Body at Buccaneer's Bay

Secrets and Scrabble 5

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 18 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2022

Talking about this book? Use #BodyatBuccaneersBay #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Dead Men Tell No Tales

Mystery Bookshop owner Ellery Page and Police Chief Jack Carson are diving for the legendary pirate galleon Blood Red Rose when they discover an old-fashioned diver’s suit, water-damaged and encrusted with barnacles. Further examination reveals that the twentieth century suit contains a twenty-first century body.

Who was the mysterious diver? No one seems to be missing from the quaint and cozy town of Pirate’s Cove. Was the victim really diving for pirate’s gold? And if not, what exactly did he do to earn that bullet hole in his skull?

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Mystery Bookshop owner Ellery Page and Police Chief Jack Carson are diving for the legendary pirate galleon Blood Red Rose when they discover an old-fashioned diver’s suit...

Available Editions

ISBN 9781945802768
PRICE $5.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 38 members

Featured Reviews

Thanks Netgalley and Publisher for the opportunity to read and review.
It turns out this is the fifth books of a series, so I definitely need to catch up on the previous four.
I very much liked the book. The emphasis felt more on the character development rather than the mystery of two connected cases that needs solving, but I loved the growth of the main protag. His relationship with Jack is intriguing to observe, although it still has some way to go until it reaches the point of "happily ever after", but I appreciate the obstacles that still stand between them - mainly the lack of complete trust. The side characters are also very interesting and have their own purpose for the plot development.
Will definitely check out the rest of the series!

Was this review helpful?

Imagine diving and finding what turns out to be a body in an old diving suit? Yeah, it's enough to freak out anyone. But soon Ellery finds himself working on another case as a amateur sleuth and stranger things begin to happen. Is it a stalker? Is it the murderer? Is it something else? Ellery has had enough of looking over his shoulder, but he really needs the money that was offered for him to take this case and he's going to get answers, one way or another...if it's the last thing he does.

I adore this series! From the location setting, to the characters, to the dog, and even the family history. Add to that an awesome whodunit each time and you've got one of my favorite Cozy series! Can't wait for the next book to drop!

Was this review helpful?

I'm always happy to return to Pirate's Cove and catch up with Ellery and Jack! In this newest book, the story gets nautical and focuses on creepy shipwrecks, fancy yachts, and the hectic Buck Island Race Week. Ellery and Jack start off with the discovery of a body in the bay (of course Ellery found it, of course he did!) and it only gets more twisty from there. Before long Ellery is up to his neck in drama -- break-ins, family visits, and being hired to investigate threats against a rich and rather unpleasant widow. As with the other books in the series, there's a lot going on, and both Ellery and Jack have their hands full chasing down clues, but in this case they're in opposition which leads to a different type of drama.

I enjoyed all the various story lines, the recurring cast of characters (as well as the new ones), and meeting Ellery's parents. I keep forgetting that Ellery hasn't been in town all that long, especially considering all he's been through, but he's definitely become an important part of the community and I love that. It's also a good reminder when I get anxious about the slower pace of Ellery and Jack's relationship -- they haven't been together that long, either. While they had major disagreements in this book, they also had some important conversations and were able to work through some of their issues. I have such a soft spot for them, the town, and all the quirky folks who live there, and I'm looking forward to more of their shenanigans and mysteries!

Was this review helpful?

Well, this was fabulous. I don't know how Josh Lanyon does it, but every single one of the books in this series is fantastic: witty and compelling, heart-warming and addicting, with a well-structured mystery and a dash of romance, both of which will keep you on your toes. She's a truly marvelous storyteller and I've loved every book I have read of hers: "Body at Buccaneer's Bay" is no exception. I'm still not sure which one of the five books in this fantastic series I loved more, so I'll definitely have to do a re-read to refresh my memory: I loved this one to pieces.

Ellery and Jack are finally settling into the steadily-and-happily-together stage of their relationship when yet another mystery comes along to ruin their amateur-sleuthing-free peace: they (accidentally, of course) find a body in a diving suit and well, Ellery tries really hard to resist sleuthing, but all of Pirate's Cove's inhabitants (minus Jack), but especially Nora and her Silver Sleuths, conspire to get him involved. PLUS, there are other mysterious incidents happening all around him, so Ellery doesn't stand a chance: sleuthing and some major relationship drama ensues. It was an addicting story, one I managed to devour in two sittings and that left me craving more.

