Jackie Baldwin: Murder By The Seaside

This rreview is written with thanks to Storm Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Murder By The Seaside via the TBC Reviewers Group.


As dawn breaks over the empty beaches of Portobello, Grace McKenna emerges from the icy water after her daily swim, her loyal dog Harvey by her side. Little does she know, in the shadows, a cold-blooded killer is plotting his next move…

Edinburgh, Scotland. After the toughest year of her life, Detective Grace McKenna is grateful for her job running the fledgling Portobello Detective Agency… though another client or two would certainly help keep the wolf from the door. So when the glamourous widow of renowned psychic Paul Gordon entreats her to investigate his suspicious death, Grace sees a unique opportunity to make a name for the agency.

Joining forces with Tobias Sloan – a dapper investigative reporter seeking answers about his wife’s tragic passing – their search takes a dark turn when the body of a beautiful young woman is found at a nearby elite golf club. The evidence leads them straight to Merchiston College of Psychic Studies – the very place where Paul Gordon met his grisly end.

Uncovering a shocking secret linking the two murders, Grace finds her professional and personal boundaries are beginning to blur. She is left to face not only the ghosts of her own past, but also the prospect of a hardened killer stalking the quiet lanes of Edinburgh. With time running out and the lives of her team hanging in the balance, can Grace McKenna solve the murders, and save herself from the same deadly fate?

A gripping Scottish mystery with a sprinkle of small-town charm, perfect for fans of Faith Martin, Clare Chase and Frances Evesham.


I really enjoyed Jackie Baldwin’s previous series so I was beyond excited to have the opportunity to read Murder By The Seaside. This series is classified as more of a “cosy crime” – and there’s definitely less blood and guts – but Murder By The Seaside is no less gripping or thrilling. 

The protagonist for this series is Grace McKenna, who is just starting out with a private investigating business. I love her character: she’s feisty and determined but she is also very vulnerable and she has an absolutely fascinating back story which I loved delving into. The supporting characters should also not be underestimated. Jean and Hannah, Grace’s employees, are also incredibly tenacious and just as keen to find some answers as we are as readers, so it’s very easy to get sucked into their investigation and not want to turn away until it is solved. 

Jackie Baldwin is a fabulous writer and this can be seen in her descriptions of Portobello and the surrounding areas where Grace works. I’ve never visited Portobello but the description of the sea in particular took me there straight away and I was fully engaged in the action. 

Murder By The Seaside is a well plotted novel and I genuinely had no idea where it was going until the final few chapters. There is tension and danger alongside the intrigue and this gives us a fantastic ending! 

The novel ends on a very naughty cliffhanger, so I’m very excited to see where the characters go from here. 

Murder By The Seaside is available from Amazon.

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