Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Coffin Cove by Jackie Elliott

I enjoyed this mystery set in a fishing town on the west side of Vancouver Island. I felt the beginning sections were a bit confusing, Elliott giving detailed backstory as each character was introduced in the narrative. I came to like the technique, however, as I realized we readers were being given each character's history so we could understand why the characters acted as they did. Coffin Cove is the kind of town where everybody knew everybody's history and readers are given the same privilege. Therefore, the character development is done well.

The plot is good. An unsolved murder from years ago is again a concern when a suspect returns to town. Then he is murdered. Andi, our heroine, is on the case. She is a disgraced journalist relegated to a small town newspaper and is bent on redeeming her reputation.

I appreciate learning a bit about the fishing industry and the impact of clear cut logging. I do wish Elliott had been a little clearer on the descriptions of her locations and the getting to and from them. Harry going from Coffin Cove to the Fraser River, for example, would have required hours, having to go through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and then north to Vancouver.

This is a good mystery for readers who like to understand the motives of those involved. It seems this is the debut novel from Elliott. I liked it and will be looking for more from her.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jackie Elliott is from the UK but now lives on Vancouver Island with her commercial fisherman husband.

Joffe Books, 248 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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