In this spin-off from Christy Barrit’s Lantern Beach series, Serena Lavinia, a quirky character familiar to readers takes center stage in her own series. Naturally her tale gets off to a quick start with the discovery of a stray dog followed shortly by a dead body.

It was fun getting to know Serena better in her own story, especially to gain an understanding of some of her somewhat weird habits. This novella is fairly short and easy to read in an evening but it offers plenty of mystery and laughs. It also introduces a new character, Webster Newsome who has arrived to take over as editor of the newspaper. That does not go over very well with Serena! I already have a few suspicions about how that relationship will develop as the series progresses. I also enjoyed touching base with a few characters from the previous series and fully expect to see a few others show up in later installments.

I always enjoy Barritt’s books, especially when I need a bit of relief from some of the more suspenseful or historical books I frequently read. If you haven’t read any of her books, this series might be a good place to start. It can easily stand on its own.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by the author. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.


USA Today bestselling author Christy Barritt takes readers to the mysterious, quirky island of Lantern Beach, North Carolina, in this charming cozy series!

It all started with a runaway dog.

Meet Serena Lavinia: part-time ice cream truck driver, part-time reporter, and full-time woman of mystery. She never expected to find a cute little terrier while on her morning ice cream route on the island of Lantern Beach.

Nor did she expect the dog to be carrying a bloody shoe.

When a dead body is discovered floating in a nearby pool, Serena becomes fully immersed in her very own who-done-it. But her investigation hits a snag when a new foe arrives in town. Webster Newsome has been appointed the town’s new newspaper editor—a job Serena wanted—and the man is entirely too bossy.


USA Today has called Christy Barritt’s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”

A Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have sold almost two million copies, and one is currently being developed as a movie.

Christy’s books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.

She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She loves spending time with her husband, her two sons, and her four dogs.

For more information, visit her website: