Mystery at the Masquerade by Josh Lanyon _ Book Review

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Love is in the Salt Sea Air–and So is Murder!

Ellery Page, aspiring screenwriter, reigning Scrabble champion, and occasionally clueless owner of the Crow’s Nest mystery bookshop, is both flattered and bemused when he’s invited to the annual Marauder’s Masquerade, the biggest social event of the season in the quaint seaside village of Pirate’s Cove, Rhode Island.

Ellery doesn’t even know Mrs. Bloodworth-Ainsley—nor, it turns out does Mrs. Bloodworth-Ainsley know Ellery. But Marguerite’s son, Julian, wants to know him. Julian, handsome, rich, and engaging, is a huge mystery buff, but he’s never quite worked up the nerve to ask Ellery out.

As his relationship with Police Chief Jack Carson seems to be dead in the water, Ellery is grateful for a little flattering male attention from the village’s most eligible bachelor. But any hopes of romance hit the shoals when Julian is accused of murdering his mother’s unlikable second husband during the spooky annual ghost hunt in the old cemetery.

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Mystery at the Masquerade
 is the fourth book in Josh Lanyon’s Secrets and Scrabble mystery series. A small town MM cozy mystery series with a ridiculously slow burn romance that I’m here for.

“This was not the first dead body he’d encountered. It wasn’t even the first dead body in a pirate’s costume he’d found. That didn’t make it any better. In some ways, it made it worse. As bad habits went, this was one he really didn’t want to develop.”

This installment starts with Ellery coming to terms with being firmly friend zoned by Jack and when he finds himself being flirted with by a mystery fan he embraces the attention. When that man ends up being arrested for murder he finds himself once again knee-deep in a whodunit mystery.

I really enjoy the little town of Pirate’s Cove. Ellery with his bookstore regulars, his Scrabble night friends and the Silver Sleuths. There’s always gossip, and it seems like since he’s arrived in town there is always a mystery to solve. This books mystery was as fun as the others and easily unfolded clue by clue. It wasn’t overcomplicated which is exactly how I want my cozy Mysteries. The side romance between him and Jack seems to flat line in the beginning but thankfully is resurrected by the end, and we’re given a glimpse into Jack’s past and struggle with his feelings.

Pirate themed Masquerade balls, nosy town residents, sneaky burglars, and ghost hunting made this an enjoyable cozy mystery. I can’t wait for this series to continue!

—-Written by Amanda—-

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