Cover Image: Murder at the Seaview Hotel

Murder at the Seaview Hotel

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Member Reviews

I enjoyed this; a grieving widow, a seaside hotel, an Elvis tribute act and some dodgy goings on. A lovely summer read with all the loose ends tied up, and the possibility of further mysteries?
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The future of the Seaview Hotel in Scarborough is in the balance. Helen Dexter had run it for years with her husband Tom, but after he lost his fight with cancer, she is not convinced that she wants to carry on with it alone. It takes some aggressive attempts to buy the hotel from her, along with a fortuitous booking from twelve Elvis impersonators – Twelvis – to convince her that her future lies at the Seaview. Once that decision is made – that’s when the trouble really begins.

Someone is conducting a smear campaign against the hotel, trying to shut it down before it has barely reopened, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to succeed. The attempts to buy the hotel step up in their intensity – oh, and Twelvis is now one member short, as the most unpleasant of the Elvises, one with a history in Scarborough, is found strangled in his costume, with his blue suede shoes stolen…

This is Glenda Young’s first mystery novel, the first in a Seaview Hotel series. She has written five historical novels which look to be in the Catherine Cookson vein, so needless to say, I haven’t come across her work before. I’m always tempted to give a new crime fiction author a go, so when I saw this on Netgalley, I thought it sounded intriguing.

And it is intriguing, but I’m also somewhat torn about the book.

First of all, I loved the setting and the characters. Helen, who is the focus and the heart of the book, is a fully rounded character who you easily empathise with. I’ve never lost a partner – she’s not very good at hiding, I always find her – but I was convinced by what she was going through. Her support – both in the hotel and in her circle of friends – is also a nice mix if perhaps a little too big. The plot is promising too, with the various threats against the hotel and to Helen building up nicely. The ups and downs in Helen’s life, as she copes with grief, her friends’ problems and a possible new man in her life (thankfully not the police officer in charge of the case) make for an absorbing narrative – I was carrying around my kindle, reading chunks of the book whenever I had the chance, and I would happily read more of the series to see what happens to Helen, the hotel and the various cast members.

I’m also tempted to visit Scarborough, as the author clearly loves the town. It’s similar to how Julie Wassmer paints Whitstable in the Whitstable Pearl mysteries, and it certainly works well as an advert for the Scarborough Tourist Board (unlike, say, Stuart MacBride and Aberdeen…)

However hard-core puzzle mystery fans may be disappointed, as catching the killer resembles those final chapters of the oft-derided US cosy mysteries, namely heroine (or possibly hero, but it’s usually heroine) goes for a cup of coffee with the killer and the killer accidentally drops the bloody murder weapon from their pocket, at which point the heroine works out with a stunning leap of logic who the killer is, having had no idea when they went round for their coffee.

To be fair, Helen has narrowed down the suspects and has worked out the (rather odd) motive for the crime before the killer leaves some incriminating evidence lying around, evidence which, it should be said, seems to be in the killer’s possession purely to incriminate them. The killer is, I think, well hidden, but again, the seasoned mystery reader might well spot them – I did, but there weren’t that many viable suspects. I think also I would have liked some of the sub-mysteries to have been a little more linked, as there does seem to be a lot of coincidence that all of these things are happening at the same time.

All in all, though, I enjoyed this book a lot. I really like the characters, I like the idea of “Twelvis” and the book does well setting the scene for future outings for Helen and her coterie. I’ll definitely be giving book two a go.

Murder At The Seaview Hotel is out on Thursday 5th August in hardback and ebook from Headline.
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I absolutely loved this book. Thank you to Net Galley and the publisher for giving me an advanced copy. This is the first book from Glenda Young that I’ve read, and I literally can’t wait for her next in this series.

It’s definitely a cosy ‘who done it’. Helen owns Seaview Hotel in the seaside town of Scarborough and is just getting over the loss of her husband at a very young age. Re-opening the B & B after his death; she receives a series of unexpected threats and events which appear to be the workings of a multi-national company wanting to buy her hotel. 

