Cover Image: Murder at Pirate's Cove: An M/M Cozy Mystery

Murder at Pirate's Cove: An M/M Cozy Mystery

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Member Reviews

Long-time fans of Lanyon will know that the author often includes a fair amount of angst in their work, but that's largely missing from this book. When it's described as a cozy mystery, a cozy mystery is what the publisher means. That's not to say that Lanyon's clear, engaging writing style isn't in evidence, because it definitely is! I wasn't one hundred percent sold on the central developing romance, and the central mystery plot was well done and engaging. If you're looking for a lighter, fun mystery read.with just a hint of mm romance, this is definitely something I would advise you to pick up!
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Incredibly relaxing and just what I needed during such stressful times. Great plot that keeps you invested in the story and lets you get lost in the characters. I highly recommend this book. It’s difficult to find low-angst books that still maintain a solid storyline and this is one of those rare finds!
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I quite enjoyed this. I didn’t guess the murderer until 90%. The romance is such a slow burn that it doesn’t even culminate in this book, though it’s quite obvious that it’s coming. (For the record, I wouldn’t call this an M/M romance. Rather, I think it is a cozy mystery that just happens to have a gay protagonist.) The writing is clean and readable and I didn’t notice any particular editing problems. What’s to complain about?
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Scrabble-loving Ellery Page can't seem to catch a break. First, he totally flopped on his goal of becoming an actor in New York City. Then his boyfriend cheats on him. Then the great-great-great-aunt he never knew he had dies and leaves him her mystery-themed bookstore on an island called Pirate's Cove--and Ellery doesn't know the first thing about mystery books. His inherited shop and home are major fixer-uppers, customers are few and far between, and he's pretty sure he's the only not-straight person on the island. So it'd totally be bad if the guy he had been loudly arguing with over Ellery's decision to not sell the shop turned up dead, in the bookstore, right?

Yeah. Ellery Page can't catch a break.... But can he crack this case and get himself off the suspect list?

The first in a new series of cozy mysteries, "Murder at Pirate's Cove" is witty and suspenseful. With a mounting suspect list and being new in town, who do you trust? A thrilling but still cozy case awaits those who enter Pirate's Cove!
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I must admit, the scrabble tie in was a bit confusing to me. Not that I can't imagine someone playing scrabble against themselves, but it was just... more useful than one would expect. Needs more thrown away hands because you can't make words out of six vowels and an X XD The story itself was fun, though. Trying to figure out who did it is always a pleasure in Josh Lanyon's books. There are enough hints to believe anything until the truth is revealed!
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I loved this. This is a murder mystery on an island, and it's very cozy. I loved uncovering new evidence with the characters, and being at Pirates Cove in general. It's very fun to read and I highly recommend this book.
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Such a great read. First time reading from this author. Cannot wait for the next book to read. I enjoyed the story line very much.
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This is the first book that I’ve read from this author, and it was really enjoyable. The characters were really well developed and I loved the Pirate’s Cove setting. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style and pacing. The romance involved in the story was just right. The mystery was great- not too easy to figure out. I would definitely read more from this author and look forward to reading more in this series.
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This is a nice entry into the cozy murder mystery genre, which is just not my favorite genre for whatever reason. I have recently become a big Josh Lanyon fan, though, so I wanted to give this one a try anyway.

One of the things I appreciated the most was its realism. Yes, it takes place in a small town with the requisite cast of island characters with distinct personalities, but there's no OTT zaniness/quirkiness or unbelievable busy-body-ness (written with a straight face by a former Gilmore Girls fan :) And while there is amateur sleuthing involved, there is an excellent motivating reason, he doesn't actually stumble on any big, case-changing clues with his sleuthing, and just when you think he's about to do that thing that makes you yell at your kindle, he pulls his wits about him and smartens up. Twice. 

