Cover Image: Death on the Pier

Death on the Pier

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Member Reviews

I liked the fact during an actually play a murder had been committed. I think the characters have brought this story life. Well written and throughly enjoyed it.
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Locked room murder mysteries with an ‘old fashioned’ veneer seem to be really popular right now – and if they’re as good as this novel, it’s easy to see why. In Jamie West’s latest offering, playwright Bertie attends a performance of one of his lesser-known works at Brighton’s Palace Pier – only to find that the performance culminates an actual murder. As the reading audience, we have hardy time to recover from this sensational revelation till it’s time to accompany playwright and amateur sleuth Bertie and his friend, acting Scotland Yard inspector Hugh, on their joint murder investigation. The back stories that are gradually revealed about these two men, and the setting in 1930s Brighton are at least as enjoyable to read about as the fictional murder investigation itself. A fantastic read – warmly recommended for impending autumn evenings! Thank you to NetGalley and to the publishers for the complimentary ARC that allowed me to read this fine novel and to produce this honest, unbiased book review.
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Thank you to @brabingerbooks and @netgalley for an ARC.

“The Palace Pier Theatre.



Renowned murder mystery playwright Bertie Carroll turns real life detective when his leading lady is shot and killed on stage, in full view of an unsuspecting audience.

Once the curtain falls and the applause subsides, the horrible truth begins to dawn on the cast of suspects backstage. Motives, secrets and old rivalries begin to come to light, setting the stage for this theatrical murder mystery.

With the help of Chief Detective Hugh Chapman, an old school friend, Bertie must put his amateur sleuthing skills to the test to unravel the ultimate whodunnit. 

The debut novel from Jamie West is set in and around The Palace Pier Theatre in Brighton, a lost theatre, lovingly recreated.”

The debut novel from @thisisjamiewest is an absolute delight. A classic whodunnit with shades of Agatha Christie that kept me guessing until the end. The author’s background in theatre only adds to the quality and detail of the storytelling. You can imagine going to watch this at the theatre.

There is potential for many more stories involving the protagonist, Bertie Carroll - a second novel is coming in 2023. Can I have an advanced copy of that too please?!

#deathonthepier is published on 10 October 2022.

#debutnovel #booksof2022
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A really fun Agatha Christie-esque story, with two very engaging detectives. The theatre setting was a real joy, and all the detail about a lost theatre was great. A compulsive read that kept me guessing right up to the end.
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I really enjoyed this gentle but compelling murder mystery by debut novelist Jamie West, due out on October 10th. 

Set in the Palace Pier Theatre in Brighton in the winter of 1933, a murder takes place live on stage on the opening night of playwright Bertie Carroll's play, 'Murder by Assistance'. Bertie and his friend Hugh, a police inspector, happen to be in the audience on the night, and Hugh quickly ropes Bertie in to assist his investigation.

Fitting neatly into the locked-room mystery genre, the only suspects are the cast members and production team, and it quickly becomes apparent that any of them and yet none of them could have been responsible for the murder... The investigation is entertaining, throwing up the usual red herrings and false leads that you'd expect in such a story, and there is a wonderful onstage dénouement well worthy of Agatha Christie.

The hint of something deeper in the connection between Bertie and Hugh, at a time when, as we are reminder by one of the characters, homosexuality was illegal, adds another layer of interest to the story, and West keeps us guessing on this one, so we'll have to see what happens in the follow-up!

Fans of 'The Thursday Murder Club', 'The Twyford Code' and, of course, Agatha Christie, will enjoy this one.

With thanks to @netgalley and @brabingerbooks for the advance copy in return for an honest review.
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Well researched if you are interested in the Brighton Pier theatre. However,  the way the murder was carried out was not was not new so rather let down the whole story.
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What a delightful, unique gem. I'm not the biggest fan of "historical" romances, or romance set that far back in time without some other element to it such as magic, steampunk, horror, etc...but this book really surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. 