But after taking a booking of 12 Elvis impersonators one of them is murdered. Throughout the book your suspicions are aroused thinking it could be him or he could have done it. 

The characters are likeable and humorous and supportive of Helen. I didn’t want to think Jimmy (number 1 Elvis) was involved in the murder, but he has a secret which makes you think it could be him. There was a little romance which I hopes blossoms in future books.

I found the convention entertaining especially after one of the Elvis has gone missing and Helen has to step up. 

The book flowed and before I knew it the murder was solved and the book finished, with all the loose ends being nicely woven into the story.

A great read and highly recommended.
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A wholly entertaining mystery set in the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, the first in a new series of cosy crime and a change of genre for this accomplished author.  Now looking forward to the next book! Brilliant!
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4.5 stars rounded up to 5

In the charming Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, a murder is nothing to sing about. After  the death  of her husband Tom, Helen Dexter is contemplating her future as the now-sole proprietor of the Seaview hotel. There's an offer from a hotel chain developer to consider, but also a booking from a group of twelve Elvis impersonators, a singing group called Twelvis. Tom loved Elvis  and for Helen this is a sign that she should stay. But the series of mysterious events which follow, suggests that the developer is not going to give up easily.

Set in the beautiful seaside town of Scarborough, one of my favourite holiday locations. When one of the Elvis impersonators is found dead, we are taken on quite a journey to find out what had happened. 

This is a cosy murder mystery filled with lots of lovely characters. This is an easy book to read. The pace is steady with a couple of sub-plots thrown into the mix. There's some humour as we learn of Helen's backstory. This looks like the start of a great new series.
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I was gripped from the first page of this book, I didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t read any of Glenda Young’s books. I believe that this is the first book based on current times,as Glenda normally writes books based on historical sagas.. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to reading many more books by this author.Its exceptionally well written. The story revolves around Helen and her guest house in Scarborough. I have to say that I would love to stay at her B&B as it sounds so homely,the food is delicious and her staff are the best.
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I cannot rate this cosy mystery highly enough. Wonderful characters, beautiful setting and an excellent story.

Helen Dexter is recently widowed and she is struggling to decide if she should keep her charming Seaview Hotel or sell it. After taking a reservation from an Elvis tribute act she decides to reopen but it doesn't go smoothly when one of the Elvis impersonators is murdered. Helen wants to get to the bottom of it and find out exactly what happened. 

There are some wonderful characters in this book, my personal favourite being Jean, Seaview's long standing cook. I particularly loved the fact that I really enjoyed Helen's character. Often I find cosy mysteries main character to be a pushy know it all, however Helen was funny, charming and graceful.

My favourite aspect of the book was the setting. I love Scarborough and have visited often, and the street names, pubs and other well known Scarborough settings brought back wonderful memories of a very special place. I really hope there will be more as it could be a real treasure of a series.
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This slowly grew on me,  I wasn't sure whether it would just be too predictable but actually there was a warmth to the characters which I liked.   Enjoyed - thank you.
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My thanks to Headline and NetGalley for a review copy of the book.

Murder at the Seaview Hotel is the first in a cosy mystery series set in Scarborough. We meet 48-year-old Helen Dexter who has just a few months ago lost her beloved husband Tom to cancer. After having spent a couple of months with her sister-in-law in Scotland, she has just returned to Scarborough and to the Seaview Hotel, a ten-room Bed and Breakfast she ran with Tom. Although Tom had made her promise she would continue the venture before he passed, Helen is having doubts and in fact considering whether she should sell and start life afresh. But almost as soon as she returns, she receives a phone call from a band of Elvis impersonators and performers, Twelvis, who are coming into town for a performance and wish to book rooms at the Seaview Hotel. Tom was a huge Elvis fan and even dressed as Elvis himself, throwing Elvis parties at the Hotel. Taking this as a sign, Helen accepts the booking, and calls her cook Jean (who will only serve full English breakfasts) and cleaning lady Sally back to work. Reopening the place and running it without Tom by her side is a difficult prospect but Helen prepares to face it.

