"The Secret Ingredient to Murder" By Terry Ambrose: Review/Giveaway

Review by Terrance McArthur

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

Things in Seaside Cove are hopping! B&B owner, former journalist, and occasional consultant to the Seaside Cove Police Department, Rick Atwood finally has married Marquetta, the cook-housekeeper of the B&B, and now they have a baby boy, Jack. Rick’s 13-year-old, budding detective daughter, Alex, is still getting into trouble and danger in Terry Ambrose’s eighth Seaside Cove Bed & Breakfast Mystery, The Secret Ingredient to Murder.

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Alex has a new, troubled, troubling, and Trouble older friend, Veronica, who is very upset. The 17-year-old’s mother was murdered in a robbery. Tyler, Veronica’s uncle, closed the family’s bakery, moved them to Seaside Cove, and negotiated with the wheeling-dealing Gideon Styles to sell the family’s secret chocolate recipe. When the recipe disappears, and Death is added to the recipe, Rick, Alex, and Police Chief Adam Cunningham start the hunt for answers from different directions.

Ambrose is very good at placing red herrings––clues leading to one suspect that turn out to be misleading. The obvious suspects? Don’t be so sure. Chapters that follow Rick are in a different voice than Alex’s first-person chapters. Seaside Cove has that California Central Coast, small-town feel, with touristy shops and people that range from sunny and down-home wholesome to prickly. Over the course of the book series, readers have come to expect the characters to be…characters.

Marquetta loves her stepdaughter, thinks the world of her, and worries about Alex’s friendship with Vanessa and the older girl’s influence on Alex, leading to some gentle tough love. Rick loves his daughter, adores her, and doesn’t want anything to happen to her, which almost happened in previous books. Alex…well, she’s Alex, and she’s inquisitive, intuitive, and a bit on the headstrong side…and she’s only thirteen. What do you expect?

To enter to win either an ebook or print copy (winner's choice) of The Secret Ingredient to Murder, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "secret ingredient,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 27, 2024. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. AND BE SURE TO STATE IF YOU WANT PRINT OR EBOOK. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. 

 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 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 click here to purchase this book
Terrance V. Mc Arthur is newly retired as a Librarian in Fresno County, California. He is also a storyteller, puppeteer, magician, and maker of pine needle baskets. On top of that he writes stories that range from rhymed children's tales to splatterpunk horror. He's an odd bird, but he's nice to have around.

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. Mary Holshouser
    Sounds interesting.
    Print copy please.
    thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sounds interesting! Count me in!

  3. It would be fun to read "The Secret Ingredient to Murder" by Terry Ambrose.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  4. I would love to win this book.I would like print,please. sally@camtel.net

  5. Please count me in. Thanks

  6. Would love to get a print copy! tWarner419@aol.com

  7. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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