The setting itself is rather unique, and lends a sort of Phantom of the Opera vibe to it. The relationship was great, and the fact that not all the backstory was filled in between them just yet was actually fun. It's obvious this is the beginning of a projected series, and I'm excited to see where it goes.

The mystery itself was fun. It was a classic, by the numbers Murder She Wrote affair which I enjoyed. It was just pulpy enough to be entertaining. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this and was surprised at how charming and fun it was. I look forward to what comes next.
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I really nejoyed this murder mystery. I found it really interetsing and thriklloing and it kept me guessing thorigugpit about who the killer would be
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I was given the pleasure of reading this book by Netgalley!!  Death on the Pier is set in Brighton in the 1930's and it's about a play where a murder is committed in real life!!    Imagine Agatha Christie and Poirot!!  The story and the characters are written very well!!  I lost myself in the book and I didn't want it to end!!  Definitely one book that I will recommend to others!!  I hope that there will be more written!!
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Delightful murder mystery - and the first time I have read a book where the protagonist not only has the same name as my partner, but mentions where we were spending the weekend together! Quite the coincidence.
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I’m sorry to say that I did not enjoy this book. I realise it was set in the  1930s, but even so, I found the writing to be facile and unconvincing. The dialogue was clunky, and the endlessly detailed descriptions of absolutely everything meant that I lost interest in the plot and the book and DNF. Not for me, this one, though I’m sure other readers will enjoy it. 
My thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for my advance copy of this book.
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A playwright goes to watch a production of one of his lesser known whodunit plays. While there, one of the deaths in the play unfortunately turns out to be not just really good acting, but an actual murder. Who better to assist the detective investigating than the man who knows the story best. So together the detective and the playwright try to solve the crime. 

This is an old fashioned style of murder mystery so I loved it. I'm a big fan of this genre so I found it really enjoyable and familiar. There was a nice amount of personal back story mixed in the main storyline. I really liked the way the two men worked together as well. They complimented each other nicely. 
I'm hoping this is the beginning of a series because I would definitely love to read more.
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It is 1933, and playwright Bertie Carroll is about to head down to Brighton to check out a production of one of his murder-mystery plays when he has a phone call from his old school friend, Hugh Chapman, who wants to meet up again.

Brighton, in the off-season, in the rain, is not the ideal place for a difficult meeting or for a successful revival of an old play, and Bertie is intrigued about the reasons for both. When the difficult leading lady is murdered on stage, the playwright and his friend, now a Detective Chief Inspector, investigate the crime.

The setting for the Investigation is the beautifully-evoked Palace Pier Theatre, and the author's love of the place and his knowledge of the theatre, of actors and of production technique shines through the text.

For a debut mystery, and, I assume, as the first in a projected series, this is a commendable effort. The author has avoided the temptation to fill in too much backstory, and, instead is intriguingly reticent about the nature and history of Bertie's relationship with Hugh. The plot is fairly solid, if not terribly original, and there is not too much withholding of vital evidence from the reader.

Being gay in the Britain of the 1930s, even in theatrical circles, was difficult and potentially dangerous with the ever- present threats of arrest and blackmail. It will be  interesting  to find out how Bertie and Hugh's friendship fares in such circumstances.

A most enjoyable and recommendable novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and Brabinger Publishing for the digital review copy.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this early for an honest review. This cozy mystery was charming. I love that it took place in a theater, during a murder mystery play, and that a playwright is helping to solve it. Bertie and Hugh feel like a good crime solving team. I genuinely enjoyed watching them work together to solve this, although it felt like Bertie stumbled on the answer at the end when we was confronting all the suspects, while Hugh waited in the doorway. The whodunit reveal was both shocking and believable. The sneak peek of the next mystery whet my appetite and I’m ready for Murder at the Matinee.
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Death on the Pier is one of those delightfully written mystery reads that you devour in a little over one sitting. With nods to Christie in its style, Jamie West has written a brilliant murder mystery set at the theatre. I loved all the details- the backstage set up and production specifics are so well described.  I loved the build up of intrigue with the mix between the real life of the characters and the story on stage. Such a clever story and I can’t wait to see if we meet up with Bertie again.
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Deliciously clever. Delicately woven around theatre (British spelling) customs and production elements, it's a bit like stepping onstage and into the middle of a classic Agatha Christie type mystery for which you neither know the lines nor how the play ends. Nothing seems quite wrong....or right.

