ll admit, having Alex so involved in the book took some getting used to, and I wasn’t quite sure about her character early on, but she grew on me as the book progressed.

It took me a while to keep the suspects straight.  It probably didn’t help that sometimes, they were referred to by their first names and other times by their last names.  However, as the book progressed, I was able to remember who was who.

Now, if it sounds like these were major issues, they weren’t.  They were definitely things I was noticing as I was getting into the story.  If they had continued the entire way through the book, it would have been a problem.  But as I got caught up in the story, these issues began to fade away.

And this book does have a wonderful mystery.  As I teased earlier, everyone is lying, and it takes Rick quite a bit of work to figure out where the truth really lies.  I loved how the story unfolded and really got caught up in trying to figure it out with Rick.  When he reaches the solution, it makes perfect sense.

Meanwhile, there is some backstory to the characters that is teased here.  I’m curious to find out where those threads will go.

Since this is a bed and breakfast set mystery, we get a couple of delicious sounding breakfast bread recipes at the end.

A Treasure to Die For sets up what looks to be a promising cozy mystery series.  I’m going to have to book a return visit soon.

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