MURDER BY THE SEA by Kathleen Bridge is the third novel in the By the Sea Mystery series. The novel is due to be published on May 21st 2019 by Lyrical Underground.
Novelist Liz Holt is ringing in the New Year with her family and friends at the Florida Writes Literary Masquerade Ball when she runs into her abusive ex-boyfriend. Not long after Liz and Travis Osterman engage in a semi-public argument, Travis is found murdered on the grounds of her family hotel, the Indialantic by the Sea. Liz, unfortunately, has a motive for killing for Travis. She also has no alibi. While the police focus their investigation on Liz, she teams up with her boyfriend and a family friend to look into other suspects and find the real killer.
Even though I did enjoy it, I just couldn’t get into MURDER BY THE SEA. My main issue with the novel was the stilted, unnatural dialogue. I think Bridge relied too heavily on conveying information to the reader through the characters’ dialogue, but the characters were discussing topics that everyone in the conversation already knew about. Basically, the conversations came down to one character explaining something to another character in an “as you already know” context. I found it off-putting. That being said, the mystery itself is fairly enjoyable. The murder victim is a thoroughly unlikable guy, and there are plenty of suspects with solid motives.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.