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Seaside Secrets

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Suzie Allen gets a call to inform her that her estranged Uncle Harry has passed away and has unexpectedly left her Dune House, a beautiful house on the beach that was once a Bed and Breakfast. With her best friend, Mary, going through a messy divorce, the two decide to get away and go to the small town of Garber to see the house. Despite the stunning setting, the house ha Suzie Allen gets a call to inform her that her estranged Uncle Harry has passed away and has unexpectedly left her Dune House, a beautiful house on the beach that was once a Bed and Breakfast. With her best friend, Mary, going through a messy divorce, the two decide to get away and go to the small town of Garber to see the house. Despite the stunning setting, the house has been neglected for years and is in a terrible state of disrepair. Suzie and Mary make the decision to refurbish the house together. But then, Suzie and Mary start finding evidence that maybe Uncle Harry didn’t die of natural causes. Suzie’s investigative background as a journalist takes over and the ladies go on a search to discover what secrets the house holds. Will these secrets reveal a dark side to Suzie’s strange cousin, Jason? Was the decision to refurbish Dune House the worst mistake of their lives? Or is this the beginning of an exciting new chapter?


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Suzie Allen gets a call to inform her that her estranged Uncle Harry has passed away and has unexpectedly left her Dune House, a beautiful house on the beach that was once a Bed and Breakfast. With her best friend, Mary, going through a messy divorce, the two decide to get away and go to the small town of Garber to see the house. Despite the stunning setting, the house ha Suzie Allen gets a call to inform her that her estranged Uncle Harry has passed away and has unexpectedly left her Dune House, a beautiful house on the beach that was once a Bed and Breakfast. With her best friend, Mary, going through a messy divorce, the two decide to get away and go to the small town of Garber to see the house. Despite the stunning setting, the house has been neglected for years and is in a terrible state of disrepair. Suzie and Mary make the decision to refurbish the house together. But then, Suzie and Mary start finding evidence that maybe Uncle Harry didn’t die of natural causes. Suzie’s investigative background as a journalist takes over and the ladies go on a search to discover what secrets the house holds. Will these secrets reveal a dark side to Suzie’s strange cousin, Jason? Was the decision to refurbish Dune House the worst mistake of their lives? Or is this the beginning of an exciting new chapter?

30 review for Seaside Secrets

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Seaside Secrets by Cindy Bell is a 2014 publication. This is the prequel to the Dune House mystery series featuring Suzie and Mary, life long friends who are about to embark on a new chapter in their lives. Suzie finds out her Uncle Harry has passed away and left her Dune House, a large home situated on the beach in the small town of Garber. It's a mystery as to why Harry didn't leave the house to his son Jason, so Suzie heads to Garber to see the house she has inherited and meet her cousin. Mar Seaside Secrets by Cindy Bell is a 2014 publication. This is the prequel to the Dune House mystery series featuring Suzie and Mary, life long friends who are about to embark on a new chapter in their lives. Suzie finds out her Uncle Harry has passed away and left her Dune House, a large home situated on the beach in the small town of Garber. It's a mystery as to why Harry didn't leave the house to his son Jason, so Suzie heads to Garber to see the house she has inherited and meet her cousin. Mary is Suzie's best friend, and at the moment she his going through a heated divorce, so she travels with Suzie to see Dune house and offer support. The pair slowly begin to realize that Uncle Harry may not have died of a heart attack as originally thought, and foul play may have been involved. Could Dune house be the reason or is there something even more sinister going on? Could Suzie or Mary be in danger? I'm thinking I picked this one up from the kindle store while it was on a special promo. I liked it well enough to add the next two books in the series to by TBR list. I enjoy cozy mysteries and have found myself reading more and more of them lately. I like the idea of restoring Dune House and turning it into a B&B, I love the friendship between Suzie and Mary, which gives the series a solid beginning. The mystery is not overly complicated which is usually the case with cozies, but it held my interest and kept me guessing. Overall not a bad way to start a new series. 3.5 rounded to 4

