The Big Thrill Discusses MURDER BY THE SEASHORE With Samara Yew
Perfect for fans of Jenn McKinlay and Ellery Adams, Scarlett Gardner’s dream was to open a bookshop in Southern California, but it soon becomes a nightmare when she finds the dead body of a customer—and becomes the prime suspect.
Southern California is where dreams come true—or so Scarlett Gardner thought. When she moved there and opened the Palm Trees and Page Turners bookshop, she thought her boyfriend and business partner would be part of the story. When he leaves her for a better job, Scarlett finds herself struggling to keep her new business afloat. That’s not the only thing she has to worry about—she discovers something underneath the pier by her bookshop that she didn’t outline for her life’s story: the dead body of a book-buying customer.
After Scarlett gives a statement to the police, she thinks her life can go back to business as usual. But when a lawyer, representing someone named Lorelai Knight, tells Scarlett that she now stands to inherit a small fortune, she’s left with more questions than answers. Before she can make sense of any of it, the police bring her in for questioning; the body she found was Lorelai Knight. And the evidence they have against Scarlett doesn’t look good. Business is booming as Scarlett returns to Palm Trees and Page Turners, but for all the wrong reasons – curious tourists don’t want books, they want a glimpse of the Bookshop Killer.
Who could really be behind all of this? And why frame Scarlett? To clear her name, she’s going to have get creative—and hope she can remain one page ahead of the killer.
Samara Yew recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest cozy mystery, MURDER BY THE SEASHORE.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
MURDER BY THE SEASHORE features a protagonist who is adopted. My father is adopted, and I was pregnant when I first started writing this book. Suddenly, I was asked questions about my medical history that I had no answer of, even though it could impact my baby’s health. Around the same time, my father connected with his biological sister for the first time ever. I was inspired to write a story about a protagonist who becomes involved in a mystery connected to family members she has never met.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
I love spending time in the setting of MURDER BY THE SEASHORE. It takes place in Oceanside, Southern California, and the protagonist owns a bookshop right on the beach. I live in cold Canada, so if I can’t spend my days actually hanging out at the beach with a good mystery novel, then I wanted to write a book about just that.
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
The Seaside Cafe Mystery series by Bree Baker, the Marygene Brown Mystery series by Kate Young, and my absolute favorite TV show, Psych.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
I am currently working on Scarlett’s next adventure in another California Bookshop Mystery. In this book, she is adding a cafe to her bookshop and is getting ready for the grand re-opening of Palm Trees and Page Turners.
Samara Yew is a cozy mystery author who writes about adorable bookshops and dead bodies. A full-time mom, full-time dog servant, and part-time writer, Samara lives in British Columbia, Canada, where she can often be found watching Psych reruns. Samara loves to travel, especially visiting her husband’s home country of Singapore or donning Mickey ears in Disneyland. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.
MURDER BY THE SEASHORE With Samara Yew