I was also greatly relieved by the common sense and basic intelligence shown by Mr. Police Chief Jack Carson. But as much as I thought everything with the mystery wrapped up nicely, as a fellow small business owner, my favorite part was probably the developments with the bookstore! I was hardcore questioning Ellery's financial sense at one point -- ok, several points...almost to the point of distraction -- so that was gonna bug the hell out of me otherwise!!

My personal tastes still run strongly to the more exciting spy vs. spy novels or the detectives who have smoking hot UST and/or All The Feels, but if you like cozies this is definitely a winner. And it's currently on KU.
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enjoyed reading Josh Lanyon’s new cosy mystery. We are introduced to new bookshop owner, Ellery, and police chief, Jack Carson, who feature as the central characters in this murder mystery and we witness the sparks of attraction as these two begin their romantic journey. We also get to meet a host of interesting characters who dwell in this quaint town. The set-up reminded me of a sweeter version of the Adrien English series, although there isn’t quite the same antagonism between bookseller and cop. There are several suspense-filled scenes but nothing too scary or gruesome as befits the cosy mystery genre.

I always enjoy Josh’s writing style and narrative techniques, and this made for entertaining reading. I’m pleased to say I worked out the mystery but only shortly before our amatueur sleuth did. There are plenty of possible suspects that Ellery (and Jack) need to investigate. I liked the tension that builds up when Ellery is considered the chief suspect and he needs to ‘prove’ his innocence.

I’m looking forward to reading more titles in this series and seeing how the romance blossoms between Ellery and Jack. I’m hoping they will be solving another murder mystery together.
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If you love Cozy Mysteries, Murder at Pirate's Cove will hook you from the start. It's a textbook example of the genre and so wonderful for it. Don't miss the start of this delightful series.
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If you’re looking for an escapist read of the mildly murderous variety, this cozy mystery might be a perfect choice.

Ellery Page moved to the tiny village of Pirate’s Cove after inheriting a bookstore (focused on mystery fiction, of course) and mansion from a great aunt he never met. The house is a wreck and the bookstore losing money, but that’s nothing compared to the trouble that descends when Ellery finds a body in the store after closing one evening. Given that the murdered man was pushing Ellery to sell the bookstore to him, Ellery of course becomes a chief suspect. What other choice does Ellery have but to figure out who the killer is and clear his good name? It’s not like he can trust a bunch of small-town cops to find the real murderer.

So, with that setup, this is obviously a very traditional cozy mystery. We’ve got a shop owner turned amateur sleuth in a small town full of colorful characters, which is textbook for cozies. There’s no sex or violence, minimal swearing, and just a hint of a potential romance with the extremely attractive chief of police. I’m sure that romance will grow, though. After all, Ellery is going to need a contact in the police department, because he will surely be stumbling over another unfortunately deceased resident of Pirate’s Cove sometime soon . . . 😊

Fans of cozy mysteries should check this one out. I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

A copy of this book was provided through NetGalley for review; all opinions expressed are my own.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I haven't read a cozy mystery in a long time, and this one was sweet and pleasant (and also murdery, yes). I thought the writing was excellent, the mystery was well done and kept me guessing for much of the book. The characters are *just* complex enough to not be boring but are still people I want to read more about. I look forward to the next book in the series.
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I would like to thank Secrets and Scrabble 1 for providing me with a free electronic ARC of this book, via Netgalley. Although they had to approve my request to review, the decision to read this book is my choice and any reviews given are obligation free.

Another book I read this week, rather than last year. It’s amazing how much reading you can get done during school holidays when your house is in self-isolation!

Okay, I have mixed feelings about ‘Murder at Pirate’s Cove’. I wanted to read it as I’d heard nothing but good things about the author, so when I saw a book by her on Netgalley, I was curious to read it. It’s a cosy set in small town America – frequent readers of my review know this is a favourite genre of mine. Plus there is a hint of romance, without it getting in the way of the whodunit. Finally, I’m not narrow minded, and so don’t mind a cosy crime/ romance where the protagonist and their love interest are of the same gender.