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bookmom

    Definitely a light read; too light. Very simplistic story about a woman who inherits an old rundown house on a beach that had once been a bed and breakfast. She and her best friend go to check it out and while cleaning it up, discover a mystery. There’s no real depth to the either the tale or the characters. It had more of a feel of reading a book report than a mystery. No twists and turns. No feel of being in a character’s head to experience their emotions. The climatic confrontation started off Definitely a light read; too light. Very simplistic story about a woman who inherits an old rundown house on a beach that had once been a bed and breakfast. She and her best friend go to check it out and while cleaning it up, discover a mystery. There’s no real depth to the either the tale or the characters. It had more of a feel of reading a book report than a mystery. No twists and turns. No feel of being in a character’s head to experience their emotions. The climatic confrontation started off with some promise, but that too was glossed over. Picked this up when it was offered for free, but I can’t see myself reading any others in this series.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Malmquist

    Uncle Harry has passed away and his niece, Susan Allen has inherited his large house by the sea. Mary, Susie's best friend is going through an unpleasant divorce. The two friends decide to go to see the house that Susan has received. The house was a bed and breakfast but needs a lot of repair. They decide to restore it and use it as a bed and breakfast again. However, Susan and Mary find some clues that Harry may have been helped along in passing sooner than he should have. Have they made a mistake Uncle Harry has passed away and his niece, Susan Allen has inherited his large house by the sea. Mary, Susie's best friend is going through an unpleasant divorce. The two friends decide to go to see the house that Susan has received. The house was a bed and breakfast but needs a lot of repair. They decide to restore it and use it as a bed and breakfast again. However, Susan and Mary find some clues that Harry may have been helped along in passing sooner than he should have. Have they made a mistake coming to remodel the house? Mary and Susan find themselves in the road of a killer determined not to let them find out what is going on. Cute and easy mystery. Moves along quickly. More of a short story.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Haddock

    Very short and obvious killer Fisrt, I'd give this a 3 1/2 or a bit higher. The story was good enough, but short on length and therefore on more development. Likeable main characters and a nice setting. Very nice writing style.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    This is a quick read novella, setting up for a series about amateur sleuths. The first few pages are a local history lesson; then the phone rings and the lady who answers thinks of another page of history before we get started. Much better would have been just to start the story and then feed in the backstory through conversations and letters - as largely happens anyway. A single lady, retired from having been a journalist, and her friend whose husband is divorcing her, head off to a beachside h This is a quick read novella, setting up for a series about amateur sleuths. The first few pages are a local history lesson; then the phone rings and the lady who answers thinks of another page of history before we get started. Much better would have been just to start the story and then feed in the backstory through conversations and letters - as largely happens anyway. A single lady, retired from having been a journalist, and her friend whose husband is divorcing her, head off to a beachside house which the singleton has inherited. This old building used to be a B&B but at the time they find it, the elderly owner had lived reclusively for a few years so in good female style they take to cleaning up and seeing how much repair work is needed. Some mysterious issues between the deceased man and his son, the local police officer, cloud the inheritance, and some prominent local citizens also feel the house should be bulldozed. Maybe the land is worth more for development, or maybe there are other reasons. I have to take against a scene at the end. Nobody but nobody would willingly sit in a chair to be tied up when the petrol has been spread and the matches produced. Nobody. Why not pick up a weapon or grab a bucket of water? Why not keep arguing to buy time? Why not fumble for your phone to call 911 as you talk or run? He's threatening to shoot your friend? Your friend is going to die anyway if the place goes on fire. Other than this stupidity I liked the story. The series seems to be aimed at mature ladies and does not as yet feature a dog, cat or cookery but it might be only a matter of time before it fits the stereotypes. I would read more as I am guessing the B&B will be reopened and turn into a lively place. I downloaded a free copy. This is an unbiased review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angela Zonis

    Mysterious Held mystery of who was killed by who up to the very end. Well done. Can’t wait to read more.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Passable, for the genre. I'll read the next one and see about if I read more than that. The writing style feels a little young. Like it is written for middle school age. It feels like it took as long to write as it did for me to read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    Way too short and simple. More time on introduction than mystery. Solved as quickly as it is found with no puzzle, sleuthing, or investigation. What a waste of time to read! 2 star

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Tejchma

    Good book Good book with great mystery storyline. Love the strong female leading ladies! I am going to like this series! On to book number 2!!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Betty

    This is the first installment in the Dune House Mystery series. The characters are - Suzie Allen is a retired investigative journalist and her best friend, Mary Brent, an empty nester who is in the middle of a nasty divorce. Suzie receives a phone call that her Uncle Harry has passed away and left her "Dune House", his majestic old home on the beach in Garber. Suzie and Mary arrive to find the house almost in ruins from years of neglect and decide to fix it up to become a B&B. This is a charming This is the first installment in the Dune House Mystery series. The characters are - Suzie Allen is a retired investigative journalist and her best friend, Mary Brent, an empty nester who is in the middle of a nasty divorce. Suzie receives a phone call that her Uncle Harry has passed away and left her "Dune House", his majestic old home on the beach in Garber. Suzie and Mary arrive to find the house almost in ruins from years of neglect and decide to fix it up to become a B&B. This is a charming, cozy, mystery that will leave you wanting more. The friendship between Suzie and Mary is fun, and Suzie's relationship with her newfound cousin, Jason (who is also the Chief of Police) starts off on rocky footing but definitely has potential for future installments. This is a must read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dallass

    Short, yet fun and fast paced. I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The characters are pretty decent considering there is not a lot of time to get to know them, and I liked the brief prologue letting the reader know the background of Dune House and the town without being repetitive and info dumpy later. The mystery unfolds pretty quickly once the clues start rolling in, and while there is no subtlety with trying to hide the identity of the killer, Short, yet fun and fast paced. I didn’t have high hopes for this book, but I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The characters are pretty decent considering there is not a lot of time to get to know them, and I liked the brief prologue letting the reader know the background of Dune House and the town without being repetitive and info dumpy later. The mystery unfolds pretty quickly once the clues start rolling in, and while there is no subtlety with trying to hide the identity of the killer, it was fun to watch it unfold as the characters discovered who did it. 3 stars ⭐️

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This is the first in the series and the first time reading this author . I really enjoyed this book. It was a page turner from the first word. The main character is Suzie and along with her best friend Mary go to see a house her uncle left her. The time is right for an adventure for the two and they walk right into the middle of something when they get there. In less the a week, they turn the town upside down and solve two murders that no one was calling murders. I look forward to reading more o This is the first in the series and the first time reading this author . I really enjoyed this book. It was a page turner from the first word. The main character is Suzie and along with her best friend Mary go to see a house her uncle left her. The time is right for an adventure for the two and they walk right into the middle of something when they get there. In less the a week, they turn the town upside down and solve two murders that no one was calling murders. I look forward to reading more of their adventures.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    The mystery of this book really helped to expand the town as well as Katie’s past. It’s an interesting story that has a tragic ending which led to the people in the high school at the time be a little different. I really wanted the mystery to be a little more difficult to figure out, however, there was one piece of information that Dina gives us that none of the characters seem to pay much mind to it. Though the history of the past was interesting, the murders weren’t very interesting which was The mystery of this book really helped to expand the town as well as Katie’s past. It’s an interesting story that has a tragic ending which led to the people in the high school at the time be a little different. I really wanted the mystery to be a little more difficult to figure out, however, there was one piece of information that Dina gives us that none of the characters seem to pay much mind to it. Though the history of the past was interesting, the murders weren’t very interesting which was a pity, however, not all of them can be.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    I liked the characters in Seaside Secrets by Cindy Bell. Suzie Allen is a 50-something investigative journalist. She goes to the little seaside town of Garber when she inherits an old B & B called Dune House from her Uncle Harry. She takes her bff Mary along with her because Mary is about to get a divorce and needs to get away. What they find is that Harry left evidence of a crime and they aren't about to let the murderer get away! I would have liked this book better if it was longer and if the I liked the characters in Seaside Secrets by Cindy Bell. Suzie Allen is a 50-something investigative journalist. She goes to the little seaside town of Garber when she inherits an old B & B called Dune House from her Uncle Harry. She takes her bff Mary along with her because Mary is about to get a divorce and needs to get away. What they find is that Harry left evidence of a crime and they aren't about to let the murderer get away! I would have liked this book better if it was longer and if the plot required a lot more sleuthing to be done.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Very light mystery. I hope it is basically an introduction to the rest of the series. There is not a lot of mystery, in fact you know almost from the beginning who the bad guy is. I liked that the 2 main characters are 50 plus women looking for a new direction and adventure. Suzie has inherited an old B&B at the beach. She and her best friend, Mary, decided to fix up the house and run it again as a B&B. Lots of potential here. Very light mystery. I hope it is basically an introduction to the rest of the series. There is not a lot of mystery, in fact you know almost from the beginning who the bad guy is. I liked that the 2 main characters are 50 plus women looking for a new direction and adventure. Suzie has inherited an old B&B at the beach. She and her best friend, Mary, decided to fix up the house and run it again as a B&B. Lots of potential here.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