Ellery was, as usual and by far, my absolute favourite: he's a terrific protagonist, witty and sarcastic, but also low-key and genuinely very very nice. I loved seeing him a bit more of his internal struggles, his insecurity and self-doubts, and I loved seeing more of his past, since his parents are on the island for a visit. Jack, on the other hand, even though he's finally gotten over his doubts about being in a relationship with Ellery, acted a bit like a big jerk a times: he's stubborn and candid and sometimes, that leads to him being harsh, even when Ellery does not deserve it. His behavior was all in good faith though: he's worried. And seeing his protective streak (and even some hints at his jealous one! Josh Lanyon, if you're reading this review, PRETTY PLEASE, more of that) left me swooning all other the place. I wanted to kick him, but I still adored him.
Their relationship is beyond cute and even though there's (*wishful sighing*) virtually no heat whatsoever other than a few kisses and hugs and innuendo, their chemistry is still very palpable.
Pirate's Cove, and its quirky and gossipy people, was, as usual, a joy to behold: I spent the whole time giggling at the antics of its inhabitants, the ceaseless gossiping, the bloody and frankly absurd history of the island and its obsession with pirates (and murders). A special mention to Nora, because she's a riot: I absolutely love her.
I can't wait to read the next book. If I could speed up time to when it's finally published and in my greedy hands, I would. I'm excited for what's to come (especially since there are a couple open ends that are very intriguing, and possibly worrying *evil cackle*) and I can firmly state I'd never grow tired of Pirate's Cove and Ellery Page's adventures.

Was this review helpful?

I truly enjoy this series. The author doesn't write fast enough for me so I'm reading other books written by the author. We find Ellery and his significant other police chief Jack diving, when of course Ellery finds a body, yet again.
We meet Ellery's parents and get a little more info on Jack's past.
I have to read the books in order and this is the 5 book in the series which book getting better and the author growing and developing each main and secondary character along the way. Pirate Cove is full of intriguing history since it was founded by what else pirate's. Murder is everywhere and Ellery is the murder magnet. I highly recommended this series .

Was this review helpful?

FOCUS ON Body at Buccaneer’s Bay

Lanyon, Josh. Body at Buccaneer’s Bay (Book 5 of the Secrets and Scrabble series). Just Joshin Publishing, Inc., Palmdale, CA. 2021. [ISBN: 978-945802768]

Aye, matey, it’s easy to see how people who scuba dive Florida catch the treasure-hunting bug. Many a visitor who visits the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum in Key West, Florida and sees the gold, silver, emeralds, and silverware gets that gleam in their eyes. Fisher’s team is most known for recovering artifacts from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha shipwrecked during a hurricane off the Florida Keys in 1622 (the museum also houses items from the Henrietta Marie and the Santa Margarita). It cost Fisher a fortune (he had investors), fifteen years of his life and the loss of a family member to make his discovery. The score from the Atocha is purported to be around $400 million. It is said that Fisher, previously a farmer, was worth about $100 million when he died. But the truth is, most salvors spend more than they recover. But that may not matter to some—the marine archaeologists—who are in it for the historical value.

In Body at Buccaneer’s Bay, Ellery Page, proprietor of the Crow’s Nest mystery bookstore, and Jack Carson, Police Chief of Pirate’s Cove, set out in search of the renowned but no-one-has-found-it-yet pirate’s galleon off the coast of Rhode (Rogue’s?!) Island from the 1700s known as the Blood Red Rose. However, they get sidetracked and end up on the Roussillon, from the 1900s. But what they find there gives them a different kind of bug: the what-the-heck-happened-and-whodunit bug.

Ellery and Jack are sort of a happy couple. They have issues that they usually get past after thoughtful conversation and consideration. Usually. But as far as murder is concerned, Ellery, the bookstore owner and amateur sleuth, has a penchant for connecting the dots; Jack, the Police Chief, doesn’t like Ellery playing the part of an unlicensed private eye and putting himself in harm’s way.

Like, for instance, getting sucked into working for Mrs. Odette Wallace who thinks her stepchildren are trying to murder her; Odette’s stepchildren think she killed their wealthy father. Ellery has had a personal connection to all the other cases he’s worked; this one, not so much. And he’s got a stalker who sends him death-threat letters on a regular basis.

And there is the Silver Sleuths Book Club. It is a book club. It’s a social club. Plus, the members take a great deal of pleasure in solving murders and humoring Ellery Page.