But besides the call from Twelvis, Helen also receives a call from Bensons, a real estate agent with an offer to buy the property—but this is no ordinary offer, rather, the agent is browbeating, even threatening Helen into making a quick decision. Then, one of the Twelvis band, the most unsavoury of the lot, Brian (who is also a lech), makes her a similar offer on behalf of a ‘friend’. Helen is shaken by the nature of these offers but makes her refusal very clear. But while she wants to brush them off, things get worse when she gets a threat to her dog Suki in the mail, and then Suki is targeted as well. Also, negative reviews of the Hotel (all fake of course) are increasingly appearing online—clearly a bid to force Helen into selling. It looks like someone will stop at nothing to get their hands on the property.

Meanwhile on the day of the performance, one of the Elvises (not hard guessing which one) goes missing, and later is found dead in a lake—strangled, in fact. The police begin to investigate, but the murder is doing nothing to help the Hotel’s reputation which gets further hit, with people cancelling bookings.

Alongside, we also follow Helen’s personal life—meeting her friends, the glamorous Marie, who is married to a crook, Darran Clark, and Bev and Sue who have been acting rather strangely lately. Her staff Jean and Sally are warm and supportive, and Sally’s little daughter Gracie loves Helen very much as well. Also Elvis One, James ‘Jimmy’ Brown is taking an interest in Helen, and Helen herself likes him though finds it hard to cope with her feelings, given that she has only recently lost Tom.

This was a fun and pleasant read with likeable characters, a charming setting with some fun elements, and a fairly enjoyable mystery. 

I took to Helen almost from the start, and enjoyed following her journey with the hotel and of course the mystery at hand. Her situation of living every day without Tom and learning to cope, and yet at the same time finding it difficult to move on was something I could relate to. On the other hand, while I liked her and rooted for her, there were some things she did which seemed rather foolish, like continuing to leave Suki the dog outside cafes unattended when she went in—even if it was just to order coffee, when Suki had been poisoned in just a similar scenario, why would she continue to do that? Also going in to face a possible murderer on her own wasn’t the most sensible thing either.

I enjoyed the Scarborough setting in the book—the author weaves in local sights and landmarks, the Grand Hotel and Peasholm Park among them, as also Anne Bronte’s grave, which gave one a great feel of the place; for those familiar with the town, this would be all the more enjoyable. The other background element of the story—the Elvis impersonators added a fun touch to the story—costumes and performances (of which Helen also finds herself a part), plus the Elvis jukebox and Elvis-themed parties that the Seaview used to have when Tom was there. A few more references to songs would have enhanced the background further.

The mystery element in the book I found to be quite enjoyable. While nothing extraordinary or out of the box, it gave us enough threads and possibilities to explore. The victim’s past, his dodgy connections, and also his own somewhat sleazy character. And there was enough of a surprise element in the solution.

I’ve written about Helen but not the other characters—them too I found quite interesting and likeable, each with their own story—since this is a first in series, there is plenty of detail. Marie, Bev and Sue, Helen’s friends each have issues in their lives, seem to have secrets as well, which we discover as we go on—but they are there for Helen as well. Her staff, Jean and Sally are warm and likeable—Jean’s fixed ideas on breakfast which Helen tries to change, and Sally’s life—her studies towards earning a business degree besides working and looking after her daughter are additional storylines we explore. Then there is also Jimmy’s story, which has complications of its own. Gav a jack of many trades who fixes among other things security cameras for Helen, and wants a constant flow of food as he works was also a fun character.

The book I thought was a great introductory one, giving one several elements and threads to look forward to. We have Helen’s plans to improve the hotel’s ratings, redecorate and do better with the business (which includes Jean expanding her menu); then there is her relationship with Jimmy. Also Marie reveals some plans at the end of the book, and I would love to see how they pan out. Then there are also Sally and Gav’s stories. And of course whatever mystery Helen finds herself thrown in the midst of next. This is a series which I am very much looking forward to following.

