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"Sea Scope" by Debbie De Louise - IHIBRP 5-Star Book Review

A Cozy Mystery Reveals That Childhood Can Be Fraught With Secrets!

Overview: Memories of a dead body found at a childhood vacation spot two decades ago, her father’s recent suicide, current marital issues, and new messages popping up from her dead brother cause Sarah to question if there was more going on at her family’s beach bed and breakfast than what was first thought.

Author Debbie De Louise leads readers on a riveting emotional rollercoaster in her cozy mystery, “Sea Scope”. This seemingly sweet tale infused with pleasant memories of a particular summer spent at the Brewster family’s inn contrasts with an alleged suicide that becomes the focal point of the main character’s return to the scene. As Sarah accepts her aunt’s invitation to visit for the summer, current marital issues weigh her down even as she experiences flashbacks to several traumas associated with her stay at the homey beachside inn twenty years ago.

Well written and highly engaging, “Sea Scope” provides a sense of fascination and awe as this story takes these characters from childhood innocence to the realization that the world isn’t all puppy dogs and sunshine. Over that fateful summer, Sarah and her brother, Glen, learn about the birds and the bees, how to spy on cheating couples, discover mysteries and intimate secrets about the inn’s guests, find out their parent’s marriage may not be perfect, and experience the trauma of suicide. It’s a hard-hitting, coming-of-age tale that impacts each sibling’s life well into adulthood.

This mystery is a suspenseful and chilling read, and it continues to remain captivating throughout. The reader is prompted forward by delightful childhood memories set against a backdrop of serious adult issues. There is one problem that sticks out in the writing of this story, in that the author often chooses to use surnames (Mr. Gambowski, Ms. Wilson, etc.) rather than first names to identify the characters in her tale, perhaps to reflect back to a time when a more formal tone was used in conversation. The practice of using just the characters’ surnames in certain portions of this novel causes a great deal of confusion and muddles the plotline since most of the characters in this story are of the same family (Brewster) and carry the same last name.

With photos and notations about East Coast lighthouses interspersed between chapters, De Louise educates readers on their history even as she brings a sense of charm, tradition, and nautical ambiance to her story. “Sea Scope” is an absorbing, well-paced, and shocking cozy mystery that gets better and better as the plotline develops. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who loves a good mystery for ages 17 and up.

Note: “Sea Scope” does contain adult sexual situations, including a scene that may act as a trigger for survivors of sexual abuse and/or assault.

Congratulations to the author on this award-winning story! This novel will be permanently featured on my website at under IHIBRP 5 Star Recommended Reads!

Find "Sea Scope" by Debbie De Louise on Amazon & Kindle here.

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