Scandal at the Salty Dog by Josh Lanyon Scandal at the Salty Dog by Josh Lanyon
Series: Secrets and Scrabble #4
Published by JustJoshin Publishing on May 31, 2021
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery, M/M Romance
Pages: 196
Format: eARC
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four-stars

Mystery Stalks the Cobbled Streets of Pirate's Cove

Who or what is haunting elderly recluse Juliet Blackwell, what does it have to do with mysterious goings-on at the Salty Dog Pub--and why is any of it mystery bookshop owner Ellery Page's problem? According to sometimes boyfriend Police Chief Jack Carson, it's not Ellery's problem, and Ellery should stop asking awkward questions before it's too late.

Ellery couldn't agree more, but it's hard to say no when someone is as frightened as old Mrs. Blackwell. Mrs. Blackwell insists the ghost of long dead pirate Rufus Blackwell has come to avenge himself on the last member of his treacherous clan.

Before Ellery can say, "Yikes!" Mrs. Blackwell takes a tumble down the grand staircase of her spooky mansion, and it's up to Ellery to find who is trying to kill his eccentric customer.

I’m thoroughly enjoying this series. It’s light and fun with just enough tension thrown in. Of course, it does have everything a cozy should have – an amateur detective, a bookstore, a dog, a quaint town, quirky secondary characters, and a sexy love interest. And of course, Ellery finds himself in danger on a semi-regular basis. This is a series best read in order. While the mystery is confined to this book, you’ll understand the characters’ backgrounds and relationships better if you start from the beginning.

This time around Ellery finds himself in the middle of two mysteries. First, someone’s breaking into the Salty Dog pub and stealing food. Second, Mrs. Blackwell is being haunted, well, maybe not haunted – Ellery doesn’t believe in ghosts, but someone uninvited has definitely been in her house. Of course, the two are connected, but it takes a bit to figure out how.

Ellery and Jack are finally kinda dating in this one, which is nice. I do wish it wasn’t another cozy sleuth dating another cop, but as a couple they work well together and I like that the relationship is finally moving in the right direction.

As far as the main mystery goes, the solution seems a little farfetched to me, but I loved the solution to a secondary mystery. And as always, the town characters, including Nora and the Silver Sleuths, are a hoot. The next one comes out in August.

About Josh Lanyon

Josh Lanyon is the author of over sixty titles of classic Male/Male fiction featuring twisty mystery, kickass adventure and unapologetic man-on-man romance. Her work has been translated into eleven languages. Josh is an Eppie Award winner, a four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist (twice for Gay Mystery), an Edgar nominee, and the first-ever recipient of the Goodreads M/M Hall of Fame award.

Josh is married and lives in Southern California.

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