4 stars.
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3 ½ really.  I have only spent one very wet night in Scarborough but it was long enough to be able to recognise and picture many of the places mentioned in this book.  It has also made me want to visit again, with better weather hopefully.  I see this is the start of a series so not sure how these characters will develop.   Also, the Elvis motif may be a problem.  Will they just be tripping over bodies around the town.  It seems more difficult to sustain a crime series without a central detective character.  Still looking forward to number two!   Thanks to Netgalley.
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Murder at the Seaview Hotel is an engaging murder mystery that will leave you all shook up! Why? Because this fun whodunit revolves around the death of an Elvis impersonator and his missing blue suede shoes! 
You may know novelist Glenda Young for books such as The Miner’s Lass and Belle of the Back Streets from her hugely popular, historical saga series set in the north-east mining town where the author herself was born. But this is her surefooted first step into the world of cozy crime mysteries. 
Cozy crime is a genre which has continued to grow in popularity in recent years with hits such as the Dales Detective series by Julia Chapman, the Lady Eleanor Swift Mysteries by Verity Bright and the commercial juggernaut that is The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman. 
Young’s Murder at the Seaview Hotel delivers many of the cozy crime fiction hallmarks that we have come to expect from the genre.
‘Cozies’ need an amateur sleuth as their main protagonist and Seaview delivers an engaging and relatable heroine in Helen Dexter. Following the death of her husband Tom, Helen finds herself facing an uncertain future, doubtful whether she wants to continue running their Scarborough guest house, the Seaview Hotel, without him. 
She is conflicted when an unexpected offer to sell the hotel to a mysterious bidder arrives. But when she is increasingly pressured by repeated phone calls to make this life-changing decision by the end of the day, Helen digs her heels in and decides to make a go of running the hotel herself. Mysteries abound and unexplained goings-on suggest that the unidentified developer is not giving up easily.
Cozy crime mysteries often feature humour: a troupe of twelve singing Elvis impersonators – yes of course the group is called ‘Twelvis’ – checking into the Scarborough guest house certainly ticks the humour box. It’s an original and amusing hook which Glenda Young skilfully uses to raise the number of potential suspects, to spin some intriguing plot twists and to deliver some suspense-relieving laughs for the reader.
Murder at the Seaview Hotel boasts an appealing supporting cast: there’s the hotel’s redoubtable cook Jean, who is all enveloping hugs, seasoned advice and perfect Full English breakfasts; we meet Helen’s glamorous if somewhat outspoken best friend Marie and readers will enjoy Miriam, the haughty landlady of the neighbouring guest house, the Vista del Mar. And pet-loving cozy-crime fans will love Suki, Helen’s retired racing greyhound companion – although beware! The emotional stakes are raised when the loveable canine’s life comes under threat…
One other character that is beautifully written in Murder at the Seaview Hotel is the town of Scarborough itself. Glenda Young gives a superb sense of place to the novel’s heroine and her guest house. You get the strong sense that the author has pounded the streets of the Yorkshire seaside location to evoke its many breezy, atmospheric charms. The Scarborough Tourist Board needs to get Glenda Young on their payroll – the Recs has just booked a mini-break there later this year thanks to the persuasive of her writing!
If you like puzzle box whodunits where plot and clue details are all important and characters are merely conduits for the machinery of the mystery, or you have a taste for hard-boiled police procedurals, this novel is unlikely to be for you. 
But if you are looking for an enjoyable read, warmly written where you care about amiable characters trying to disentangle a series of suspenseful mysteries, then Murder at the Seaview Hotel is certainly worth your attention.
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What's It About?

