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4.3 out of 5 stars68
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 5 May 2011
Another great plot from the Libby Sarjeant series. The same characters appear like the old friends they are to solve the latest crime,m this time in the seaside town of Nethegate. It's another story with theatre in the background, although this time the theatre is not the focus of the story. This is the only thing that gets on me a bit with this series, not being a theatre lover, the production side of the stories seem to be unnecessary apart from the ones that revolve around the theatre itself. Aside from that, the gang are in fine form and if you like a more gentle, villagey kind of mystery novelas opposed to the more gritty, police based dramas, this series is perfect.
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VINE VOICEon 2 January 2013
This was my first foray into Libby Sargeant mysteries and provided some light entertainment on a cheerless day. More a drawing room murder than blood and gore now available in this genre. Quite entertaining but not demanding. The descriptions of location were interesting as were the two main characters but the plot was confusing in places, rambling references to the Liverpool cockle-pickers didn't seem relevant, rather like providing a bit of padding and not very convincing. The map on the inside facing page was very useful in helping to understand the town. Having not read any of the prequels I was rather lost for background. I'm happy to give 4* but won't be reading anymore in the series. Humdrum as opposed to exciting but good to read something a little different especially when it's set by the seaside.
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on 20 March 2012
This is the fourth Libby Sarjeant book and I have to say it's the best so far. I love the illegal immigrant aspect to this story and eventually what it leads up to at the end (won't give it away).

I found Jane a bit of a frustrating character, but underneath that she came across as a decent enough person. I love the way it describes the Kent coastline and the impact tourists have on the locals.

Also this isn't just a murder mystery, but the novel progresses the lives of the main characters outside of murder ie Hetty's party.

Great book. Will read again. Would recommend.
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on 21 July 2013
I read this book for several reasons.
1. I lived in Thanet for 26 years and thought it would bring back memories. It didn't! Apart from the odd mention of Canterbuy hospital, it could have been set anywhere on the coast around the UK. Also I didn't recognize the local dialect, which seemed more London to me.
2. I enjoy some of the Miss Marples books, but this was a cross between a very poor Miss Marple and The Famous Five.
3. I am interested in Psychic research, but didn't think this was handled very well in the book.
4. I wanted a change from the more gripping murders I've read lately. It was certainly that! It was boring.

A man's naked body is spotted on a deserted island by a young reporter (Jane) on a boat trip. How they knew he was murdered I don't know as, unless I missed it, we are never told how he was done to death. Jane is unbelievably naive and prone to tears. The 2 amateur sleuths are in their 50's but talk like giggly schoolgirls. There is far too much dialogue and not enough action. As another review said, there are endless phone calls between all the characters, repeating the same news, and much soul-searching about should they/shouldn't they get involved with solving the crime. Also the constant teamaking and/or going to the pub or cafe got a tad repetitive.

It was obvious who had attacked Terry, but it took them the whole book to figure this out. Thanet does have a problem with illegal immigrants so that part of the book rang true.
I see from other reviews that some people love this author, but sorry, these characters are not for me and I will not be reading any more.
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on 12 October 2008
Another great read. I love the characters and the setting about which we learn a little more in each book. And I love the mystery too, not too much blood but just enough suspense to make you desperate to read to the end. Hope there's going to be another Libby Sarjeant story out soon. Would thoroughly recommend this and all the others in the series.
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on 25 November 2013
Lost track of the number of cups of tea, coffee and hot chocolate brewed in this Peoples friend story , cut them out and the story will be much shorter
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VINE VOICEon 25 April 2011
Murder By The Sea is the 4th book in Lesley Cookman's series featuring Psychic Fran Castle and middle aged acress Libby Sarjeant who like Jessica fletcher or Miss Marple, have a habit of becomming embroilled in murder. Fran is settling into her new cottage in the coastal town Nethergate Bay. Soon a body is discovered and Fran finds herself being once again drawn into the investigation. So she turns to her old friend Libby Sarjeant for help.

As with Lesley Cookman's previous book the plot moves at a good pace and there is the usual whitty dialogue. Being a "cosey crime" book there is very little sex and no graphic violence which makes a nice change from the usual graphic murder and violence which a lot of murder mysteries seem to have now days. This is the 4th book in the series but you don't really have to read them in order though it does help. So if you miss the good old days of Agatha Christie and Dorothy L Sayers then why not give Lesley Cookman's excellent books a go.
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VINE VOICEon 23 November 2012
Even more gentle than Miss Marple but not in the same class. A comfortable, undemanding read for a wet and gloomy November afternoon. Fran and Libby develop as very busy characters, the reader feels their busyness but Fran's psychic powers are a little far-fetched. The plot jumped about somewhat with too much going on - illegal immigrants,Jane, the new local reporter and her relationship, new home and so on, spies during the war, prep for a panto and so on. I liked the location which felt real and there's a pretty little map in the front of the book. Plenty going on in relationship's both for Fran and Libby but it felt contrived. I'm pleased I've had experience of a Libby Sarjeant mystery but I won't be delving further. I like a bit more grit to grapple with.
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on 3 September 2015
Another tale from Steeple Martin, and more adventures of the locals, which I have to be honest, have become addictive! Have just ordered the next 5 books to keep me going for a while. Hadn't really fancied this one, having read the synopsis, as I thought it might be depressing, but was pleasantly surprised, and had I not read it I might have missed out on a bit of village gossip.
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on 11 May 2016
Love these ladies... This book took me a little while to get into it unlike the others. The story didn't grab me as quickly, got there in the end.
I won't give up on these ladies and their chums , it hooks you in, grabs you and wham a twist at the end. Fabulous.
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