And, happily, ‘Murder at Pirate’s Cove’ ticked all those boxes. However, it still almost became the next victim of my “did not finish” pile. And, being honest here, the only reason I kept reading is that my Netgalley stats are pretty terrible right now, due to my near two year absence, and I didn’t want to ruin them further with another DNF.

And BOY am I glad I kept reading! As I actually ended up enjoying it enough to want to see what happens in the next book in the series. So I apologise for doubting it!

The two main things that put me off were the overall tone of the book, and the poor editing. And I really shouldn’t pick on the poor editing as I received an ARC, not a final print, and so clangers and editorial mishaps can happen. I just really do hope the copy editor has gone over it again with a fine tooth comb before it was published, as there is some really sloppy editing in places, sorry.

As for the tone… It just wasn’t a style I liked. It was, to me, more a YA/ NA style of prose than I was expecting in an “adult” book. Not that is was “adult” in a rating sense, more that I felt it was a more adult setting than the late teen/ young adult tone I felt came across. So, if you look at the two reasons I wasn’t always thrilled with the book, you can clearly see that both faults lay with me, the reviewer, and not the book or author at all!

All the same, I wanted to give ‘Murder at Pirate’s Cove’ a 4 out of 5 rating, but just couldn’t bring myself to doing so, based on what I read. Perhaps the final print is sharper, less immature in tone, much better edited, and so everything I’m saying it obsolete… and gosh I hope so, as I found it – besides all that – an enjoyable read.

Although the protagonist did come across as a little whiny at times, it was well within character and somehow made him more endearing to me as the reader. The setting was interesting  - I’ve not read a cosy in an old pirate village before – the characters were, for the most, endearing, and it was all in all an enjoyable day or so of reading. Sadly, I also figured out the whodunit fairly early on, and didn’t feel there were enough red herrings to keep me second guessing myself. I feel this added to the YA/NA feel I got off the book. 

So, you can see, I had a bit of love hate relationship with ‘Murder at Pirate’s Cove’, but overall I enjoyed it and am giving it a thumb’s up.

From the book nerd side, you’ve basically heard the worst… it needed editing. But, I feel I need to emphasise again that I received an Advanced Reader Copy, and they are usually unfinished proofs, and so bad editing happens. No biggie. The formatting and layout, however, were more finished and I feel this saved this book another star. ;-)

Would I recommend this book to others?

Yes I would. And, yes I would also mention the minor issues I had with this book, but I would still recommend it as an entertaining first book in a potentially good cosy crime series.

Would I buy this book for myself?

I might. I mean, I DO want to read the next book in the series, when it comes out. But I’m undecided if I’d only want to read it if I got it as a free ARC or found it online as a library book, rather than buy it. Not that it’s priced unreasonably on Amazon Australia, it’s a VERY reasonable price. 

I enjoyed the book, but I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected I would. Perhaps I was a little blinkered by all the praise I’d heard about Ms Lanyon, and for some reason expected more? Who knows? But any faults I found in it really were down to the reader, not the book or author.

In summary: An interesting first book in a seaside cosy crime series that has potential to be amazing.
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Murder at Pirate's Cove is the first in a new series, Secrets and Scrabble, from prolific mystery writer Josh Lanyon.

It's a little different from what I'm used to reading from Lanyon, taking a turn firmly into the cozy genre by ditching the usual steamy scenes she's known for. Lanyon's books cover a broad range on the romance/mystery balance, but this one leans largely on the mystery with just a hint of the romantic subplot.

I've read a good number of Lanyon's previous books, and while there's been a couple of mysteries that missed for me, I'm almost always sold on the characters. Murder at Pirate's Cove is no exception. Ellery is charming and slightly bumbling, and the chemistry between Ellery and Police Chief Carson is subtle and smoothly written. The whole village of Pirate's Cove is painted vividly (especially given the short length of this book) and is populated by quirky and charming locals.