Lanyon brilliantly creates 3-D characters just as cleverly as she weaves a tangled web of murder and mayhem. As an avid scuba diver, boating enthusiast and reader of mysteries, I thoroughly enjoyed this page-turner. If you’re a kindred spirit, maybe you, too will get that gleam in your eye and catch the whodunit bug!

Josh Lanyon titles are available on Amazon.

Secrets and Scrabble
M/M Cozy Mystery Series

Murder at Pirates Cove (2020)
Secrets at Skull House (2020)
Mystery at the Masquerade (2021)
Scandal at the Salty Dog (2021)
Body at Buccaneer’s Bay (2021)
Lament at Loon Landing (May 2022)

Lanyon has “nearly ninety titles” [p. 166] under her belt (novels, novellas, short stories); please see the Website for additional information:


Eppie Award Winner

4X Lamda Literary Award Finalist
(2X for Gay Mystery)

Edgar Nominee

Goodreads All-Time Favorite
M/M Author Award

Peggy McGibney is an avid reader, performance enhancement consultant, professional and personal development coach, and published author of numerous articles about healthcare, education and business. She also served as chair and member of Writers’ Bloc. This organization provided information about writers and writing in the Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties in Florida, and sponsored lectures and workshops. PM has a master’s degree in educational psychology and in systemic studies with expertise in cognitive, behavioral, systemic and linguistic disciplines, and was a previous faculty member in health sciences, communications and faculty development disciplines. She is a NetGalley member and professional reader. Her interviews and reviews may be found at Peggy McGibney Authors and Books on Facebook.

Was this review helpful?

I love this series so much! I envy the people who haven't started it yet; They get to binge read five books. While I have to not-so-patiently wait for book six.

Body at Buccaneer's Bay by Josh Lanyon is another perfect entry to this cosy mystery series. We get an ineresting mystery with some odd characters. Ellery and Jack's relationship developes further, with Jack meeting the parents. Even though the mystery is the main focus, both mystery and romance is really enjoyable!
Ellery "the dead body magnet" page, discovers a vintage diving suit while diving with his boyfriend Police Chief Jack Carson. This would be a great treasure find, if not for the dead body occupying the suit...

While Jack begins the official police investigation, Ellery is approached Odette Wallace. She wants to hire Ellery to put his amateur sleuthing experience to work, and find out who's trying to murder her.

Ellery doesn't want to actively put himself in dangers path, despite what jack says, but he really could use the funds to purchase a security system for his bookshop and home.

Arc provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

(scroll down to read review in english.)

"Murder?" Ellery was not surprised."

Eu adorei o livro, ter mais de um mistério acontecendo ao mesmo tempo foi muito bom!

A conexão entre os dois casos foi bem aproveitada, não diria que a pessoa culpada é um mistério mas pode sim surpreender!

Adorei os pais do Ellery, foi muito legal ver a dinâmica deles, queria até mais.

A construção do relacionamento entre Jack e Ellery tem me agradado muito! Os dilema de Jack e como ele tenta ser muito honesto, eles são pessoas bem diferentes e como eles sempre conversam da para acompanhar o desenvolver, conforme a conexão vai ficando mais segura.

Nora, sempre maravilhosa! Adoro demais ela, e já esperava esse plot pra ela mas adorando mesmo assim.

E o nome citado? Será que vem croosover? Animada demais para os próximos!!


"Murder?" Ellery was not surprised."

I loved the book, having more than one mystery happening at the same time was really nice!

The connection between the two cases was well taken advantage of, I wouldn't say that the guilty person is a mystery but it can surprise!

I loved Ellery's parents, it was really cool to see their dynamics, I wanted even more.

The relationship building between Jack and Ellery has pleased me a lot! Jack's dilemma and how he tries to be very honest, they are very different people and as they always talk it's to follow the development as the connection gets more secure.

Nora, always wonderful! I love her so much, and I already expected this plot for her but loving it anyway.

And the name mentioned? Is it coming croosover? Too excited for the next ones!!

Was this review helpful?

While diving an old shipwreck, Ellery and Jack find a dead body - hardly a surprise anymore due to Ellery's proclivity for murder and mayhem on Buck Island - however, this one is in an old-fashioned diving suit and there are no outstanding missing person reports. And all this in the midst of Buck Island's annual Race Week.

