Sun, Sea, and Murder

A Locked Room Mystery

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Pub Date Apr 01 2024 | Archive Date Jul 31 2024


Two baffling murders. A hotel full of suspects. One secretive sleuth.

The guests at The Orange Tree Hotel arrive looking forward to a holiday filled with sun, fun, and sangria. But when Russell Aspell, the hotel’s owner, is found dead inside a locked room, any hopes of a relaxing break under the Spanish sun are ruined. Soon, each of the guests will become suspects as their lies and secrets are uncovered. Then, when a guest is murdered in plain view of everyone else, it’s clear the murderer is not only ingenious but utterly ruthless too. In order to catch a killer, some perplexing questions will first need to be answered… How did the killer get in and out of a locked room? What is the significance of the mysterious notes found in Russell’s office? What happened to the money in the hotel safe? And why is someone stealing guests’ mobile phones? Only a special type of investigator with a unique skillset will be able to piece together the clues to stop the killer before they strike again… Enter Penny Haylestone.

The book has quite a bit of humour as well as an enthralling mystery, and is the perfect beach read, or, if you want escapism and to be transported to sunny climes whilst braving the British winter, this novel is for you.

I hope you enjoy.

J.S. Savage is the author of The Mystery of Treefall Manor. Sun, Sea, & Murder is his second novel. He is a member of the Crime Writers Association. 

Two baffling murders. A hotel full of suspects. One secretive sleuth.

The guests at The Orange Tree Hotel arrive looking forward to a holiday filled with sun, fun, and sangria. But when Russell...

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ISBN 9798876840257

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Featured Reviews

I read this book in 24 hours, I absolutely loved it! I was pulled in by the cover and the story didn't disappoint. A suspenseful read with a beautiful setting and lovable characters. I could not put this book down and highly recommend for anyone looking for a great locked door mystery!

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"Sun, Sea, & Murder" by J.S. Savage is an enjoyably locked-room mystery with Christie-esque vibes set in a hotel in Spain. I love such books, and the lovely cover drew my eye, prompting me to read it.

The book follows several protagonists and is told alternatively from their first-person point of view. Let's meet our narrators:

• Marley, holidaying with her handicapped mother.
• Terry, holidaying with his wife Marjorie.
• Sally, the niece of the hotel's owner, holidaying with Jasmine, her best friend.
• Sanjay, holidaying with his life partner, Luke.

They, along with some other guests, came to the hotel expecting to have a good time. Murders certainly weren't on the menu, but murders they got. The vacation goes awry when the body of Russell Aspell, the hotel’s owner, is found inside a locked room. The detective assigned to the case isn't exactly the sharpest pencil in the cup, so Penny Haylestone, a Miss Marple-like character and one of the guests, decides to investigate with Marley as her sidekick. The plot thickens when another guest is murdered in plain view of the other guests. With two baffling murders, a diverse set of suspects, and one witty sleuth, you've got a great mystery to figure out!

I enjoyed the book very much and grew attached to some of the characters. I loved the humor and the interactions between the characters, as well as the level of detail put into their backstories. The setting was well-sketched, and I liked the eclectic mix of characters. The author did a great job of establishing them as real people. I didn't guess the identity of the murderer/s, and the plot kept me interested throughout the novel.

The overall writing style of the book was smooth, but it got a bit erratic at times and could use some smoothing out. Each chapter heading clearly indicates the speaker, which is helpful, especially since some voices are more distinctive than others, thus preventing confusion. I also found it a bit odd that not only did the four narrators keep a journal, but they also kept mentioning it throughout the narrative. There was a subtle suggestion of a romance that might have developed between two characters, and the addition of an epilogue would have been great to provide closure.

Overall, it was a fun read that I enjoyed immensely, so I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars, rounded up to 5. The mystery within the pages of this book is solidly developed and compelling. I would love to read more books with the sharp Penny. I recommend this book to those who love a clean locked-room mystery without gore. The reader never gets bored at any point in time. It is the perfect escapism!

* Thank you NetGalley and (publisher) for the opportunity to read this arc. All opinions are my own.

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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC

I loved the storyline and the plot. It was really hard to put this book down because it was so addictive? If you’re looking for a quick read for the summer and a locked door mystery, this one is for you. And I really recommend this one to everyone

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This was the second book I have read this month and it was brilliant! I haven’t read many locked door mysteries and omg this delivered in many ways. The book opens up with introducing the characters - Marley, holidaying with her handicapped mother. Terry, holidaying with his wife Marjorie. Sally, the niece of the hotel's owner, holidaying with Jasmine, her best friend and Sanjay, holidaying with his life partner, Luke.. I really liked how the author decided to create the main characters with different ages, their parings and distinctive personalities. By doing this, with humour, witty and badass aspects it really lifted the book to be so good.

The plot from the get go dives into a murder and possible suspects. I love how there is no messing about and goes straight to the nitty gritty. There is never a dull moment as the writing flows through evenly leaving you with the eagerness to find out what happened. It felt as if I was holidaying with the characters, being involved with the drama going on. That’s how inviting the storyline is. The mystery is increased which I really liked. There is something so satisfying of going along with the book and not having a clue about whodunnit with less obviousness being presented to you.

I couldn’t put this down and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this arc.

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A great summer read that keeps you guessing until the end. It's an easy read and cleverly written from various protagonists viewpoints.

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Good book! This was definitely a locked room mystery! I don't think I've really read one before?! But it was good! Very light hearted! But it had suspense, intrigue, murder, mystery, some great amateur sleuthing, and a few crazy twists and turns! The storyline was interesting and flowed nicely! I usually like my books with a little more grit lol but thus book was worth reading! I would recommend it! Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for sharing this book with me!

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Sun, Sea and Murder by J.S.Savage is the absolute five star read for me.

This is a British cozy mystery set in the hot Spanish sun. It gave me Death in Paradise and Agatha Christie vibes and in my book it doesn't get any better than that.

I loved everything about this book.
The setting was so well described that I could feel sun on my face and hear the waves.

There is a multiple POV which I adore. I had no problem following the characters or remembering their names. The characters were so well done I could see them in my mind, I could hear their voices. They are all so special and not stereotypical at all.

The mystery itself was very inventive, although I did have a hard time understanding the compexity of it, but had no trouble understanding the explanationn.
The ending was satisfactorily done, explained in detail and made sense. I especially liked how we got to read about several of the characters received the naming of the killer.

This book has my highest recommendation and I think that it would be absolutely perfect for TV adaptation

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