That's the situation successful playwright Bertie Carroll finds himself in as he attends a performance of one of his older productions at Brighton's Palace Pier Theatre. It's the 1930s. The theatre was real, btw, and a quick search reveals it must have been rather resplendent at one time. Sadly, it no longer exists. But, I digress. Bertie is in town to meet with an old friend, Chief Detective Inspector Hugh Chapman who has a reputation for solving impossible cases. Bertie is, well, an unassuming writer and feels out of his element as the investigation into the onstage death of fading star Celia Hamilton begins.

It happened in front of an audience who simply thought it was part of the play, as did Bertie initially, to be honest. It quickly becomes evident that it was no well-played death scene, however. It was the real thing. Celia is dead. The actress who pulled the trigger of the prop gun is the obvious suspect but, well, we all know that things aren't always what they seem. I won't detail the plot/investigation but it's fun watching Bertie gain in confidence as he uses his knowledge of day-to-day theatre customs, whether on casting, production, staging, or dressing the stage, to help solve the crime. You'll learn a great deal about the theatre in the process of solving this mystery.

So, who did it? Did the butler do it? Was it the young, unknown actress, perhaps hoping to replace the difficult star? Perhaps the stage manager had snapped at one too many caustic criticisms? Or maybe the handsome young actor who seems, well, a tad undisciplined onstage? Breaking the fourth wall is a no-no, you know. Why is this show being produced anyway? It isn't even one of Bertie's hits. And, why is Hugh there in the first place? Do you know what a cigarette card is/was in that time period? He gives one to Bertie. There are hints of their connection but, given the era, they remain shadowy. I rather like that as I liked them both and it makes them human but doesn't distract from the story. But, enough teasers. Read the book. You won't be sorry, especially if you're a fan of classic mysteries and/or the theatre.

Thanks to #NetGalley and BrabingerPublishing for the invite to the show. It was a delight to meet Bertie and Hugh and feel engulfed by the mystic of the theatre. Hope to catch another show with them soon!
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I’m honestly so excited, because this is the first installment in a series. This book was made for me. It perfectly captures the vibes and atmosphere of an Agatha Christie novel. The mystery was so well plotted and the clues were fantastic. The main character is amazing, and canonically queer. This book was amazing and I cannot wait to read more.
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Such a cleverly crafted plot! 🔥📚

Wow! What an outstanding Murder Mystery debut from Jamie West! 😍

Firstly, the amount of research into the history of theatre in Brighton and The Palace Pier seeps through this whole read beautifully. This research alongside Jamie’s own backstage knowledge of working in London’s West End brings the story to life in a magnificent way! 🎭 

The plot itself was faultless. I was hooked throughout and kept changing my opinion on each suspect really adding to the overall whodunit feel of the read. 

Jamie’s writing reminded me so much of Agatha Christie and J. B. Priestley and this book was definitely fast paced and a lovely easy read. 

I praise Jamie for crafting such a unique plot and I can see this read being in the spotlight! I’m really looking forward to the next Bertie Carroll Mystery 🔥🎉📚

Many thanks to Jamie West, NetGalley and Brabinger Publishing for this ARC!

I highly recommend this debut that will be published on 10th October 22!🔥📚
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Loved this, a period crime set in the world of end of pier shows with an enjoyable amateur sleuth (who has a bit of a secret!) and his friend a senior policeman. Whodunnit became quite obvious, but it was well plotted as we discovered the why.
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Immediately, Death on the Pier pulls you into the world of the stage about 100 years ago. Our protagonist is a playwright who, with his detective friend, investigates a murder committed during a performance of one of his plays.
There's a large enough cast (ha ha) of characters for it not to be too obvious who-dunnit, and there're lots of beautiful descriptions of people, place and action.
Well done!
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