That little seaside town you love to visit in summer – have you ever wondered what that charming bookshop owner or the lovely landlady really feel about all their visitors? How they live both during the vibrant summers and quiet winters? Follow me and find out…
‘Amazing Grace’ is Grace Thomas, owner of the Sandybank Guest House, overlooking the seafront in this charming little coastal town. Grace is an excellent host and, truth be told, she pretty much handles all things by herself. Her husband, Dick, does what he can but seeing as he loves to relax, takes years to construct a patio and wanders off in the afternoon, you can understand why Grace is in effect running the guest house and their household. No wonder the tension rises…
After over twenty years of marriage, the “suave and sophisticated young man” Grace fell in love with is now “almost completely bald, overweight and almost always tired…” Even though the flame of passion may have been extinguished, Grace appreciates his kindness and is prepared to let him be. She herself, however, has always taken the trouble of taking care of herself, her weekly hairdresser’s appointment every Thursday is the highlight of her week; not only for her hair but also to keep up with the town’s latest gossip. In her sparse free time, Grace loves to read, especially romance novels. Whilst Grace is at the hairdresser’s, Dick has to do the beds and though grudgingly, he goes about his job when he finds a little book tucked away in the mattress. The book title is intriguing and more so the author’s name: Quentin Crisp. Though not much of a reader, Dick decides to keep his treasure.
After looking at the wonderful book covers displayed in the local bookshop’s window, Grace buys herself a romantic novel and, entrapped in her thoughts while walking back, feels sort of caught out when Robbie, the well-built fisherman, greets her and agrees to bring over fish the next week, just before Easter. Flustered, Grace speeds home to a disappointment: the washing machine is still not doing its job and her lazy husband tries to hide, unsuccessfully. A week of spring cleaning passes and Good Friday arrives – Robbie dutifully delivers his fish but does not leave before he has has a slice of Grace’s delicious cake. Her romantic novel is on the kitchen table and, much to Grace’s surprise, Robbie starts discussing the plot of her romantic novel with her. Another surprise is just around the corner when the police inform her, that one of their guests, Mr Brown, has been missing since last he checked out of their guesthouse. Something fishy all around, right? Follow me to that charming seaside town, have one of Grace’s delicious cakes or visit Maureen the hairdresser for all the tongue-wagging news…
The Seasiders is a quirky novel with a twist – and even if you somehow feel something is off, you cannot pinpoint anything. After the unexpected ending, it was like the sun broke through the cloud and everything made sense… I realised I had to read The Seasiders again but now with the knowledge of hindsight! Is it a coincidence that the missing guest is one Mr Brown? I felt an Agatha Christie reference here… I loved the author’s descriptions of the town, I could almost smell Robbie’s fish and feel the sea wind in my hair.. the language used is lovely and takes you back to a time where “twaddle, ”chiller’and “çravat” were commonly used. You can easily picture the colourful characters and seemingly ordinary situations; I can just imagine how Grace is running the guest house and how Dick desperately tries to avoid working by hiding in his shed or sneaking away to the local pub or betting shop. A.J. Griffith-Jones warms our hearts with her engaging, humorous and enticing writing style and, just when you are almost completely disarmed, ambushes us with her creative plotline… I fell for it, hook, line and sinker!
About the Author
A.J.Griffiths-Jones was born near Shrewsbury and travelled extensively in her career. A good thing travelling is one of her hobbies, along with swimming and cooking! After a decade of living & working in China as a Language Training Manager for a prominent bank in Shanghai, she moved back to her beloved Shropshire in England. As a historian and genealogist with a special interest in the world of Victorian crime, she researched the life of Dr Thomas Neill Cream, the notorious Lambeth Poisoner & Jack the Ripper suspect. The result of her ten years research was the publication of her debut book ‘Prisoner 4374′. The author is currently working on a sequel Ripper book.
The author also has written a series of engaging and enticing novels, translated into Italian, Spanish and Portuguese, giving us a wonderful, quirky, and unexpected insight into the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of seemingly ‘normal’ villages or surroundings:
|Publisher||CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (29 Jun. 2016)|