And yet all this faded into the background for me personally as I was enthralled by Jack finally meeting Ellery's parents, a resolution of sorts in the feud between Nora and Kingston Peabody at the Crow's Nest bookstore, Jack meeting one of his exes, Watson's continuing doggy antics, and most importantly the comfortable domesticity between Jack and Ellery:

"Hey, I've been thinking about what you were saying last night," Ellery leaned against the counter, watching Jack pour coffee into two mugs.
Jack threw him a quick look.
"Er, not that," Ellery said hastily, "Although, yes, that. For sure."
Jack bit back a smile. Then his brows rose and he held up Ellery's "I woke up like this" Disney Princess mug.

And not to mention, the news that Christopher Holmes (from Lanyon's excellent Holmes & Moriarity series) will be coming to the Crow's Nest for a book tour. Or as Nora and Ellery discuss (excerpts from their conversation):

"Christopher Holmes."
"Never heard of him."
"He wants to come here? Won't any other bookstores let him sign?"
Nora didn't bother denying it was an odd choice.
"He must be crazy."
"Well, I mean, if he wants to come, okay," Ellery said reluctantly.
Nora murmured, "I'll let them know how thrilled we are."

In the midst of all this, I must admit the murder mystery plot had a lot of competition! This is such an enjoyable series that I anxiously await the next two books (slated for publication in 2022) in the series. Keep 'em coming!

Was this review helpful?

5 Stars

Book 5 of the cozy mystery series Secrets and Scrabbles was not only a fantastic mystery but witty, sharp and extremely funny. I am a huge fan of Josh Lanyon's work and this series has been nothing but a pure delight. I found myself laughing out loud more than once. If you hadn't read the previous stories I strongly urge you to do so because the series together really builds the characters and makes for a wonderful story.

Ellery Page has inherited a dilapidated mansion and a failing business but has never been happier. He is presently dating the chief of police - Jack and while they have their ups and downs, the relationship seems to be solidifying.

Another Inconvenient murder seems to have Ellery in the center once again. Jack is frustrated with Ellery's constant meddling into murderous affairs. Hopefully this relationship can handle the strain. If you enjoy romance, mysteries, cozys and hysterical townspeople, I absolutely urge you to grab this book and dive right in. Happy reading!

Special thanks to the publisher and Netgalley
for a complimentary copy for my reading pleasure, a review was not a requirement.

Was this review helpful?

Body at Buccaneer's Bay is the fifth book in the Secrets and Scrabble cozy mystery series by Josh Lanyon. Released 18th Dec 2021, it's 219 pages and available in ebook format. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

This is a well written very lighthearted action driven murder cozy with a returning ensemble cast featuring bookshop owner Ellery Page and his partner, handsome local law enforcement officer Jack Carson. The author does a good job with the narrative, tossing in subtle clues and generously sprinkling red herrings here and there. The action moves along at a good clip, this time surrounding a body found during a scuba diving session, poison pen letters, and a suspicious death, and moves forward to a moderately confusing and unsatisfying climax and resolution. There were quite a lot of unresolved questions - maybe they'll be addressed in the next book in the series?

The language is clean, the murder's off screen and free from violence, there's very little sexual content (some chaste kisses); it's a well written and charming bookstore cozy. Although it's the 5th book in the series, it works well as a self-contained standalone and readers who come in with this book won't have any trouble following the mystery. The author/publisher has taken pains to make it clear that the romance is between two men, so I won't dwell on that, but there's absolutely no content which would scandalize anyone's auntie (a few "damns" nothing worse).

Four stars, but I sincerely hope the next book ties up the dangly threads. Charming, diverting, and well written. I intend to seek out future volumes in the series.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a chance to read this story for an honest review.

I really love this series. I love Ellery, Jack, Watson, and even Nora. Being the fifth book in this series, the relationships are more settled, and even though Ellery finds a body again, he isn’t looking to dive in (ha) to figuring out the mystery. He lets Jack and the proper police procedures handle it this time. On the side, he’s approached to use his detective skills to help figure out who’s attempting to murder an unpleasant lady that was the main suspect in her husband’s death ten years ago, before the case was dropped for not enough evidence.

Of course, Jack’s not happy with Ellery sticking his nose into it, even though Ellery really needs the money she’s offered to pay for a security system because intruders keep getting in his house and now he has a poison pen pal.

So, a ton going on in this one, and not all was resolved. (Tune in next time!) I liked that even though Ellery and Jack had a fight (because disagreements), they made up pretty quick (because mature), and Ellery didn’t let Jack’s past with Colby get to him too much (because growth). I also liked that Ellery’s mom and step-dad visited and we could see some of his interactions with them and learn more about his character that way.