There are lots of fun details in this book, which I'm hoping to see more of in future instalments: especially the village's pirate theme days and the local Scrabble club. I'm looking forward to seeing how Ellery gets on with his mystery bookshop, new puppy and the renovations on his inherited deathtrap of a house.

As much as I've enjoyed Lanyon's books in the past, I really loved seeing her take on a slightly different, cozier genre. I've found her recent novella focused more on the romance angle so this was nice for a bit of change. The only thing I might have liked was for the book to be a little longer to give us more of a chance to get to know all Ellery's new friends and neighbors. Murder at Pirate's Cove is a great start to a new series. I've already pre-ordered my copy of the sequel Secret at Skull House.

It's probably be a great place to get a taste of Lanyon's writing, especially if you're put off by her racier books.
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This book was definitely more mystery than romance but I very much enjoyed it.  Ellery is a really interesting character and I really loved him.  I felt bad for him as he tries to fit into a new town and discovers that he is a suspect in a murder primarily due to his outsider status and the fact that the dead guy is found in his book store.  It was nice that he wasn't so much investigating the murder but talking to people and trying to discover motives that he could pass on to police chief Jack Carson.  There were some fun secondary characters and although I figured out who the killer was and why I still enjoyed the mystery.  I liked Ellery and Jack but we really didn't get to know much about Jack at all and I wanted a bit more about him.  The relationship really plays a backseat to the mystery in this book but not in a bad way.  I hope that we get more of Jack and more of them together in the next book.
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A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.

So cute! I am a huge JL fan so it should come as no surprise that I enjoyed her latest. Murder at Pirate's Cove is a Cozy mystery and I have not read many of those, mainly because the opportunity never presented itself. It's a great genre of mystery/romance, where the main focus is on the mystery, and the character/romance is secondary, although in Pirate's, the potential for romance was very front and center. 

Ellery is the new guy in town, and wouldn't you know it? A dead body is discovered in his bookstore. But never fear! The police are on it, and of course suspect Ellery. Thankfully police chief Jack Carson is no dummy and sees that Ellery is innocent. Now the fun, er, murder investigation is on!

I thoroughly enjoyed this and am so excited to read the next book! There was no on page romance (nor off page) and our MCs are dancing around each other (they are essentially strangers after all), and things are getting interesting when the book ends. They have subtly admitted to the potential for them to get together. When and what that would look like is still in the air, but delightfully adorable.

It's clear that while the murder is solved, there is still a mystery to figure out. Not sure if book 2 will touch on that; based on the blurb it doesn't sound like it but you can't give everything away in the blurb.

I had figured out what was going on before the big reveal, which was fine. I do enjoy a good who-dun-it that keeps me guessing, but proving I could have had a career as a detective is satisfying too. :)

Yep, I do give this 5 stars simply because it was too cute not to deserve it. And the puppy! Baby animals are always an adorable plus, and book puppies are just too cute for words! No, puppy didn't save the day but he did save Ellery's heart from turning to stone (he might have hardened it after leaving his boyfriend, Todd).
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The first volume in the Secrets and Scrabble series is an engaging cozy mystery. Ellery is a great protagonist: empathetic, curious, and believable (unlike so many other mysteries, his reason for being involved in the case actually makes sense). The supporting characters are fun, and the romance is sweet and slow-burning. I'm looking forward to reading more mysteries set in quaint Pirate's Cove. -- lyradora
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Funny they approved this request after I already read it but I'll go ahead and review it. 

Overall I liked the book and am interested in reading more in the series. 2nd coming out soon I think. However, I will say this book got off to a slow start. I personally struggled to get through the first quarter to a third of the book. Once I did, it picked up and the read went quickly. Ellery was not as endearing of a character as Cosmos, from Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but once he started interacting more with the characters such as Carson and Nora, his personality showed through more.
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Love it, love it, love it.

This story has everything I love to see in a cozy:
- a slightly snarky amateur sleuth
- a smart and competent police officer
- a well-plotted story
- light on the romance

I want to read the next book in the series now.
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