The Cove by L.J. Ross

The Cove (Summer Suspense Mystery #1)

Barbara’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Summer Suspense Mysteries #1
Publication Date: 7/22/21
Period: Contemporary London & Carnance Cove
Number of Pages: 194

I am a huge fan of this author’s DCI Ryan series, so it was a delight to learn she was starting a new series. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, but I don’t have a real feel for what the series will be like. For instance – in the DCI Ryan series, I know that Ryan and his crew will be solving a crime in each book. I’m not sure that is the case with this series because the author wrapped up all of the loose ends and futures of all the main and subordinate characters in the epilogue. Future books in the series could certainly feature our main characters and the beautiful cove where they live, but the way this one wrapped up makes me wonder. Perhaps we’ll have a series comprised of mysteries taking place in various summer vacation spots and featuring different protagonists each time. It will be interesting to see.

It is Christmas and Gabrielle Adams is on top of the world. She has the job she has always wanted in a field she is passionate about, and she is engaged to a man she loves. That world falls out from under her when she becomes a victim of the ‘Underground Killer’ who pushes people off the underground train platforms in front of oncoming trains. Though her broken, battered, and bruised body survives, her mind is in a much more delicate state. The doctors assure her the nightmares, OCD, PTSD, etc. will get better over time, but it has been six months and she is tired of the pity (and impatience) she sees in everyone’s eyes. Her fiancé Mark is having an affair, she can’t handle working – and – well – she’s just got to walk away from it all. So, she does.

Gabrielle (Gabi) has made it to the picturesque Carnance Cove where she has accepted the position as manager of Carnance Cove Books & Gifts shop. It is the quaintest, loveliest place she has ever seen and all 5 of the residents welcome her with open arms. Yes, there are a couple of things her new boss ‘forgot’ to tell her – first, the cove can only be reached when the tide is out – and yes, there are only 5 other residents. Cell service and internet service are almost non-existent and she still adores the place. Of course, the handsome painter who picked her up and delivered her to the cove isn’t bad either.

As Gabrielle begins to heal, she witnesses a murder. She knows her mind plays tricks on her, but she’s been so much better lately – she is sure that is what she saw. Isn’t she? Gabi’s OCD won’t let her turn loose of the murder and let the police handle it – she has to do a bit of investigating on her own. When strange things begin to happen to her – well – stranger than usual – she almost doubts herself, but she is sure, absolutely sure she isn’t imagining things. The folks at the Cove support her – especially her boss and that handsome painter. Does the murderer think she can identify them? She can’t. Do they just want to drive her away? She’s not going. Between the murder she saw – and the attempted murder from London, Gabi and Luke have so much to contend with that they might not be able to save Gabi after all!

This was a delightful read with humor (wait until you read about Jackson, Mark, and Frenchie in the epilogue). The romance is lovely and the characters are wonderfully likable and relatable. A great start to a new series.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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