Watson (the dog) is always my favorite side character and he definitely earned his bedtime bone this week between taking on intruders, identifying suspects, and his general ability to entertain with his doggie antics and cuteness.

As always, I’m waiting with bated breath for the next installment to this cozy mystery series.

Was this review helpful?

4.5 Stars

Screenwriter and former actor Ellery Page is finally settling into quaint but active Pirate's Cove on Buck Island, off the coast of Rhode Island. His steady beau is Police Chief Jack Carson, with whom Ellery goes scuba diving, and together they find an unidentified body. The body isn't only out of place, it's seemingly out of time with the wreck. Jack is continually challenged by Ellery's penchant for getting caught up in murder plots in real life. In fact, Ellery's exploits have earned him a potential stalker--someone who's willing to send him anonymous threatening letters. Jack wants Ellery to get more security at his home and bookshop, but money's tight. It seems he might get a windfall, if he accepts the disingenuous role as an amateur sleuth investigating the attempted murder of a visitor to the area, Odette Wallace. Odette and her late-husband's family used to visit Buck Island--and she's convinced one of his adult children are behind a few shady situations that could have killed her if they hadn't been otherwise thwarted. She and her partner, Mr. King, a longtime acquaintance of the Wallace family, are visiting for Yacht Race Week, as are all three of Odette's stepchildren.   

Mrs. Wallace is unwilling to go to the police. Turns out there was a contentious situation where her terminally-ill, yachtsman husband died alone aboard ship--prior to demanding a divorce, according to his children. It was so inexplicable that Odette was officially arrested under suspicion of murder, but was later released when there was insufficient evidence. Now, she's convinced that one of the step-children wants her dead to collect their father's trust. Could this be connected to the boyd Ellery found? Or, to the stalker who's breaking into Ellery's home and business? Will Ellery's sleuthing help keep Odette safe? And, will Jack ever speak to Ellery again when he learns Ellery's accepted Odette's retainer to help solve her attempted murder mystery?

This is a fast-paced story that gives us a LOT more info on Ellery, as his mom and step-father visit. Unlike the acrimonious situation with the Wallaces, Ellery loves his parents, and wants them to love Jack, too. The misdirection is frantic, and Ellery's confidence in Jack's affection is waning as the long days wear on, and the danger moves closer to Ellery than anyone--especially Jack--likes. This is a conflict, of course, because Jack can't protect Ellery if he's on duty all the time, and Race Week has all the officers on overtime. The Wallace children are all haters of Odette, but one of them might be more effectively lethal than then other two. Expect an explosive ending, blowing away the conspiracy theories and pairing Jack and Ellery together in solving these cases.

I love seeing Ellery and Jack get closer to one another, and develop a deeper bond. Ellery is an absolute hoot, and I adore his narrative voice. I flew through this story, much like the previous books in this series, and I recommend it to fans of cozy mysteries, especially those starring LGBTQ characters.

Was this review helpful?

Things are happening in Pirate's Cove Landing - and Ex-actor and current bookstore owner Ellery Page is at the center of it all. Diving with his boyfriend Jack, Ellery makes a gruesome discovery in a wreck - a diving suit that is not empty.

Ellery must juggle his relationship with Police chief Jack Carson, visiting parents, star-struck friends, stalkers sending threatening letters, feuding employees, burglars, the annual regatta and his bookstore, in addition to the mystery of the body in the diving suit. To add to the confusion there is his aspiring suitor, Dr. Robert Mane who seems to get along better with Ellery's parents than does Ellery's boyfriend Jack, Rowdy a.k.a Colby Wallace, a regatta participant and Jack's ex, who seems to still have Jack's ear and oh, did I forget to mention the menacing Shandy family, who seem to have their fingers in many shady pies?

Ellery is drafted as an amateur private eye to investigate the attempts on the life of Odette, the attractive widow of Rowdy's father Tristan Wallace, who supposedly died in a boating accident. Jack is unhappy with Ellery putting himself in danger again, especially when the case against Odette for Tristan's murder has been reopened at Rowdy's behest. A burglary resulting in an attack on Ellery at his home push Jack into re-evaluating his relationship with Ellery - having lost his wife and child in an accident, can he survive losing him?

