"Evil by the Sea" By Kathleen Bridge: Review/Giveaway

by Kathleen Costa

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of this book, and a link to purchase it.

Karma Resides in Florida!
After “Liz” Holt suffered a tabloid scandal that figuratively and literally scarred her, she left New York to return home to the barrier island of Melbourne Beach, Florida. She started working with her father Fenton Holt as an assistant in his law firm, reenergized her “writing mojo" as an accomplished author, and is a key member of the staff at the family-owned Indialantic By the Sea Hotel and Emporium. She assists her great-aunt Amelia Holt, who used to be an actress in many 60s television shows, is eager to tell stories about her experiences to anyone who’ll listen, and with her you’ll find the loudest members of the staff, macaw Barnacle Bob (“BB” for short), who squawks everything from sixties’ commercials to overheard conversations. For the past year, she has strengthened family ties, gained new friends, helped to increase the hotel’s business opportunities, and successfully put New York in the past. There is her best friend and bookshop proprietor Kate Fields, assistant manager Susannah Shay who often channels her distant cousin Amy Vanderbilt’s rules for living, chef “Grand”Pierre Montague her surrogate grandfather with memory issues, sounding board Betty Lawson with a fascinating connection to Nancy Drew, and a budding romance with Ryan Stone. Ryan originally came to temporarily help his grandfather, Pops Stone, with his Deli-casies emporium shop, but in the end, he decided to leave his arson investigator job to work part time for Pops and as a licensed PI for Liz’s father. Oh, did I mention Liz has found she has a knack for solving murders? By the sea, of course!
A By the Sea Mystery
Death by the Sea (2018)
A Killing by the Sea (2018)
Murder by the Sea (2019)
Evil by the Sea (2020)

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Image Source Lyrical Press
Evil by the Sea earns 5/5 Mermaid Tails...Engaging Fun!
The island is all a buzz with the annual Mystical Merfest approaching. The weekend was set aside to honor Meribel the mermaid; folklore told of a mermaid who in the midst of various storms saved dozens of Spanish sailors from certain death by dragging them safely to shore. The shipwrecks were historical facts, but the mermaid? There are plenty to speak of, and well, it makes for a delightful time dressing up like mermaids, mermen, and pirates along with feasting and reveling. The Hotel is also the destination for Aunt Amelia’s long-time friend Dorian Starwood’s Wicca wedding. Dory is also a very famous, and wealthy, psychic having starred in some television shows and written popular books along with successfully using her talents in connection with several police investigations. The groom, whom Dory met only months before, is the much younger Julian Rhodes, white warlock and Wiccan leader of the Sunshine Wicca Society. His preference for a small, intimate ceremony isn’t quite what Dorian wanted, and her vision, or dream, has her more anxious than the proverbial “pre-wedding jitters.” Jitters will be the least of everyone’s worries since an uninvited guest appears to unnerve the groom, a dark figure reported skulking around the property, Dorian’s son and daughter are far from best friends, and at the rehearsal dinner cruise...the groom ends up dead! Too many suspects that all seemed to have motive and opportunity.

Brilliant! I am a fan of Kathleen Bridge’s A By the Sea Mystery series, and book four with its mermaid legends, solstice celebration, and Wicca wedding was way too fascinating to pass up. Newbies can start her, but do ready the rest of the series to see how characters have evolved and predicaments are solved. The drama is well-written in a third-person narrative filled with descriptive language creating marvelous images of the hotel, the island, and a plethora of varied people. The drama is also entangled in secrets, family issue, greed, and several business issues, and although the murder mystery occurs later than I prefer, it was excellent fun to try and weed through all the suspects...with an ultimate surprise ending! It’s the characters about whom I look forward reading. Liz is great, flawed, and bruised a bit from her past, but she’s strong, clever, and a realistic lead. Family is fun, (I love Aunt Amelia) and readers, like myself might just see Bridge’s characters in our own family and friends. The “fur” and “feather” friends play prominent roles, too, whether to assist, rescue, or just mess things up; they are lots of fun, especially Barnacle Bob! Great tale with a karmic twist!

Bonus! Kathleen Bridge provides a delicious bonus with three easy-to-follow recipes. It’s exciting that the recipes aren't random, but actually connected to Sam’s Island Eats Food Truck: Savory Grilled Cheese, Chicken Sandwich, and Apple Pie Fries.

Be a Big Kathleen Bridge Fan!

Kathleen Bridge pens wonderfully entertaining series with strong women in the lead, and always clever, engaging drama. There is my favorite four-book By the Sea Mystery, but my first introduction to her work was with the four-book Hamptons Home and Garden Mystery. She offers something for every cozy taste!

Facebook - Author Kathleen Bridge
Website - Kathleen Bridge
Contact Kathleen Bridge for email alerts & updates

Summer Solstice (Northern Hemisphere, Saturday, June 20, at 2:43 PM)
Celebrate Summer Solstice with this delicious cucumber cooler from Lindsay, writer and Evermine blogger. Wonderfully delicious and refreshing cooler for the longest day of the year!

Evermine Blog: Cucumber Cooler
Image Source Evermine

To enter to win an ebook copy of Evil by the Sea, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "evil" or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 13, 2020 . U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. We delete all emails after the contest is over.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And speaking of podcasts, check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up last week.

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This looks really good! legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  2. Sounds like a great book. Looking forward to reading.

  3. Sounds like a great read! JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. Sounds really good! Sbw81@comcast.net


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