​Helen Dexter runs The Seaview Hotel in Yorkshire’s seaside haven of Scarborough. 
When a troupe of 12 Elvis impersonators (Twelvis) arrive for an Elvis convention in Scarborough, one of them is found dead and his blue suede shoes are stolen. B&B landlady Helen Dexter and her trusty greyhound Suki are on the case to uncover the killer. Having recently lost her husband to cancer, and ambivalent about keeping the hotel open, Helen finds herself playing host to a troupe of 12 Elvis impersonators who have a gig at the Scarborough Spa. 

Is it any good? 

When one of the twelve is found dead in a local lake, and with a shady developer trying to buy the hotel, the reader is taken on quite the adventure as Helen battles bereavement, a burgeoning romance, a friendship group rocked to the core, and loveling created hotel staff. This cosy crime drama intersperses real-life Scarborough locations and mixes in just enough elements of believable and enthralling fiction to keep readers of any age suitably entertained. A complex mix of characters, easily readable chapters, with a couple of entertaining sub-plots.  We won't spoil the end but suffice to say - keep an eye out for Suki the greyhound. Here is a cosy crime saga set in a seaside town that has an unwitting crime duo at its heart. In tħe stormy seas of 2021, take yourself to Scarborough's coast and wrap yourselves up in this comfy crime story. Scarborough is of course famous for the final resting place of the Bronte sisters. I think the town has itself a new female literary star! We recommend it.
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Fun Plot, Wry Humour….
A wholly entertaining mystery set in the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, the first in a new series of cosy crime and a change of genre for this accomplished author. With a likeable protagonist in Helen and packed with a cast of well developed and well crafted supporting characters this is an engaging read from start to finish. A fun plot and plenty of wry humour completes the package. A very promising start to a new series.
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Thoroughly enjoyable book with brilliant characters and the way the scenery was described made you feel like you were actually there, loved the twelvises and how they became friends with the recently widowed Helen, the plot keeps you guessing as to who done it right till the end.
A fantastic read that I didn't want to put down, beautifully written and amazing plot and characters
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Thoroughly enjoyed this novel.. Being a widow myself I really empathized with Helen and her uncertainty with making decisions on her own. However, she has a great support system in her friends and employees. Add to her dilemmas a body of one of the Elvis impersonators and a mystery person trying to buy the hotel which isn't even up for sale and she has problems.
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Newly widowed Helen is now the sole proprietor of the Seaview Hotel after the death of her husband. Unsure of whether to continue alone, she's alarmed by strong arm tactics trying to force her to sell the hotel to a mystery buyer.

With a  big Elvis convention taking place in Scarborough, Helen finds herself playing host to twelve Elvises.

And then a body is discovered.....

A terrific tale
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Oh how I love a challenge and this remarkable historical saga author has changed genre, this is her first cosy crime mystery and I just couldn't wait to get stuck in.
Scarborough Seaview Hotel is run by recently widowed Helen Dexter with her racing greyhound Suki she made a promise to Tom her late husband who was a big Elvis fan.
there's a big show coming to town with all Elvis impersonators and a phone call saying they want to book Helen's all ten rooms at the hotel, they are the Elvis six Twelvis so it going to be pretty busy for her and her trusty staff. And there's someone out there wants the hotel but it's not for sale has she made a terrible mistake in not selling? Oh Boy so much is about to happen to Helen that is going to grip you into this book. and what is going on with her two best friends Bev and Sue? something is going on only time will tell. this book has everything with sharp witty humour added at every opportunity, It is weekend that Helen will never forget that gives her hotel a bad name. Helvis is in the building and does not let nothing get in her way.
I must admit I loved every chapter, getting to know all the characters its a fantastic start to a new series from this author it's definitely a book you cannot put down a Cosy cuddle up book, well done Glenda Young I so look forward to more from Helen and Suki at the Seaview Hotel Sunny Scarborough. 5 stars.
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This is much better than the traditional cosy mystery. It has great characters and good plotting. The star of this book is the sense of place. I have never been to Scarborough, but it’s now on my list of places I must visit. A few straggly ends not explained, but overall a great conclusion. Loved the Elvis eleven lol. I hope this  becomes a series
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