With Jack on the outs with him, Rowdy's reappearance in Jack's life, the possible escalation of persecution by his unknown stalker and his judgemental client Odette Wallace, coupled with the seemingly never-ending feud between employees Nora and Kingston, Ellery has to battle events on many fronts. Accompanied by his trusted canine companion Watson (he of the small body and loud voice), Ellery attempts to sort out the tangled threads of matters personal and professional.

The book is fast-paced and ends with a HFN for Jack and Ellery, with the stalker issue still unresolved. I liked that the issues in Jack and Ellery's relationship were sorted out. The PICO Historical Society finally finds a home. There is also a reference to Christopher Holmes (Of the Holmes and Moriarty series by Lanyon) doing a book reading in the future at Ellery's bookshop, which reminded me that <i> The 12.2 percent Solution </i> is long overdue.

Another interesting read in the Secrets and Scrabble Series.

Thanks to NetGalley for making a temporary copy of the book available for review.

Was this review helpful?

And then, they were five. Instalments of Josh Lanyon’s ‘Secrets and Scrabble’ series, that is. First things first for those who don’t have time to read an entire review: if you’re into cozy murder mysteries, if you like a well-spun yarn, a quaint setting, a peculiar casting of characters, suspense without angst, and a romantic subplot devoid of explicit scenes (and explicit expletives for that matter, too), this is for you—grab a copy.

Now, the long version. This book takes the readers back to the peaceful seaside town of Pirate’s Cove. Did I just write peaceful? Sorry, because that word is only true on first sight. Ever since he moved here from New York, main character Ellery Page, owner of the local murder mystery bookshop, seems to always stumble upon weird, long-kept secrets and, more importantly (with the added “duh”-effect because Josh Lanyon? Murder mystery?), the odd dead body. This time, he sets out on a diving trip with his boyfriend Jack Carson, the town’s police chief, who, of course, is an accomplished diver, true to Josh Lanyon’s marked partiality to all-male, athletic “I hide my emotions behind a façade of grumpy cool” romantic counterparts to the main characters. Ellery is less keen on exploring the dark and creepy underwater world—that they cross a dangerous-looking shark doesn’t help. And that Ellery finally discovers, after less than twenty pages, an antiquated diver’s suit in which a dead man is stuck doesn’t either.

The strange thing is, no one has been reported missing for a very long time, in Pirate’s Cove. So, who is this dead man? Where does he come from? What is he doing in that age-old suit? How did he end up in the sunken ship where he was found? A mystery. Luckily, one of the town’s summer guests, a garish rich widow, shows up in his bookshop and tasks him with finding out the identity of the person who, according to her, wants to kill her. Ellery knows he shouldn’t accept the mission, and yet, he doesn’t refuse, even though he knows fully well that Jack won’t be happy about this decision. Indeed, their relationship cools down to icy proportions, and Ellery starts to wonder if the rich widow’s handsome son, who seems to be more than a teenage acquaintance of Jack’s, isn’t to blame.

The great thing with Josh Lanyon is that I always know what to expect. Not plot-wise as there are unforeseeable and unexpected twists and turns in all Lanyon’s stories, but quality-wise. I’m never disappointed, all the more so with this series as I really love the cozy mystery subgenre. Josh expertly uses all the tricks and techniques one usually wants in a book thus labelled. Ever since book one, Lanypn has created a wonderfully atmospheric setting with fictional Pirate’s Cove, the small town that by now feels almost like home to me with its narrow streets, its quaint bars, its beautiful landscapes, its bays and coves, its old buildings. And of course, the cast of secondary characters is just as lushly and lovingly imagined, a bunch of endearing weirdos, if I may say so, who always do all in their might to make Ellery’s life just that bit more complicated and thus the books just that bit more entertaining.

The romance between Ellery and Jack remains a subplot and, as is fit for a cozy mystery, provides no steamy scenes as I’ve already mentioned (which is perfectly okay for me). Yet, nothing else is missing: the heart-twisting ups and downs (Jack has serious commitment issues, so that makes for frequent bated-breath moments where I tremble with anxiety whether the two will have their “Happily For Now” at the end or not); the undeniable chemistry that is the main reason for that trembling; the sweet declarations that always make me melt; and the opposite characters involved that Josh really has down to a t—delicate versus stolid, open versus taciturn, sassy versus serious, with moments where the roles can be inverted for even more “Ooh- how cute!” moments.

All in all, another treat in this amazing series, a treat that makes me look forward, once again, to the next instalment. Little by little, ‘Secrets and Scrabble’ is becoming an insititution for me, not unlike the Poirot or Miss Marple mysteries I so love.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: