Beach Reads

By Cindy Bilbao

sand dunes at beach

Summer along the shore in these two novels couldn’t be more different!

Dead Tide mystery book

Dead Tide

By Jane Marks

There have been two murders on the beach in a quiet shore town and crowds are about to arrive for the summer. Will the mystery be solved in time?

Elle Wolfe was born and raised in Cape August, a fictional shore town in New England, where every summer the crowds descend on the beaches for vacation. Most of the residents in this town make the bulk of their yearly income during the summer tourist season. But this year threatens to be very different. There have been two murders on the beaches as summer season begins.

When Elle, now working as a reporter in Rhode Island and living with her fiancé, Eric, hears the news, she feels compelled to go back to her hometown to report on the tragedies. Her ex-boyfriend, Andrew, a Cape August police officer, has access to the details she needs for the story. Will Elle be able to keep things professional with Andrew as she helps solve the murders?

As the summer progresses, a third murder happens on the beach and the FBI arrives to help with the investigation. This is where the story really kicks in. Leading the FBI team is Roslyn Hunt, a beautiful woman with cold steel in her eyes and no warmth in her personality; she is all business. The friction between her and the team of local police (including Andrew) becomes intense, as the local residents and police stonewall the FBI. An air of mystery surrounds Roslyn, and her character becomes even more intriguing as we learn more about her. Will Roslyn win over the police officers and make progress in the murder investigation? And will Elle choose to stay with Eric or be with someone else?

This story has great character development, particularly FBI agent Roslyn. Suspense builds as we wait to see if she will be the hero. This is a great book—full of mystery, intrigue, and attraction. Grab a comfortable beach chair and dig in!

romance set in cape may new jersey 

The Cape May Garden

By Claudia Vance

Can a plot of land that holds the promise of a flourishing garden provide solace for people whose lives have been turned upside down? In Cape May, a beautiful seaside community in New Jersey, families come together for much needed healing.

Margaret Wilder’s life is disrupted when her husband Paul decides to leave, with no explanation other than a brief note. She now has to explain his absence to her daughters. At the same time, her job at the wildlife refuge is in peril because of cutbacks. Margaret’s only refuge from the difficult situation is her passionate love of gardening. When her sister Liz and Liz’s husband Greg purchase an old farm in the area, they realize that planting and tending the gardens is the perfect project for Margaret. Things take a turn for the better when Margaret befriends Dave, a quiet, handsome man at work, and learns of his connection to the farm.

This is a charming story and a great read if you just want a seaside novel to make you smile. Full of the sights and sounds of Cape May (one of my favorite beach towns), you’ll enjoy reminiscing about the area if you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit!

This article appeared in the Beachcombing Magazine September/October 2022 issue.

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