Cover Image: The Shell House Detectives

The Shell House Detectives

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Welcome to the coastal paradise of Porthpella, where murder lurks among the dunes… I’d describe this book as realistic fiction. The author has done an amazing job at creating imaginary characters and situations that depict the world and society.
Was this review helpful?
Ally Bright likes her quiet life living outside of the Cornish village of Porthpella just before the dunes take over completely. When her sleep is disturbed by a young man asking for her husband, the news that he passed away a year earlier sends him off into the night confused and upset. 

By the following morning the young man has been found at the foot of cliffs near to Ally’s home and a local woman has disappeared. Jayden Weston, new to the area, meets Ally as they wait for the police to arrive and, almost without meaning to, they find themselves joining together to try and work out what happened and why. As the questions being asked draw in locals and visitors alike there are twists and turns which lead Ally and Jayden towards shocking discoveries no one could have predicted but do they have what it takes to unmask the person responsible for all the turmoil or should they have left well alone after all? 

This is the first in Emylia Hall's Shell House Detectives Mystery Series and I loved it. There was obvious scene setting and introduction of main and secondary characters but it all flowed together beautifully and I felt an instant connection with the main protagonists and glorious location. The mystery aspects were well worked, with surprises galore, and the personal side of the storyline fitted in so well with everything else that there was never a feeling of too much or too little of either part. 

I was able to read an advanced copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the opinions expressed are my own. This is the first in what promises to be a brilliant new cosy crime series which is easy to recommend highly.
Was this review helpful?
A really enjoyable read, with characters who feel real, situations that could happen, and a plausible story. Ally Bright is still grieving for her husband, but gets drawn out of herself when a distressed young man knocks her door late one night. She sends him away, and is distraught the next day when she learns he has tried to kill himself. 

Usually when you get a story that is about a civilian trying to solve crimes that the police can’t, it feels so false, but this time, with Ally and Jayden, an ex police officer, it feels right, as though it could really happen. There is the odd caricature police officer, but you do get them in real life too. I couldn’t take to Roland, but then we werent supposed to. There are some really interesting characters, Gus, Saffron and of course Fox. Feels like a good start to a new series.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this! Apparently this is Hall’s first foray into murder mystery and I reckon she nailed it in one. 

Set in beautiful Cornwall, The Shell House Detectives follows an unlikely menagerie of characters as they work to solve a mystery. We first meet Ally Bright, recently widowed from her husband Bill, who was a well known and loved policeman in the town of Porthpella. Late at night, a young man - Lewis - comes to her house and begs for Bill’s help; confused and distraught, she turns him away. He’s found the next morning, having fallen (or jumped? Or pushed?) from the nearby cliffs. 

Our other crime solver is ex-cop Jayden Weston, who escaped to Cornwall with his pregnant wife after his partner was killed in the line of duty. Suffering from survivor’s guilt, Jayden is struggling with his new, quiet life on the Cornish coast until he gets drawn in to the same mystery that Ally is left to solve after Lewis’ late night visit to her home. 

I found the characters extremely engaging, and the twists and turns throughout were great. None of the story felt too predictable, and the characters all had flaws and quirks that added to their personality. 

I can’t wait for the next book in the series!
Was this review helpful?
The first in a new mystery series revolves around a couple of people trying to solve a mysterious death. Ally is the widow of a police officer and she works with ex-cop Jayden to investigate a death deemed a suicide. However, neither of them believe it is a suicide. 

A decent first book. I think there are places it could be improved and I think future books might have a clearer focus.
Was this review helpful?
The first book in a new cosy mystery series. One of the strengths of this book is the characters. They were mostly well written. At times I thought they were awkward, but on the whole I did enjoy them. I did enjoy Ally very much, but I'm not yet sold on Jayden. Maybe he will grow on me a bit in future books, but I have read cosies before where the main character, or in this case one of the main characters, didn't work for me. It happens. But at least Ally and some other characters were engaging. I at least want to see if Gus will write the first chapter in his book!

The setting of this book, being on the coast and in a small town, is something I do like in cosies. I really enjoy small town settings. It doesn't have to be coastal, but the setting worked in this book. And the author does a solid job in describing the area, and I especially like the descriptions of the houses and other buildings. Shell House, Ally's house, sounds magical.

Mystery wise, well I think it could have been stronger, but I enjoyed the investigation, and following Ally and Jayden as they put on their detective hats. I wonder if this would have been better if the book focused on them more, instead of switching to other character POVs so often. I think it may have.

But, overall an enjoyable first book in a new series. There's room for growth in the series, and it will be interesting to see what's in store for Ally in future books.

Thank you to the author, to the publisher, and to Netgalley, for providing the chance to grab a read now copy of this book. All views are my own
Was this review helpful?
This cosy mystery managed to be a little different from the norm, in a very good way.

Ally Bright lives in a house in the dunes in Porthpella on the Cornish coast. She lives alone and is still grieving the death of her husband who was the local policeman. Walking her dog on the beach one morning she discovers the body of a man and her calls for help are answered by a young man who is surfing. He turns out to be Jayden Weston, an ex policeman who left the force after his partner was killed.

Fate must have brought them together because they become friends almost immediately and, when the police make very little progress in the murder investigation, the two of them bring their combined knowledge of police work together and set out to solve the mystery. And what a mystery as turns out to involve a cold case of suicide and another of murder, and new cases of a missing woman and a possible attempted suicide.