    Loved it. What starts out as a house refurbishing turns into a murder mystery. Suzie inherits her uncles house, and together with her friend Mary, find clues that lead them to believe that Suzie's uncle death was not from a heart attack. Cousin Jason is a mystery unto himself. Why wasn't the house left to him? Is he involved? Read the book to find out.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Penny Friday-Baker

    Very lights cozy A light, simple, short who done it. Not a of of intrigue or mystery. It does give Suzie and Mary a chance to do something with their quiet lives and refurbish Suzie's late uncles house and turn it into a B and B. I will read the next in this series to see if more mystery is added.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Krystyna

    Answer obvious from the start so nothing mysterious An okay cozy. Not spectacular by any means but a solid read. A behest of a house by the sea has two friends going to clean it up. Did the previous owner die of natural causes? What is the significance of the photos and the cufflink? The killer was obvious from the start so really it wasn't really a mystery. But well written.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Abbie

    Family murder Cindy Bell writes a cute cozy mystery of friendship and loss. A tale of family ties that brings cousins together after the sudden death of homeowner leaves property to niece instead of son, and town policeman. A mystery in itself that expands into multiple homicides.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Bernard

    Left me wanting to know more about the main characters, Susie and Mary and their business adventure with the B & B and Mary's divorce It was an easy and entertaining, intriguing cozy mystery with mainly likable characters who have more stories to tell. I am able to close my eyes and picture the setting of this quaint B & B. Left me wanting to know more about the main characters, Susie and Mary and their business adventure with the B & B and Mary's divorce It was an easy and entertaining, intriguing cozy mystery with mainly likable characters who have more stories to tell. I am able to close my eyes and picture the setting of this quaint B & B.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Allie

    The story was too short and needed editing. It's really disappointing because there was definitely unmet potential. It felt rushed and undeveloped- more of an outline. Perhaps the later books are better, but I'm not spending the time to find out - too many other options

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ruth M. Morgan

    A fun little cozy mystery I enjoyed getting to know the engaging characters in this well written story. The lovely old house situated on the dunes provided the perfect setting in this small town mystery.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Harless

    Disappointed This is not a novel, it's a long short story or at best a novella. Very simplistic in plot, characterization, and general atmosphere. I'm glad I didn't have to buy it to read it. It was hardly worth my time as it is.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Marcia-Lee Finocchio

    Dune House Mystery I've read many books by Cindy Bell and have loved reading them, this was no exception. Found the story very interesting, the characters were wonderful. On to book # two in this series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sondra

    As other reviewers have pointed out, the book was too light and too obvious. No mystery. The real problem was there was no character development, so the plot suffered as well. Not a complete waste of time, just a silly diversion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carol Ward

    A new series (to me) to enjoy Love this new series. Well done Cindy Bell. Two ladies start life anew in a seaside town. I am sure many adventures await as they refurbish an old house and turn it into a B&B. A new series (to me) to enjoy Love this new series. Well done Cindy Bell. Two ladies start life anew in a seaside town. I am sure many adventures await as they refurbish an old house and turn it into a B&B.

  27. 4 out of 5

    gary c lehn

    Great story.. I enjoyed this story in a new series of stories, I look forward to be reading a new set of wonderful mysteries. The author is good at gathering together a group of characters to take on an adventure.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jerri

    Nice cozy mystery. I enjoyed the characters and the coastal tourist town. I hope to learn more. It seems a good start to the series. One of the things I liked was that it did not run on and on as so many cozy mysteries seem to do.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie T.

    Awesome book! This book was filled with suspense and mystery and was fun to read from beginning to end! Love this author and the stories about Dune House. The stories take you away to the beach and leave you wanting more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    charmaine White

    Fun I liked this one.Suspense,Thrills and laughter.A good read with something going on all through it.I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.

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