Nicely written with interesting characters, beautiful setting and a cute dog. An excellent start to a new series and I will be looking out for book two.
Was this review helpful?
What happens when everything you think you know, really isn't there anymore? For Lewis, coming to his grandmother's after jail finds him with her death, her house gone and a lack of compassion from the new property owner. But did he also kill him? When Ally gets involved accidentally, she soon finds that beach life isn't all peace and quiet, and her home soon delves into chaos as more secrets unfold and makes everyone realize appearances can be deceiving. A fun and quick read,it's be great to have the Shell Beach Detectives back again!
Was this review helpful?
it was cool i guess. the beginning was way too long to set up the story, i like my mysteries to start strong and hook me in but this book didn’t do it for me. i was bored until the 20% mark, then slightly less bored but ended up guessing a lot of things before they were revealed. the characters were the strength of this story and i liked both our main characters equally, as well as how well each perspective fitted with the other. something would happen on ally’s side then jayden would see or learn something and so one which is why I kept reading. overall, 3 stars but i was expecting more from this
Was this review helpful?
I loved Ally and Jayden's story. It was well written. I read it at the recommendation of my friend and I did not regret it.  4 stars from me!  Thanks to Netgalley for the opportunity!
I just reviewed The Shell House Detectives by Emylia Hall. #TheShellHouseDetectives #NetGalley
[NetGalley URL]
Was this review helpful?
Thank you @netgalley for the ARC of "The Shell House Detectives" by Emylia Hall which is the first of "Shell House Detectives" series. It is very much a first book. It's been a lot of introducing the characters and not as much of the story itself, it felt like. This starts out a bit more reflective and back and forth between characters than I personally like in a cozy mystery. It feels borderline thriller mystery.   Hopefully a next book in the series will have more story now that the main characters have been hashed out.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Thomas and Mercer Publishing for the advanced readers copy of The Shell House Detectives by Emylia Hall. I really enjoyed this cozy mystery. I liked the characters and the setting of this story. Ally Bright is a widow, whose husband was the town’s go to Police Officer. After his death, Ally recievea a visit from a young man her husband had sent to jail. The next morning this man turns up dead. Jayden, a new neighbor in the area finds the dead man on the beach and Ally and Jayden begin to do their own detective work. This is the start to a good series.
Was this review helpful?
The Shell House Detectives by Emylia Hall
Many thanks to Amazon Publishing UK and NetGalley for the advanced copy.
My Review📖🖋️
Late one night, the peace of Ally's beachcombing life is shattered. An agitated young man knocks on the door of Ally's remote home on the Cornish coast. The person he wants to see is not there, so he leaves, not to be seen again until he's found at the foot of the nearby cliffs the following morning.
Ally somehow feels responsible for the young man's fate. She wants to help find answers, as does ex-cop Jayden Weston, whom Ally meets at the scene. He shares her certainty that there's more to the story than attempted suicide. When it emerges that the man is newly released ex-offender Lewis Pascoe and that Helena, the wealthy new owner of his grandmother's home, has subsequently disappeared, the tight-knit community of Porthpella is thrown into turmoil.
Ally and Jayden decide to investigate the mystery together. Could there be a connection between the Pascoe family's tragic history and Helena's disappearance? And if there is a killer stalking Porthpella, do Ally and Jayden have what it takes to catch them?
The Shell House Detectives is a well-written, descriptive laden cosy-mystery with bags of potential going forward.
Having instantly likeable main protagonists does wonders for setting up what appears to be all the makings of a decent series. Ally Bright and Jayden Weston are a surprisingly good combination. So, it was particularly intriguing watching their characters develop as the story progressed, each having their own burdens to bear. 
The main storyline had some fascinating subplots woven into the narrative. Bringing all the local resident's personal problems into the mix certainly made things a tad more than a little interesting.
The pacing was steady, not overreaching itself at any stage. Even with the descriptive and detailed writing, there were never any overly long, drawn-out passages. And besides, the lulls gave you a chance to soak up the atmosphere when available and feel the suspense and tension when necessary.
Finding the twists, turns, and misdirection is always fun, and The Shell House Detectives didn't disappoint on that score. I admit the finale was inevitable, but it was enjoyable watching the duo reach those conclusions, and there were one or two surprises in store at the death.
The Shell House Detectives is an enjoyable, decent cosy crime mystery. It will be fascinating to see where the author goes with this series next.
Was this review helpful?
Ally lives a life apart from her small beach community until a young man comes asking for help from her deceased husband. Suddenly she is involved with a missing woman and a cold case murder. Wanting for the first time in years to connect with others her life may never be the same
Was this review helpful?
The Shell House Detectives by Emylia Hall is the first book in the The Shell House Detectives series. This is a fascinating who-dun-it. I really enjoyed the twists and turns. Kept me turning the pages. I like the main characters. They are well-developed and quite likable. This storyline kept my attention throughout.
Was this review helpful?
I loved everything about The Shell House Detectives. The book is very well written and engaged me from the first to last page. The main characters, Ally and Jayden, are a great combination and I hope this is the first of a long series of novels.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.
Was this review helpful?
This is one of those books that was a perfectly fine read, but I finished it not really all that bothered that it ended. It was fine in the moment and I thought the plot was great, but there was just this feeling that it lacked potential somewhere along the way. I'm not sure what though. Give it a read and see what you think.
Was this review helpful?
A great little book. Thank you gforbletting me read it. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and characters b
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this read a lot more than I thought I would. It was mostly a cozy mystery detective story. I was surprised by the end and didn't find predictable at all.
Was this review helpful?
This is an easy read, set in Cornwall, Quite a typical story ex-police officer, new to the area playing detectives with the locals. I liked the twist at the end
Was this review helpful?